Spunky Real Deals

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Cabinet & Floor Makeover


Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Cabinet and Floor "Small Space" Makeover
Annie Sloan is the master of chalk paint. I have used many different chalk paint brands and I always come home to Annie. I am, however, looking to replace her clear wax. The fumes are noxious. The Annie Sloan clear wax works wonderfully, but I am worried about my long-term health from excessive use. van Gogh has a clear wax alternative that is non-toxic and "safe to use on baby toys" according to the van Gogh Furniture Paintology website.  I chalk paint way too much to be using a wax that is potentially harmful to my health. Anyhow, I plan to do a major chalk painting project every week until school starts at the end of August. I have already made major progress with this incredible Annie Sloan "small space" makeover!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Cabinet and Floor "Small Space" Makeover
We live in a very old home closer to 200 than 100 years old. Civil war era. It makes for fun, yet challenging chalk paint projects. One of the most challenging areas is a teeny hallway that is both our laundry room area and adjacent to our tiny bathroom. The bathroom is so tiny the previous owners added a partial mirrored wall to give the illusion of a larger space. This space is highly trafficked when we have family or guests over. The goal was to create an enjoyable space to "feast your eyes on" while walking to the bathroom and I think that goal was achieved! At our local Annie Sloan emporium, I found the minty ladder of my dreams. This rustic ladder gave me the inspiration for the entire teeny area.

The mint ladder is being using to hide the wicker laundry bin. I am also going to buy some Turkish or perhaps hand printed towels to hang on the steps. My fresh drying lavender gives off a beautiful herbaceous scent and the rustic chicken feeder turned light adds a warm glow to the dark hallway. There is one thing I forgot to take a photo of....the floor! I ended up having to paint it with old white and chateau grey. You will have to watch the above before and after video to see it. It was hard enough taking the photos you see here. The lighting is atrocious in that hallway!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Cabinet and Floor "Small Space" Makeover
I painted the surrounding walls with Annie Sloan Old White, which is a neutral that adds warmth to any room. The cabinets were painted with Chateau Grey and accented with the dark wax. I sealed the cabinets with the Annie Sloan Clear wax and then used the dark wax to pull out little details. Because the area is SO dark coupled with the darker chateau grey paint, the dark wax is absolutely necessary. The chateau grey was darker than anticipated and blends "into the shadows" of the wall. The dark wax gives the cabinets the depth and added rustic element they sorely needed. Dark wax tip: If you use too much dark wax, take your clear wax to remove the excess. The adorable candle in the corner is a botanical soy candle from Oh So Good Organics!

Please leave any questions or comments below. I would be happy to answer them. Happy chalk painting my friends!

Impossible Perfection: A Boudoir Photo Shoot


 Photography by Second Ave Photography

Impossible perfection really says it all. What is perfection for a woman? Can it even be achieved? The initial inspiration for this post was a vintage photo of Marilyn Monroe with rose petals covering her bosoms. The striking thing about that photo is she has a substantial scar across her abdomen from a previous gallbladder surgery. Originally, I was going to try and replicate that photo, but I decided against it. You cannot replicate someone else and I did not even want to try, especially Marilyn Monroe! The whole thought process made me think about today's beauty standards(judgements) for women. Everything needs to be sucked, tucked, and plucked to perfection. Lest ye be judged and you will be judged!

Impossible Perfection: A Boudoir Photo ShootImpossible Perfection: A Boudoir Photo Shoot
Women feel every ounce of scrutiny. Every sneer, every eye-roll, and every nasty comment is taken personally. Em Ford, whom is the UK beauty blogger of My Pale Skin blog, was attacked by her own followers when she did a bare face reveal to show the power of make up. Her reveal is stunning and revealed her heart aching struggles with acne. Her powerful video below is well worth the watch. Thank you Em Ford for showing the real you! To be vulnerable is indeed beautiful. The people judging you are really judging themselves. They are unhappy with who they are. Never give someone the authority to make you feel less than a person. You hold the power for true happiness. You deserve to be happy. In fact, I stopped answering my own YouTube comments. Why? Because, people usually left negative and deprecating comments. I talk too fast, I say "um" too much, negative, negative, bad, bad, etc...

