Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Barn Light Electric Lights Giveaway

If I could describe my ideal decor style it'd be white linens meet industrial {think Restoration Hardware}.  I'd have a room full of comfortable oversized neutral furniture paired with industrial inspired accents.

{Enter Barn Light Electric}

They have gorgeous lights {and other accessories} and I was doing a little window shopping today. 

{Crystalline Surface Pendant}

{BL Outlaw Pendant}

{Bryon Pendant}

{BL Fargo Pendant}
Now these ones make me so a serious {HAPPY DANCE}! I love all the variations they have for the style and I just think they'd go perfect above our breakfast bar! Love Love Love them!

What's even more fantastic about Barn Light Electric is there doing an insane giveaway
A chance to win either a $1,000 or $500 Barn Light Electric Gift Certificate !

How to Enter:
  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article so others can enter
  4. Once your personal article is up, you must email your blog link to: contest@barnlightelectric.com to be qualified to win. The contest ends Wednesday, October 12, 2011
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by reading the Official Rules
My fingers are seriously crossed until they make the announcement!  Are you an admirer of the lights I chose?  What about you? Which ones would you pick?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner and some extra goodies

Wanted to do a quick reminder to all my readers about my fantastic sponsor Everyday Vinyl
They're offering all PB&J readers 30% off chalkboard vinyl the month of September and I can think of some really cool Halloween inspired projects with that goodness!  Be sure to check them out, also... they've started to sneak peak that they're going to be selling the Silhouette Cameo soon!

Comes with:
  •  Silhouette Studio® software for Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac® OS X 10.5.8 and higher
  • 51 exclusive cuttable designs
  • Power cable, USB cable
  • 12" cutting mat
  • Cutting blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide

Some more exciting announcements, the Saressa Designs giveaway winner was selected!  Keep in mind if you didn't win Rachel is offering all PB&J readers 30% off their order from Saressa Designs all week until October 2nd!  Just enter coupon code: PBJ30 at checkout to get your savings! Perhaps get a little Christmas shopping done early??

Lucky #27 winner is:

Congratulations Jenna!!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

My Fallspiration: Style & Fashion Series

To celebrate the first day of fall I wanted to do a kick off to my fall inspirations..for style!

I have a pretty simple fashion style and I prefer comfort over high fashion {at least for me}.  My daily outfit during the summer is capris, flip flops and a beater style tank top.  After a long summer I'm so excited for a change of season and the weather to start cooling down.

I've have totally caved into the trend for fall boots.  I just LOVE the brown riding boot style, and I even love the added bonus that they're flat.  I like wearing heels every once and a while, but being 5'10" I get a bit tired and self conscious adding extra height on a daily note. 

These make me swooooooooooon but just ones I pet through the screen as the price tag is $495!
But almost every brand of shoe is stocking their shelves with their own version of the riding boot and I've already given in and bought two pairs. {sorry husband, I'm guilty}

This style of boot paired with skinny jeans and a long sleeve shirt or sweater will be my daily outfit this fall and I am loving all these styles:



Then once it's a bit cooler out and I get to wear UGGS! It's the little things in life {right}



Do you get as excited for Fall & new clothes trends?  What about the riding boot style, are you a fan or against it?


Don't forget to join the Saressa Design Giveaway, only a couple more days to enter!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saressa Designs Giveaway!!!

I'm so excited to announce a new giveaway!  I found a new favorite jewelry store on Etsy about a month ago and bought this BEAUTIFUL necklace

I even added the little heart with the the initial of my choice {J for Jackson} and I love that it's a personal piece of jewelry I can now wear with just about every outfit. 

Rachel from Saressa Designs has to be about the nicest person ever.  She has a great eye for new designs of jewelry pieces and I love each and every piece in her store. 

Now one lucky reader will win their choice of jewelry from her store {up to a $55 value!}  That's enough to even add a little personalized heart too! 

How to enter:
Leave a comment for each entry, and the giveaway will close Sunday the 25th at 8pm EST

* Let me know which piece you'd pick from Saressa Designs if you won
* Like Saressa Design's Facebook and leave a friendly comment
* Follow PB&Jstories {and you can leave me a little friendly comment too :)}
* Tweet, Facebook, or Blog about the giveaway {be sure to @ me on any so I know}

That's a lot of different ways to win so be sure and do them all! 

