46 In Articles

Round 2


Miss Paige would like to welcome you to ROUND 2. Her FAVORITE adjective is “WAY“, she uses it with everything. “This is way good!” “This is way hard!” “It hurts way bad!” “I am way tired!” “I want some candy way bad!” So… in honor of her… I will warn you… this is WAY LONG.

I’m still wondering if I was under the influence of a controlled substance when I came up with this idea. Y’all are some noseholes. 🙂 Just kidding… I asked for it, didn’t I–but boy, y’all sure came up with a bunch of questions, and every time I turn around there’s another one. We’ve had a great weekend… but I am suffering from 2 ailments: home dec sewing frustration & carpel tunnel. What?! Yes. I despise sewing home dec stuff {pillows, curtains, bedskirts, etc}. It makes me crazy. Both of these bathroom renovations are requiring curtains {of the pinch-pleated and roman variety}. Taking the fabric to a seamstress is out of the question so I’m “pressing on” {no pun intended}. As for the carpel tunnel… I’ve never had it and I’m not sure why I got it, or even if I have it… but my right wrist is killing me. No numbness… just aching to the point of keeping me awake at night! Just when I get the baby sleeping my wrist is waking me up. I think I’m rigged up ergonomically here but perhaps I’m not. Anyway, there’s more below so I better save my words and my wrist!

I’m wondering where you got your rug in your living room? (The room with the tall, white bookcases).
I think she’s refering to this one. Shades of Light:: in BEIGE.


And then someone else asked…

And I love your kilim rug…did it have any odor when you got it home? Sometimes I am hesitant to order rugs online because I’ve read they can be “smelly”. Expecting a new baby soon and don’t want any unnecessary odors around. Thanks so much!

I don’t know why but this made me laugh. Justin and I (and Morgan, too) smell everything. In fact, Erika has even caught me on her camera phone smelling rugs… although she tried to tell her bloggers that I was breakdancing on it. The whole time I was down there on the floor smelling rugs I was thinking of my friend Shireen… who has spent many a day selling {not smelling} oriental rugs. The great thing about a kilim is that it is a woven rug and can be flipped over, as opposed to most orientals that have a cut pile {Shireen, please correct me if I’m wrong on that}. Ours has held up great and it gets a lot of wear & tear and spit up. I’ve had it professionally cleaned once and every little spot came out. Although, it has acquired a lot more little spots on it now and you really have to look hard to see them. It’s definitely “family friendly”. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it… except the price tag. And if it did have any odor it must not have been too bad because I certainly don’t remember one and it doesn’t have one now. While we’re talking about rugs… I can assure you if you spend the extra money and get a nice wool rug it will last forever and it will be worth the extra $. {In my opinion, they wear and look better.} Here I am getting my “rug smell” on, as for my face, I’m not sure what happened, I must have been in a hurry.


Speaking of things that go on the floor…. someone else asked…

Quick question: My husband and I just bought an older home and we will definitely be putting down hardwood floors in the near future – What is the brand/color/width of your hardwood floors?
I have mentioned this before… but this is a good time to mention it again. They came from Howell Flooring. It is a company owned by a family in our church… and they do ship nationwide. Ours are Pecan with “saddle stain” and 5″ wide. They are beautiful and wear great… we are very pleased with them.

…what is the color of the walls in the girls’ room?
Woodlawn Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Moving on to … more paint questions {I LOVE PAINT! It alone can do wonders to an old house!} There were several questions about the kitchen but I think this one wraps them all into one:

I would also like to know about your kitchen cabinets. Did you paint them? What was the process? What did you paint them? I have kitchen cabinets that I would like to give a facelift to but I’m a little hesitant to take the plunge!

Yes, we certainly painted them and the panelling. See, they used to look like this:



And in the middle of the process…


We took down the wall/spindles and made the counter top longer along that wall for the bar. We had a carpenter build one cabinet {w/2 drawers} to the right of the stove to support the granite. It was an eat-in kitchen which we changed up by extending the counter top for stools and moved the fridge to where they had the “kitchen table”. Here are some pics of after {that were taken last summer when my kitchen was nice and tidy}…



Can’t paint work wonders? Besides adding the drawers we did nothing structural to the cabinets. I even left the inside of them that cheery yellow {well, not the open ones but the rest of them}. And honestly, if we hadn’t extended the counter top for the barstools I would have left the yellow laminate. It really didn’t bother me at all. As for painting these bad boys…. if you are refinishing a kitchen that has had a lot of food fried in it and there is a “tack” to every surface you will need to wipe the surface of your cabinets {and/or wall panelling} with a product like TSP {it cuts the grease off surfaces}. Then I would recommend you lightly sand. But really you don’t HAVE to. If you are moving your cabinet hardware like we did {from the center of every door to the corner} you’ll want to fill your holes and sand the spot where they used to be. We primed our cabinets and our walls with Kilz {the oil-based stinky kind}. The paint we used is a latex paint by Coronado called Rustscat. {I went to their site but it looked like it wasn’t working right so I won’t link}. You can talk to your paint people… just be sure you tell them you want a scrubable latex paint for cabinets {they almost all have a “kitchen & bath” variety}. They should be able to find you a good product. If I recall we brushed all the bases of the cabinets but had a painter spray the cabinet doors. If you don’t have a sprayer I recommend you use a foam roller for the cabinet doors. Our cabinets and trim throughout our house is semi-gloss White Dove by Benjamin Moore. **side note** If you have Oak cabinets you may want to paint the inside of a door first because even if you paint Oak you will still see the grain through the paint.

