Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tops of 2011

Hey hey! How is your last week of the year coming along? I’m still not doing much. Other than eating. And sitting. And sleeping. ;)

Yesterday I posted about the top ten posts in 2011 (based on your comments), and I couldn’t resist sharing some other tops of the year! Google Analytics is chock full of awesome little details about blog traffic (if you don’t have it set up on your blog, you should!).

I gathered a few of my favorites to share with you today! And then I swear…onto the new for 2012! ;)

I love to check out the posts that get the most traffic every year. It’s a great reminder because it truly shows the benefit of titling your posts right. Eight of the top ten posts that were “hit” on my blog this year were NOT from this year. Some were actually from years ago. Isn’t that crazy?

There is great power in titling your posts according to how they will be searched! Here are the top ten:

image1. How to Decorate Your Mantel



2. How to Make a Headboard


3. Dollar Store Fall Wreath


4. Comfort Foods



5. A Santa Craft


6. DIY Drum Shade Chandelier


7. Closet Turned Book Nook



8. Family Room Redone



9. Warm and Cozy Family Room



10. New Dining Room Centerpiece

It was also fun to look back at the linky parties I hosted this year. I checked back on them to see which ones had the most links. I gathered the top five to share – if you have nothing to do this weekend I think they’ll keep you occupied. ;)


5. Home May’d Spray Paint Party (493)


image 4. Before and After: February (499)


image 3. Before and After Party: March (505)


image 2. Before and After Party: November (507)


image 1. Christmas Tree Party (573)

Of course I have to give a shout out to all the bloggers who sent me visitors this year! I consider them all friends and am lucky to know them!

1. Centsational Girl
2. Hooked on Houses
3. Bower Power
4. Nesting Place
5. 320 Sycamore
6. All Things Thrifty
7. The Inspired Room
8. Miss Mustard Seed
9. The Lettered Cottage
10. Better After

Live Writer wouldn’t let me link to the full blog names for some reason. Highly annoying. So just click on the grey parts to get to these lovely ladies. :)

Numbers one and two are actually Facebook and Pinterest respectively. It is blowing my mind how Pinterest is affecting blogging – in a mostly really good way! If you have a blog and don’t have an account, I encourage you get one!

And just for fun, I checked out where all you Squeezies come from. :) Of course the majority is the good old US of A, but it was kind of cool to see the top five:

1. Canada
2. Australia
3. UK
4. Germany
5. Brazil

Sooo…if any of you (especially those Australia or Brazil) would like me to come stay for a week or so, that would be awesome. Just let me know. ;)

There you go! Aren’t recaps fun?? No? Maybe just for me? Whatevs. Did you find Thrifty Decor Chick in 2011? If so was it from one of the posts I linked to? I’d love to hear!

I hope to be back before the new year, but if not I hope you have a wonderful end of 2011 and even better start to 2012!! Loves ya!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten of Eleven

Well hey there! Remember me? :) I’ve had such a lovely, totally lazy week…it has been absolutely wonderful. I’m still in low key mode but sure do miss you all.

The end of 2011 is here…can you even believe it? Only a few days left of the year, and that means it’s time to recap the biggest projects  of 2011 here on TDC.

I figure these out based on comments. I love ‘em. I do.  :)

So here. we. go. – the top ten projects based on you!

Up first, the most recent redo – our awkward corner fireplace that used to look like this:

Was changed (with a bit of handy men help) into this:

corner fireplace

I am SO so happy with it still. One of the best changes I’ve ever made to our house! (You can go here to see more about the process.)

I’m dreaming up ideas for a treatment above the mantel, but I love it as is for now. I don’t want to do anything till I’m totally sure about it.

Up next was a project from this summer – a little redo of our family room based around our first debt free purchase – the new sofa:

arhaus small sectional

I finished up that room during my No-Spend July, and I was able to get creative with some accessories and art that didn’t take any cash at all. My favorite kind!!

