Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Transparent Tuesday

Today's transparent topic: Coincidence vs. Holy Spirit
Okay, so do you remember waaay back when, when I shared in another Transparent Tuesday post about my relationship struggles with my brother? If not, you may want to read it so this post makes a little more sense.

So, a quick little recap...I love my brother deeply but we don't have a lovey dovey relationship. In fact, if we have a full conversation once a quarter then it's a very good year. In light of this, when I was shopping last week it's safe to say my brother was quite possibly the last thing on my mind. That is, until I saw this...

"Wow! Those are my brother's initials, how random!" I thought. And would you believe that these were the only letters in sight? I snapped a quick picture and seized the opportunity to send him a text to let him know I thought about him while I was out shopping.

Here's where my insecurities come into play. I knew I had to send the text quick before I chickened out because honestly I was expecting him to think it was totally cheesy. Or, that I'd make him feel uncomfortable and he wouldn't even respond. He passive aggressively told me once that I live a charmed life and he wishes "he could live life as John's wife."

Okay, so I totally sold my brother short, because here was our texting conversation:
Me: "Thought of u today while out shopping!" (with the above pic attached)
Brother: "Very cool! Think of me now as I am..." (I left the rest off due to its personal nature.)

I was so honored that he shared a side of himself with me that is typically closed off (to me at least). I responded to him and this text resulted in a phone conversation later that evening. It was the most transparent conversation we've had in many, many years!

This is a ton of background to get to my main point. If you're still reading at this point, thanks for hanging in there with me.
Now, I pose this question to you...Do you think seeing his initials in the store was a coincidence or was it the work of the Holy Spirit?

Initially, I passed this off as 'really strange,' but the more I thought about it it became overtly obvious to me that this was NOT a coincidence but rather God was making good on many, many prayers that have been prayed.

He knew I wouldn't have an inkling of a desire to talk to my brother that day so He smacked me in the face with something so obvious that I couldn't help but think of him! Boy, I'm glad I didn't let my insecurities get in the way and keep me from sending that text. There's no doubt in my mind that the 'nudge' I was feeling, was a gift from the Holy Spirit.

I urge you today, friends, to change the way you see things. Open your eyes to the workings of the Lord instead of passing things off as coincidences. Once I started living my life looking through "God eyes," I found myself feeling much more secure and at peace. It's amazing to see His fingerprints all over your daily happenings!

Prayer had such a powerful impact in this situation in my own life and I know it will change your life too. If you'd like me to talk with God about you and any struggles you're wrestling with, please leave me a comment or send me an email: dfrieling1@gmail.com. Nothing's too big or too small to take before the Lord.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Black Paneled Ceiling...Check!

High five to the hubster today! John worked his tail off this weekend and finished paneling the guest room ceiling. This ended up being a HUGE project and he claims it was more difficult than our diamond wall. I had the easy job...prep, sanding and painting. John had the hard part...12 foot ceiling, enough said.

Let's enjoy his handiwork, shall we?...
I figured out quickly that it's hard to photograph black ceilings. Especially when you're trying to capture  sheen and wood grain details. Without the glare from the windows, you wouldn't be able to tell this is wood, although in person it's very noticeable.

Part 2 of this project will include molding or trim to frame out this beauty and painting the vent black to make it disappear. We're taking baby steps.

This picture best depicts the overall look. Next up, sell the mirror on the right and trash the iron art on the left.

Project Recap:



Project supplies:
(6) 4ft. x 8ft. plywood utility panels ripped into 8 inch panels
3 cans Rustoleum gloss black paint
High density foam roller 
nail gun
black electrical tape

Helpful hint: Due to my poor math skills and my Lowes helper, Mr. Cranky's inability to cut extremely accurate panels, we had a few spots that left tiny gaps. I didn't want to paint the entire ceiling black before paneling it, so we snuck in a strip of black electrical tape here and there to 'hide' the gaps.

Lots more to do in this room before we call it done! Stay tuned...

Friday, July 27, 2012

A little 'fun' with commercial design

Woo hoo! We made it to Friday and I'm so excited about the Olympics opening ceremonies tonight. Swimming and gymnastics are pretty big in our household so we'll all be glued to the TV. Anyone else pumped to watch the "Flying Squirrel?" If you don't know who I'm talking about, you must do a little research...you won't be disappointed!

All this fun leads me to my score of a find yesterday at West Elm. These cute little mugs were marked down to $1.97 each. They didn't have all the initials I needed to have one for each family member so I stood there forever for a few minutes trying to think of something creative with the "leftover" letters.
And hence the 'fun' began! They're hanging out in our glass front cabinet, but I have a few more purchases to make before this area's ready for a full frontal shot.