How’s Morgan progress on the thumb sucking? Has it been 30 days yet? Where do you get all your ideas for the crafts you do with the girls? AND…What’s your favorite color?

She’s doing great! Thanks for asking. We’re still sleeping in bandaids but she’s doing great and I can already tell her teeth are looking better. It hasn’t been 30 days yet… I don’t think! I need to check my calendar. We gave up on the stickers after a few weeks. She lost interest and I did too! As for the ideas for crafts. They come from all places. Sometimes my brain sometimes other people’s brains. If I comes from someone else I usually will link to them or at least give them credit! 🙂 My favorite color is green. My favorite paint color is Camoflage by Benjamin Moore.

Moving on to camera questions…

I too have the same camera..but i don’t quiet know how to use it correctly. Sometimes, I get better pictures with my small P&S kodak camera, than my canon. So, please guide us on the different setting that you use. 2. i really want to remodel my kitchen cabinets to make them look like yours. Can you tell me the process- such as Did you really sand them completely down?? what kind of paint you use? etc…
I’m quite flattered that you all are asking me for camera/photography advice… but I honestly feel very incompetent to answer. I’ve only had my camera a few weeks but I will do my best to give you what I feel like is concise advice that has value. I fear any of you photographers out there will get a chuckle out of my advice…. so keep in mind you have asked advice from a novice.

1. Turn your flash off.
2. Learn & Shoot in your CREATIVE zones {in my camera that would be P, Tv, Av, M,& A-DEP}.
3. Learn how to change & select your AF {auto focus} point. Let’s take for example my new favorite snack…


In this picture I told my camera to focus on the peanut butter and apple. And you scratch you head and say “how”… and I say grab your manual and research “adjusting your AF point”.

To the peanut butter and apple you add…


{I told the camera to focus on those DRY ROASTED sunflower seeds.} DRY ROASTED! DRY ROASTED! I repeat… DRY ROASTED. Where have they been all my life? I could get sick on them. They’re better than DRY ROASTED PEANUTS.



throw a little peanut butter on your apple and sprinkle some seeds on top! Then eat up.You’ll thank me.

4. Learn how to shoot in Av {Aperture Priority mode}. Aperture is measured in F stops. In Av you select your aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed. Let’s take Minnie for example {thank you children for letting me borrow her for a photoshoot}…

In this first picture I set the aperture {F2.8}. With a LOW F-stop {which is technically a HIGH aperture} the shutter speed is fairly fast.


So when I shot Minnie it sounded like “CLICK” and with a LOW F-stop the background will be blurred and foreground {or wherever you set your AF point} will be in focus.

Then I shot her with a HIGH F-stop {F22}, which is techincally a low aperture and results in a sharper foreground & background.


And the shutter speed sounded like this “CLLLLLLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK” and there’s no way on earth I could have gotten a clear picture if the camera hadn’t been sitting on the counter. Moral, don’t shoot in a HIGH F-stop unless your camera is attached to a tripod and there are no children within 100 feet.

So, a large aperture is a smaller f-stop. F 2.8 is bigger {in terms of aperture} than F 22. Make sense, doesn’t to me either. So, let’s just go with it. And don’t tell the girls I shot Minnie. And I wish she’d take those fancy white gloves and get all those little crumbs off my counters.

5. Learn to shoot in manual M {not manual focus} and adjust or meter the exposure.
6. Shooting around noon will cast strong shadows on faces {like sweet little Tutty in the previous post}. Morning and late afternoon are better.

All of this can be found in your owner’s manual. Yes, I read mine. And my sister shared some tips that Marla shared with her. So in a nutshell, read your manual. Also, it’s a common misconception that shooting in any of the creative zones requires that you “manually focus”… this is not true. Your camera will always auto focus {where you tell it} as long as your lens is set to AF. Marla suggests a book called UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE. So if you read your manual and still don’t get it… maybe that will help. Also, YouTube is a wealth of knowledge… grab your camera, go sit and watch. You can learn great stuff on there.

I have more specifics on my camera {& lenses} info in this POST!

How much did you pay to have any of your chairs recovered?
This one was only $150… the others were more. Closer to $250 each.


I’ve been back to the same man with other pieces and his prices are drastically higher now. Oh well, I got one good deal out of him!