Next up was another big purchase, but this one wasn’t planned and it was one we didn’t have to pay for (well, most of it). Our fridge meltdown meant we had to replace our laminate floors in the family room and kitchen, and we decided to continue them throughout the bottom floor.

At first we were planning on going with prefinished floors:

prefinished dark hardwoods

But after reading all of your comments on this post, I changed my mind. We went with finished on site, and I’m SO glad we did. I can’t get over how much I love our hardwoods:

finished on site hardwoods

Because our laundry room was laminate previously, and we weren’t replacing it with hardwoods, we were able to apply that insurance credit toward the office, then we paid extra for the dining and living rooms.

Best. decision. ever.

Up next, I shared how I tackled the pile of papers I had ignored for YEARS. That was a very fun week around here.


organizing the paper

I used to go through the files at the start of every year, but I had avoided it for awhile and it came back to bite me. :)

That reminds me…I need to go through the files. (Shudder.)

The next big post was when I blogged about how we are NOT moving any time soon:

We got some bad news about the value of our house this year, along with the rest of the human race, and had some major thinking to do. It only took about a day to figure out we didn’t want to move and aren’t moving. You can read why here.

Next was yet another family room post. It certainly was the year of the family room around here. ;) This one was from the start of the year, before the new sofa or the redo. (Confused? Me too.)

I was so tired of the room feeling so cramped that I broke all the couch rules and removed one:

It made a HUGE difference in this space! It was less seating for awhile, but it was worth it. It also helped me to figure out a new set up for the room which is what we ultimately ended up with.

The lesson here…do whatever the heck you want. It’s YOUR home.

You all were so helpful when it came to the sofa search for that family room. I shared all the things I hated about our sofa set we had had for years:

I loved those comments because I was originally set against microfiber, but my mind was changed. I saw the microfiber light people!! We ended up with a smaller sectional from Arhaus and it’s made of micro denier – a bunny’s butt soft version of microfiber.

It is incredible. LOVE. Love love love.

The next biggest post was not about the family room. I know, shocking! It was about me being a total doofus and causing a big gaping hole in our house for a few days:

Ugh. I still can’t believe I did that. You can see how that happened and the end result (which I love) here.

Number 9 was one of my very favorite projects I’ve done in our home – the closet turned book nook:

closet book nook

With some purging and reorganizing, I realized we didn’t need the small closet in our loft space. Using almost all scrap wood that I had in the garage, I transformed it into a lovely little book nook for me the Bub.

It’s the smallest “room” in our house and one of my favorites. :)

And finally – the biggest response was to a project that didn’t include many pretty pictures, but instead pictures of my piles:

Yep. I’m a piler. A stacker. A bagger. I try to fight it and I can’t. Many of you are right there with me. (Thank you.)

And just like every year, my most popular posts were more personal ones that weren’t about DIY at all. :) The top five of those were…

When I introduced you to the dog I saw, picked up, and fell instantly in love with:

chia rat

These cat folks are now totally head over heels in love with that little bugger. :) We can’t imagine our lives without Peanut Butter.

I shared how I don’t do it all in this post.

The (mostly) pretty pictures can be highly misleading. I try to share our “real” life with you as much as I can.

Early this year I got news that a (very young) family member of mine had breast cancer. It kind of rocked my world. I shared how I was determined to take better care of myself here.

That’s when this woman came back into my life:

I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit…but I’m determined to get back on. I recently found out that a former student of my husband’s is facing cancer. He just graduated a few years ago. What a cruel reminder.

I celebrated three years of blogging by sharing how I try not to let the wonderful world of blogging get me down:

Blogging is 90 percent amazing, ten percent yucky jealousy and insecurity. That post was my reminder to remember that all the houses and blogs that appear perfect are not really perfect after all. And that’s OK. :)

And finally, the biggie. The one that changed our lives:

The one where we paid off $125,000 in debt. Everything but the house. And our lives have been (unbelievably) better for it since.