Words online hurt just as much as words spoken to your face. In fact, people feel more comfortable leaving hurtful comments online, because they do not have to be responsible for their words. It is not just television, celebrities, bloggers, and social media that are perpetuating the "female perfection" myth. I believe for women it has become this impossible reality that makes us agonize over every portion of our body and leaves us constantly comparing ourselves to others. I never see a man agonizing over his hairy pot belly and thus, the time of agonizing is over for me. Once you are naked with flowers over your boobs, there is no hiding anymore. This is me.

Impossible Perfection: A Boudoir Photo Shoot
Me. I have stretch marks across my abdomen from birthing two children. My stomach is not perfectly flat. My boobs are certainly not where they used to be and you know what? That is okay. Maybe one day I will get everything tucked back into place, but if that day ever comes it will be for me. Only for me and because that is what "I" want. I will not get work done for my husband and certainly not for society Until then, exercise and diet will be my beautifying Excalibur!

On a side rant, have you ever been to the grocery store(or any store for that matter with no make up on). How were you treated or did you even notice? When I go to the store with a full face of make up, more strangers will say hi, smile at me, and engage in conversation. Store employees will go out of their way to offer me assistance. No make up...no service. I swear!! If I need something bare face, I literally feel like I have to trip someone. For a woman, your personal appearance is a direct correlation on how you are treated. It is a fact. No matter what, society has taught me that I must be beautiful in order to get positive attention. Think about that society.

What are your thoughts on today's beauty standards for women? I want to hear about your personal experiences.

So you think you can thrift? Vintage Fashion.


So you think you can thrift? Vintage Fashion.
So you think you can thrift? I am exploring and sharing my super awesome thrift store finds! I live in an incredible area rich in Civil War history: Northern Virginia. You never ever know what you will find in our local thrift stores. Old photos, authentic arrow heads, classic children's books, mint condition vintage clothing, and so forth. This week I found a beautiful dusty rose dress with a hooded shawl! It is such an interesting piece that I enlisted the help of my photographer and very good friend Blaire Ring of Second Ave Photography.
Vintage Fashion
The photography adventure started at 48 fields in Northern Virginia! My favorite photo is the one above. I am tip toeing through the tall grasses trying to avoid snakes, bugs, etc... Snakes and bugs aside, the grounds are untamed and beautiful! They have rustic and chippy buildings with a beautiful open area for a sunrise or sunset photo shoot. As you can see, Blaire did a tremendous job pulling out colors and creating a mysterious little pink riding hood ambiance.

This vintage dress has a label inside that reads "ILGWU" or the International Ladies Garment Worker Union. According to Vintage Fashion Guild, this company has been around since the 1900s and ceased business in the early 1990s. I felt like this dress was at least a 70s dress....so I could be right! Although, I am really attracted to 80s clothing without even knowing it sometimes. If you are really into vintage fashion and want to explore the history behind the fashion, then the Vintage Fashion Guild is your best online resource.
Vintage Fashion
Vintage Fashion
Vintage Fashion
Vintage Fashion
Vintage Fashion
Vintage fashion for me is the best kind of fashion. You have the Eco friendly aspect, but vintage pieces are incredibly unique and have seen so much life. You can feel the energy coming off a piece that has survived the ages. Other women have worn and loved this dress as I do too. Do you want to continue your vintage fashion journey? Join Ashley from Frugal Coupon Living and Katelyn from Lucky Bandit for their vintage fashion posts this week! Perhaps you have a vintage look to share? Instagram your recent vintage looks with the #icanthrift and I will re-post my favorites! Thanks for taking the time to walk back in time with me today.

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