(**Sidenote: If you don't have a West Elm close by, these are available on-line for $3.99. Wouldn't they make cute teacher gifts with a coffee packet stuffed inside? Just a thought...)

Moving on...

My father-in-law owns an office building and has enlisted my help in designing one of the suites. We decided on a unique paint job that I thought would be fun to share with you guys. This could easily be done in your own home.

Clean, fresh and a little funky but it still lends itself to being 'professional.' I love how the stripe unifies the entire space. A great bonus was the light gray baseboard that gave us a double stripe without extra painting.

For those of you who may be curious, we color matched Benjamin Moore's Harmony (AF-90) for the main wall color and Flint (AF-560) for the stripe.

Hope you all have a great weekend, friends. I'm hoping to show you a completed ceiling project. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random Act of Kindness Challenge #42

When's the last time you received something fun in the mail? Doesn't it make you happy to see a pretty colored envelope, or better yet, a huge package! So much better than bills and circulars, right? With that thought in mind, let's take a look at today's RAK challenge...

I went to the mailbox earlier this week and look what was there... a RAK package and it was addressed to my kids! They were sooo excited. A little confused, since they're usually the ones doing the RAKs, but totally pumped when they realized they'd just been targeted.
RAK package complete with poem and pretty drawings.

They opened up the lid to find loads of individually wrapped surprises. Reed was quick to add, "Wow, someone really put a lot of work into this!" 

 Two happy campers as they show off their loot.

How about several close-ups of the goodies so you can snag a few ideas for your own packages...

This was such a cute idea. It absolutely made their day. They spent the afternoon trying to guess who it was from. Once, they even asked if I sent it to them. hee! hee! (It wasn't me.) I love that someone cared enough to reward the kindness Bryn and Reed often show to others. Once you're on the receiving end of a RAK it's bound to reinforce how much fun it is to continue spreading a little kindness!

Thank you mystery RAK package sender, you're the best!

Now that you've been inspired, you know the drill...go out and be kind, friends!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vintage Decor Finds

Did you know that deep down I'm a huntress? Seriously, it's one of my favorite things to do. Now, my husband's probably reading this thinking, "She's totally lying right now!" But you see, my hunting and his hunting are two totally different things. When I shop, I'm actually hunting. I'm very patient and I stalk my prey. Then when I see the "perfect one" I pounce on it! Just like I did when I ran across this horn bugle...
Isn't this the coolest thing? It's a real animal horn made into a bugle. I wish I knew its' history, but the writing on top appears to be German and well, while that's our heritage, I don't speak it! Was I shopping for a horn you ask? No. But when you see something that makes your heart sing, it's time to pounce. I knew the Frieling boys would think this was a pretty awesome accessory. And, guess what, it really works!

While hunting, it's important to revisit your 'honey hole.' (I think that's actually a fishing term, but you catch my drift.) Your honey hole is the place where all the goodness happens, your guaranteed find. 
In this case, it means guaranteed low prices. I stalked this vintage scale at Salvation Army yesterday and went in for the kill at $3.99. At this price I had to fight for my prey, but the fiercest shopper predator always comes out on top.

Sometimes you don't even realize what a trophy you've hunted down until you get it home and inspect it really close...
Like the year 1927 engraved on the bottom of this beast! That would be 85 years old for those of you not quick enough to do the math. (not gonna lie, I used a calculator!)

So, friends, anyone up for a hunt? What trophies have you brought home recently?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Transparent Tuesday

Hold onto your horses because I'm about to unleash! Want to know what gets under my skin more than anything else?

Today's Transparent Topic: Mean Girls

I was at the pool with my kids last week and witnessed a little incident that has been crawling all over me ever since. Honestly, I felt like I was on the show What Would You Do? as I sat and listened to the conversation unfold right before me.

First, I'll tell you what happened then I'll tell ya what I did.

Let's set the scene. My kids and one friend are being goofballs  splashing around and having fun. We're at our neighborhood pool so it's not long before more kiddos come around. As the pool starts to fill up I notice a group of 3 preteen girls walk in with one of their dads. All three of these girls are very thin and pretty. They jump right in and one of the girls quickly corrals the other two and loudly makes an observation..."See those girls over there? They're fat!" Might I add that she emphasized the word 'fat' in a much louder tone?

Her two friends didn't give her the response she must have been seeking so this little girl felt the need to repeat herself at least 3 more times, getting louder each time. She even started to single out one specific girl as her target. I was very grateful my daughter was not her target but my heart hurt for the one that was.