I hope that I have inspired you to take on something in your homes this year – whether it be personal or just using a hammer for the first time. ;) I love your comments and emails telling me just that – they fill me with JOY!

Next up I’ll share what I’ve got planned for 2012. It’s going to be a great year! :)

Did your favorite post at TDC this year make the cut?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to you & yours

From ours. :)


Do you know how hard it is to get a family photo when one kiddo is in college? Nearly impossible. I cherish them big time when we get one. Especially when we’re all smiling and actually looking at the camera. :)

Of course I couldn’t resist playing around on Picnik a bit:

family fun

My stepdaughter is gonna kill me. I think I’ll put this on Facebook and tag her.

Of course I couldn't forget the Nutter Butter:


I had to fake that Santa hat cause there was no way he was going to let me put one on him. He is not a dress-me-up kind of dog. :)

I hope you had an absolutely lovely day. We did and I’m feeling especially blessed this evening.

I wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU to you all as well. I cannot express how much I love doing what I do, and you are all a BIG reason I’m able to do it. I am so thankful for your friendship – whether we’ve met or not. :)

Merry, MERRY Christmas!!

And now, I’m off to have thirds seconds of the apple dumplings. The treadmill and I have a date…starting tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Head start

Well…I’ve caught the bug. Just a bit early this season. The clutter is driving me MAD and I had to do something about it. I’m still enjoying the magic of the season, believe me. (Sitting by the Christmas lights and eating my second cookie of the day right now.)

I’m just overwhelmed by the stuff already.

Not the Christmas stuff, just the STUFF. Usually I wait till all the holiday decor is put away before I start the new year decrapification process, but this year I just couldn’t wait.

There was a pile that was growing in the basement that was a little big HUGE reason why I didn’t want to wait any longer.

Be prepared. I’m showing you my bad side. Again.

I’ll preface this photo with a “it looks much worse than it is.”  ;)

Told you I was a piler. :)

The pile started in early October –- I moved a bunch of the little odds and ends down there when they installed our new floors.

When we got things back together, some of the stuff just kind of conveniently stayed down there. I was tired of going up and down the stairs. Something like that.

OK, for real, the pile looks way worst than it is. It’s long. And wide. But low.

OK, I give up. It was bad.

I started attacking in yesterday and got it all down to one little bag of stuff I just don’t have a stinkin’ clue what to do with. You know that stuff? The stuff that hurts my head when I try to figure out where it belongs.

It’s a small bag. I can deal with it. (And I will.)

Now the space is cleaned up:

And I’m totally PUMPED to keep going. The basement is always our dumping ground. By the end of the year it’s a junk-magnet.

Every year I purge like I’ve never purged before. This year, I’m FOR REAL gonna purge (like never before) cause we’re hoping this will finally be the year we start finishing the basement.

We have said that every year for almost eight years now, but I think it may actually happen this time. :)

Even unfinished, I’ve shown you how we use this space a ton:


Who needs ceilings? Or drywall? Flooring? Flooring schmooring. :)

We’ve moved some furniture down there and turned what will be a movie room space into an actual comfortable, cozy movie room until-a-movie-room. We’ve been down there enjoying it every night this week.

I’ll show you how that space looks soon, and share our plan for finishing this space – I’ll need your advice if you’ve finished a basement!

So, has the decrapification bug bitten you yet? What’s the one space you’re itching to get to?

I hope to post again before Christmas, but I’m just kind of enjoying our home and family, so I won’t make any promises. :)

If I don’t talk to you before, I want to wish you and yours a very lovely, warm, beautiful, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I’m so blessed to have you all in my life. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Secret Santa (and a few things)

Hello there! How the heck are ya?!

First of all…AHHHHHH!!!:


Are you freakin’ out yet?