In addition, she is letting PB&J readers get 30% off anything from her store!! See! Told you she's the nicest person ever. Just be sure to enter the coupon, "PBJ30" when checking out.

Good Luck!


I was not paid or compensated to do this giveaway,
I just wanted one of my readers to be able to have some of her jewelry!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stripping wood furniture: My how to & a lesson learned

A recent furniture renovation was supposed to be an fairly easy project, however ended up taking a lot more time than anticipated but ended up being a great learning experience.  
Great way to learn is fixing your mistakes, right?

I picked up this table at my local Goodwill with a $15 price tag and instantly knew the plans I had for her.  I wanted to paint the bottom white and stain the top darker, a very popular look lately. 

Where the failure occurred:
I sanded the entire table with my electric palm sander using a 120 grit removing all the gloss protective finish from the top.  I took my time being sure {to what I thought} was removing the finish to make the remainder of the project easier.  After I sanded, I did as usual, and wiped down with my tack cloth and grabbed my Miniwax Stain.  After the first coat sat for about 5 minutes I started to see this:

See the little spots? That's not what you want to see when staining... I knew something didn't go as it was supposed too. 

I was tempted to call it a lost cause since it was a cheap table to begin with and in my eyes was a failure.  But, I called on some of my favorite ladies I envy with their talents and skills of redoing furniture.

Marian @ Miss Mustard Seed  and Natalie @ Natty by Design

I emailed them in a frantic mess explaining what I did up until this point and what's the best options to rescue the piece.  Both suggested the same thing {strip the piece and start from scratch..again}.
Marian helped me better understand when to strip rather than sand and why the pooling occurred.
Natalie suggested a specific brand of paint stripper to use, and explained how she tackles pieces.

So the next day I set out and picked up
* Citristrip {what Natalie suggested}
* rubber gloves that were paint stripper safe
* plastic scrapper {metal can cause damage on soft wood when stripping}
* mineral spirits
* steel wool 0000
* lint free cloths

I already had some Jasco paint stripper on hand and was really curious between the two, which I'd like better so I decided to take the opportunity and strip the table half and half to see the differences.

What I did to strip
I laid out plastic tarp {be careful, can be slippery} and ensured I had PLENTY of ventilation.  Wiped down the table to be sure it was clean of any dust/lint. 

Following the instructions on each bottle {which were the same} I applied ample amount of paint stripper over the entire table.  If you use a brush I suggest using a cheap one you can just dispose of afterwards.  Don't apply the strip like you would paint, coat in one direction and don't go over the area more than once.  Each time you "swipe" the brush with thinner you're evaporating more of the chemicals that is used to strip the paint.  Just lay on a thick layer and let it be.

Initial reaction between the two:
Citristrip didn't have as harsh of a smell and was easier to ensure you were applying a thick layer.
However, I could see Jasco paint stripper working instantly which made me to initially believe it would work better.

I let it sit for 20 minutes without touching it.  Then came back and lightly scrapped a little bit off both sides to see if it stripped easily.  If it doesn't in your case let it sit for another 10 minutes, then try again.  If it still doesn't remove easily, you will need to completely scrape the surface and reapply more stripper as after 40 minutes the essential chemicals for stripping have evaporated off and will not be strong enough. 
The paint stripper will have bubbles on the surface, and the Citristrip didn't seem to bubble in the same way.
{After 20 minutes}

In my case 20 minutes was long enough and I began scrapping away.  I used an old empty paint can to collect the scrapings for easier clean up.
You'll want to scrape lightly without a lot of pressure as you can easily dent your wood at this point if it's a soft wood.

{After I scraped the entire table}
I actually ended up thinking the Citristrip worked better at an overall removal

Then I used steel wool and wiped it down to ensure the remover was completely off, and then gave it a good wipe down with mineral spirits and a lint free cloth.  Change the surface of the cloth often {after a couple wipes} to an unused portion of the cloth.  You don't want to wipe the table with a part of the cloth that has remover on it, as this step is to remove any left over paint remover. 

Voila, a brand new slate to begin the staining process..{again}
While this did take a bit of time, it sure is easier than finding out after you begin staining that you didn't sand off the finish entirely. 

Before I stained the table top again, I applied a wood conditioner which I'd suggest if stripping any soft woods.  Once you apply the conditioner you can stain the piece within 15 minutes but don't want to wait longer than two hours.