I sat and pondered what to do. Should I say something? Should I talk to the girl? Should I talk to her dad? If I say something, will Bryn become their target sometime down the road? If it were my daughter saying such mean things, how would I want it handled?

Well, I decided to approach the dad as we were leaving the pool. I simply asked if the little girl was his daughter. He acknowledged she was so I informed him of the conversations I had just overheard. I probably should have stopped there but I went on...I let him know that with so many girls struggling with self-esteem issues these days, comments like his daughter's were doing nothing but harm!!!

About that time, the girl swam up to her father and he questioned her. Guess what her response was?..."Well, they couldn't hear me!" We made our exit at that time and I'm not sure how the father addressed the issue or if he even did a thing.

I apologized to Bryn as we were leaving for fear of embarrassing her, but also let her know that witnessing something harmful and not doing anything about it is just as bad as being the one in the wrong.

Want to know what else I did about this situation? I went home and prayed for the "mean" girl. If she feels the need to pick on someone like that then there must be something about herself that she's not too pleased with. So I'm praying that she will not only see the error of her ways, but will love herself just the way God made her.

Any "mean" kids in your life that need a little prayer? Leave me a comment or send me an email: dfrieling1@gmail.com. As moms, sisters, aunts and friends, the best weapon we have against worldly ugliness is prayer!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Glossy Black Plank Ceiling

Hello, friends! We had a very productive weekend around here and tons of progress was made towards the project I alluded to via my inspiration photos last week. John was thrilled when I shared a little glimpse into my grand plan for our guest bedroom and informed him that we he would be adding wood panels to our 12 foot ceilings. He's such a good sport!

 I bought 4ft.x8ft. plywood utility panels and had them ripped into strips. I figured this would keep things as light weight as possible, not to mention it proved to be much more cost efficient. They were pretty rough around the edges (Lowes needs a new blade on their saw) so I sanded them down and slapped on a few coats of paint. 

 Painting was quite the process since what's pictured here isn't even half the amount of planks I had to paint! Also, I had to allow 24 hours between coats so I've invested a good 4 days of painting these babies.

The oh so blurry 'before' picture.

 "Ummm, I just love it when you come up with these hair-brained ideas, Dana," thinks John.

Yes, taking the ceiling fan down does make this project much easier. Sadly, it has to go back up because we live in Texas and rooms just aren't bearable without extra circulation. I'd love to replace it with a rockin' chandelier though!

 Okay, so I'm thinking it looks really cool like this but we do actually plan on filling in the sides. We were only putting up the 'big' planks today and saving the cutting portion for another day. We are a little tempted to leave it this way but knowing what I've got planned for the window wall leaves me a little worried that things may be a bit busy. Time will tell...

And this is where we stopped. The rest of the planks are drying so John's poor neck and shoulders get a rest!

I really hope I have the opportunity to design a music studio one day because this idea would be brilliant...doesn't it look like a piano? Now, shake the piano image out of your brain and go up two pictures. Doesn't this one look like a giant spider with the reflections from the windows looking like its' eyes? ha! On that note, have a happy Monday, friends!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchen Remodel Update

Happy Friday, friends. This is the last kitchen update before you get to see the entire reveal. Boy, oh boy, it's quite the reveal...so beautiful! We're so close we can taste it. Just waiting on hardware and installation then it's a done deal.

Today's snippets include floors, stools and island hardware.

Let's talk floors. During our initial consultation, I asked loads of questions to feel them out and understand my clients' tastes and preferences. I kept hearing "slate, slate, slate," and "I really like slate." So when the time came to shop for flooring, I kept this in mind and led them to an alternative that was similar in terms of coloring, but read as more contemporary and up to date.

I love the color variation in this tile and how it really accents every single element around it. 
Their original flooring was Cherry wood and extremely soft. It doesn't make sense to put such a soft wood in a kitchen since it's bound to get tons of nicks and scrapes. They were more than happy to replace it with something much more durable.

I was super pleased when Mr. Client randomly said one day, "I love these floors!" It's so much fun when clients are willing to be pushed a bit beyond what they initially had in mind.

We did a little reconfiguring with their bar to make it more functional. This meant bar stools were in order. Mrs. Client send me pictures of a few styles she liked at Pottery Barn and following a discussion or two about color, they ended up with these...

Okay, so we've covered floors and stools so that leaves us with hardware. Since you got a peek at the island you already know it's stained a contrasting color from the cabinets. To highlight this feature even further, we sought out knobs and pulls that blend but don't match.

We found these at Hobby Lobby and loved them. Not to mention the price wasn't bad either. You can't beat half off of $5.99 and $7.99!

Here's the last piece of the puzzle...

the remainder of the pulls that will complete this amazing transformation.