Just a friendly reminder, that’s all. ;)

I had to tell you about a FUN idea my friend Stefanie over at Brooklyn Limestone came up with. She coordinated a bunch of bloggers and we’re doing a blogland Secret Santa:


How great is that? (I’m in good company, eh?) I love it cause it’s the same kind of fun I used to have in the office setting (in my old life), but this time it’s via the good old US Postal Service. ;)

I’m dying to know who has me – I got these lovely coasters the other day:


I think I know who they came from…but I’m not guessing out loud quite yet. ;) I’ll let you know who it is when I find out! I hope my gal likes her treats as well!

I wanted to share a fun linky party as well -- my friend Melissa is hosting a favorite things party, and I love sharing mine, especially this time of year:


Go check out my favorites here and see how I created the snowflake bokeh-like photo of our tree:

snowflake bokeh

By the way, there are nearly 550 gorgeous trees linked up at the Christmas tree party – it’s a feast for the eyes! Go here to link up you’re own! (It will be open till Wednesday this week.)

And finally, the winners of the Antique Farm House giveaway are:

Beth at The Rhamy Roost
Amy at Wine Country Mama

Congrats ladies! Please email me at thriftydecorchick (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll get you connected!

Hope you’re having a lovely week! Any guesses who my Santa is? ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spreading Christmas CHEER!

Hello all! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I got absolutely ZERO done – Saturday we quite literally laid around all day, and only got our butts up to go see a movie. Today was spent visiting my grandparents who live about three hours away. It was a lot of driving time but it was SO wonderful to see them!

So the Christmas list hasn’t gotten any shorter, but whatev. I’ll be all supersonic this week and power through.

Today I wanted to share some Christmas craft and decor ideas that have caught my eye over the past few weeks. I’ve seen SO MUCH goodness out there, these don’t even scratch the surface.

If you are completely awesome, maybe you can throw some of these together this week? If not, we’ve all got next year. ;)

When I saw Michelle’s spray painted nutcrackers, it was one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments:

spray painted nutcrackers

Decor and the Dog

She found them for super cheap at Hobby Lobby and just sprayed them in glossy red. I was all psyched cause I had the glossy red, just not the nutcrackers. High-tailed it to Hob Lob and NOTHIN. Goodwill…nothin.

Next year fo sho. ;)

If you are giving away some scrumptious sweets this week, Mique has you covered with some adorable printables:

christmas treat printable
Thirty Handmade Days 

Almost makes me want to bake. Or something. ;)

Check out Hannah’s cutie candy cane tree skirt:

diy candy cane tree skirtYoung and Crafty

Can you believe it was made with hot glue? No sewing people!

I think Lakeitha’s Christmas table is just beautiful:

natural christmas tableRamblings of a mother, decorator…

I love the little Christmas trees on the table! And check out that GOODWILL chandelier! And those velvety chairs (what is that, velvet?). I LOVE.

Absolutely LOVE all the great handmade boy gifts Charlie compiled: handmade toys for boys

Attempting Aloha

My favorite is the super hero fort kit. Hello, I would have loved that as a kid!

I love love LOVE Laura’s rustic Christmas mantel:

rustic christmas mantelFinding Home

Seriously. Isn’t it gorgeous? Magazine-worthy, for sure.

If you’re looking for some bling, you’ll love Cassie’s sparkly tree craft!:

sequin christmas treesHi Sugarplum!

They’re just sequins and stick pins but they make a major statement!

Finally, I thought Debbie’s Pottery Barn pillow was just too sweet:  knock off pottery barn christmas pillow

Confessions of a Plate Addict

So pretty! And brilliant -- she used sleeves from a Goodwill sweater to make the stockings!

I love blogland!! :)

There you go – plenty of goodies to keep you busy this week. Cause I know you’ll all be sitting around twiddling your thumbs. ;)

I have my kiddo and hubby home for the next two weeks and I’m in heaven. I’ll still be posting but probably not quite as much – gotta spend some time with my loves.

In the next few weeks, I hope to recap this year’s big projects and share what I have planned for the year – can’t wait!

Have a great start to the holiday week!