After all said and done, I was very happy to take the time to strip the piece as I LOVE the results:


What do you think?  Let me know if you have any questions about the products I used, or any paint stripping questions!


{I wasn't paid or compensated by Jasco or Citristrip for this post and all opinions and thoughts are my own}

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Printable Collection: Inspiring Words

I've been trying to come up with a quote I want to put in my {in the process} garage studio for motivation while I'm working on various projects. 

Here's a few of my favorite




{source: quote - unknown, I made the printable with Picnik}

What are your favorite inspiring quotes?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Fallspiration

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever have an original idea again.  Pinterest really has stunted my original ideas for projects and decorating.. but then again isn't that what's so amazing about this world?  Inspiration from others? 

I'm originally from Minnesota, and though we may have some pretty harsh winters, we have our four distinct seasons and Fall has always been a favorite. Fall has started to peak it's nose out up there and I'm so jealous of those that feel the crisp air and see the acorns falling.  As for Virginia Beach, we're still hitting mid 90's every day and there's no sign of Fall yet.  I haven't started to decorate, however many across the DIY/blogger world have started laying out all their Fall decor and it's starting to bring some great ideas for me... once I'm ready. 
{As I said, I am ready, but there's just something not right about decorating with fall leaves and pumpkins when I still break a sweat walking to my mailbox}. 

I used to turn to Google images for quick ideas, however that's sooo six months ago ;)  Pinterest is packed with amazing ideas already, and my Google Reader has been filling up with some amazing projects for Fall decor. 

Here's a few of my favorite "Fallspiration" ideas






What I plan on doing for my Fall decor:
If you recall my entryway, I'll be changing out the decor here to add in some Fallspiration. {I have already asked my family in MN to mail me some acorns, I need real ones, fake just won't cut it}
Change out the wreath on my front door. 
Add some potted flowers to aid in the front porch color theme. 
Recover my bench throw pillows with fall colors. 
I hope to even bring it inside a little more and add some new sweater covered throw pillows and comfy cozy blankets.

Have you started decorating for fall?
What are your ideas?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you ten years ago?

September 11th, 2001. 

It's a day for the rest of our lives we'll all remember.  We'll remember the fallen, we'll remember their families, we'll honor the heroes.

I remember a school assignment when I was younger where I had to come home and ask my parents, "Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? What were you doing? How did it make you feel?"

September 11th, will be our generation's day of remembrance which our kids will come home from school and ask us in detail, "Where were you? What were you doing? How did you feel?" 

When the first plane hit I heard it on the radio as I was driving to school.  My initial reaction wasn't mourning, or tragedy.  It was disbelief, hearing the words someone flew an airplane into a building in New York City?  I didn't assume it was a terrorist attack, I assumed it was a freak accident.  By the time I arrived at school, some had heard the news, others had not but no one was quite sure what to expect.  Once everyone was settled in their first class, a hush came over the school.  Every classroom had their TV's on and everyone was witnessing what had just happened. 
Seeing it on TV felt more real and suddenly started to sink in the dangers and the thousands of people that this will affect.  Then, the second plane hit.

My dad is a pilot, I knew he wasn't on a flight, I knew the airline was not who he flew for, but the tragedy that airplanes were the weapon of choice to kill thousands and thousands of people hit too close for home for me. 

Every year since it happened, the anniversary of 9-11 has always been a day of remembrance but the mark of the ten year anniversary feels different.  I spent some time going over the future plans for the WTC and it feels good to know our nation is strong, and comes together in times of need, and can help one another move forward.

Ten years ago today
Everyone felt it
Our nation's heart was attacked
Time stopped and our innocence was taken

Some gave their lives
Some lost their loved ones
Some never returned home
Some families waited for months and months

Let us take today to remember the fallen and honor the heroes.
For today is a day to remember to appreciate the simple joys in life and to honor those that gave their lives for our country.
Let us remember the 3,000 men, women, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, families and friends and that never made it home that evening.

Today, I will spend my day giving my son endless hugs and kisses.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Thrifty Goodwill Table Makeover

Goodwill Table Rehab

Here's a few snapshots of my Goodwill table I recently refinished

$15 Goodwill find before:

And After:

I wish I could say it was easy, but this was a project I actually ended up learning... a lot about redoing furniture.

Another before and after

I love the finished look and it was the first time I've re-stained a piece of furniture.

As much as I do love this piece, it'll be put up for sale locally.

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