If you missed the first two posts about this project, click here and here to see where we started and how far we've come!

Hope you're weekend is happy friends and that there's a little kindness sprinkled in. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

RAK Challenge #42

Most of the time the kids and I head out with a specific random act of kindness in mind, but today's RAK was completely spontaneous.

Let me explain...
I made my kids go with me to Lowes for the 1000th time supplies for our guest room project and when I informed the guy of the extra 25 cuts I needed, he met this request with a complete lack of enthusiasm. Okay, he was downright cranky! His response (insert snarky tone here), "You know you have to pay extra for that, right?" (I'm thinking..."What the heck? Home Depot doesn't charge me. Shame they didn't have what I needed.)

Anyway, as the kids and I waited patiently off to the side we surveyed the situation...

Me: Boy, he sure was cranky. Wonder if he's having a bad day?
Kids: Yeah. You didn't make him happy.
Me: We could just ignore him or we could do something to try to make him smile. You guys have any ideas?
Kids: We could tell his boss he needs a promotion!
Me: Hummm, I think I have a Sonic gift card in my purse. Should we give it to him?
Kids: Um, we really like Sonic, maybe we can just tell his boss he needs a raise!

So, Bryn was mortified that I was planning on giving a complete stranger a gift card, but was kind of intrigued at the same time. She slipped around the corner and peeked through the lumber when the time came.

When Mr. Cranky was finished with our cuts, I simply handed him the gift card and told him the kids and I like doing random acts of kindness and we're giving him the gift card because we appreciate his hard work. After the confusion wore off his face he mumbled "Thanks."

As luck would have it, after checking out I asked for assistance getting the lumber into our car and guess who they called?... Mr. Cranky himself!  He was much nicer this time. Funny how that works, right?!

Okay friends, stock up on a few gift cards then go out and be kind!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just enough to peak your interest...

I mentioned last Friday that there was another project in the works and today I'm sharing a tiny glimpse of the progress. This project is labor intensive so it may be a while before there's anything significant to share.

Since you have to be patient with my progress, I thought I'd share a bit of my inspiration. Our room will not be a literal interpretation of any of these so see if you can find the common threads.

Here are our baby steps of progress:

turned into this...

And these...

have a date with this...

How's that for vague?

Make sure you stop back by tomorrow so I can tell you what these boards have to do with your next Random Act of Kindness challenge. Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Transparent Tuesday

Oh my! Today's transparent topic is a doozy. How's this for a topic?...Parenting. Is. Hard.
In fact, there's no doubt in my mind that it's the most difficult job I've ever had! Can I get an Amen?!

I'm pretty sure this image is exactly what one of my children (who shall remain nameless) did all day yesterday...

I promise there was a tornado behind that child which left a path of destruction following everything he or she touched. And did I mention that his or her arms must have been broken because the act of cleaning up after his or herself was completely unthinkable?!

And since when did pinching the fire out of someone become a perfectly acceptable way to punish your sibling for incessantly tapping you on the head? You have words, child, use them! Did you really not think your sibling wouldn't squeal like a pig when you inflicted your form of conflict resolution and land you in even more trouble than you were already in?

And, oh yeah, did I mention this perfectly adorable child of mine had the nerve to come out of the room he or she was banished to for the evening and ask if we'd save him or her some Oreo pudding?! Wow...guess I've done an excellent job of teaching my kids to be assertive and ask for what want, but somewhere along the line I certainly failed at teaching good judgement.

Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

Anyone else in need of parenting prayers today? Leave me a comment or send me an email with any requests: dfrieling1@gmail.com. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Colorful steals and deals

Draftsman stools have become a dime a dozen in today's trendy designs and I have to admit I'm still a huge fan. There's just something about their industrial simplicity that's timeless.

If you're looking to inject a little color into home, check these out...
Aren't they great?! Word of warning...don't get your heart set on the navy stool because it's out of stock. But if green, orange or red speak to you, snag several at $71.55/each. I did a little comparison shopping and I was surprised to find that these are really reasonably priced. I would have expected Wisteria to be on the high end of the spectrum, but they're not!

While I'm on the topic of cute and colorful accessories, I have to show you these adorable folding accent tables. I was in World Market twice this week and both times these little cuties stopped me in my tracks. Guess how much they are?! $16.99...marked down from $39.99. 

They're even cuter in person! I can see these used in a variety of ways. It would make a super cute nightstand or plop a plant on top and place it on your porch. Nestle up two chairs and boom! you've got a cozy little conversation area. I could go on....

I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to regret not snagging up a few of these, but there's no need to be wasteful, right? Now, if I could just convince myself that I needed it then that might be a different story! 
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