I noticed a while back in a photo of your outdoor furniture you had a piece of the same brown/white fabric on the outdoor table as you have on your chair in your living room. Did you put it under a piece of glass on the outdoor table? Did you cover it with clear vinyl? How’d you do that?? I dig it. Blog on, friend. 🙂

The fabric {navy & white} on the chair above is OUTDOOR fabric and I had just enough to cover our patio table. No vinyl, no glass… just fabric and I ran my pinking shears around the outside and stabbed a hole in the middle for my umbrella to fit through. It comes clean in the washing machine. I’ve been known to throw fabric on tables and “pink” the edges. It’s so easy and fun! Try it!

I emailed yesterday to ask about your oversized Easter baskets?! Are they PBK? They look bigger than theirs -…?
Yes, I think. I did not buy them, my SIL gave them to us for Christmas but I’m 99% sure they Pottery Barn {but PBK 2+ years ago}.

Since I refuse to ask your sister design questions–any idea on where to get a comfy and very, very reasonably priced chair and ottoman? Furniture is soo overpriced (at least to my poor self)!

Amen, sister! In case y’all haven’t priced furniture lately… a chair & ottoman cost more than a sofa. The only place I can think to find one for a good price is a thrift store. But be aware… by the time you get your fabric and have it reupholstered it will only be a couple hundred less than the new… so think it through. I think we should go on strike against CHAIR PEOPLE. I mean, seriously, why are they so expensive? And I love them. I’d rather have 4 chairs than 2 sofas any day. Sofas are awkward unless you’re laying on them. And who has time to lay on a sofa?

I’m almost done… This post has been going on for days now. I’m ready for it to end.

My question is…where are your favorite places to find really good deals…how about a couple of tips on where you shop for furniture…homegoods and clothes for the family?…can’t wait for the answer!!

This is a fun question! Homegoods: antique malls & thrift stores. And the curb on “curbside pick-up” trash day. For home accessories that can’t be bought at thrift stores if you want them to match {like towels, etc} TJMaxx & Ross. Clothes for me: About 80% of the clothes that hang in my closet used to hang in Erika’s closet. Those that didn’t came from: Walmart {even jeans, yes, NoBo has cute jeans in lengths}, KMart, Forever 21, Ross, or the Old Navy clearance rack. The girls clothes: Most of their clothes come from their cousin Ava… unless it matches, then I probably got them at Walmart or Target. If what they are wearing is WHITE {which I really like on little children} it came from Dharma.

And my all time favorite purchase from KMart was this little table cloth from the clearance rack for $1.50. It makes me smile and I love that it matches the girls table & chairs.


I wasn’t positive if the chairs Mom bought them had lead or not. I tested them and it was inconclusive because the chairs were painted red and if they had lead the swab turned red… wasn’t sure if that was positive or the paint rubbing off. So to be safe I ordered some that are 100% lead free. The girls were so upset because their feet won’t touch the floor in these… but I imagine it will only be a matter of months before their little feet are planted firmly on the ground.


I also scour clearance racks at all stores. I found these at Target last week. The tag reads $1.96. I bought 6 of them. I’ll probably accompany them with a burp cloth and be done for lots of baby showers. They have chicks hatching but no reference to Easter so I think they’ll be great for boys or girls year round. JM will be sportin’ one too. *** To get clearance tags off {or any price tag for that matter} take a hot blow dryer to the tag for a minute… the glue will warm up and the tag will come RIGHT OFF, and no one will ever know you got their gift for $1.96… unless, that is, you post it on your blog! :)***


Do you like your coffee black or do you prefer a little coffee with your sugar and cream (like me?)
I like it with whole milk & Splenda! Mmm.

Is there any better place to practice the gift of hospitality than our homes?

I’m going to try to convince Justin to do Round 3 for me!

You Might Also Like

  • Amanda Thrasher
    April 20, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Were you up before the chickens writing this post? Hope the coffee is strong on this Monday morning.
    Happy week!

  • Amanda
    April 20, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Love it all…and I have already orderd the PB baskets, on sale, for $19.99 ea – yea! I also scour all the sale racks and I’ll be headed to Target today to look for those sleepers, cute. Have a great day darby and thanks for sharing!

  • Megan
    April 20, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Our kitchen is already white but all of the hardware is super shiney gold. I was going to take it all off and spray paint it but I think I may just leave the doors covering my dishes off. I love the open look! I was worried it would look weird half open and half with doors (dont want the food to fall out!) but your kitchen looks great. Now Im inspired 😀

  • Totty
    April 20, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Morning- let me start by saying love your blog! Now let me get dorky- I sell “ergonomic” furniture for a living. Email me and we can discuss how to set up your work area to reduce the strain on your wrists!(or drop me a comment on my blog- bootsandtotty.com) It should be a fairly easy adjustment!

  • Shelly Powers
    April 20, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Thank you so much for taking time to answer all of our questions… you are your sweet family are “freaking” adorable! 🙂

  • Caroline
    April 20, 2009 at 5:55 am

    you are so much fun. i love reading all of this stuff.

  • erika
    April 20, 2009 at 6:32 am

    hardly anything in my closet is fitting these days… i should send it all your way.
    i love you!!! great post, you are so thorough and full of information! i love it!

  • Victoria
    April 20, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Wow, you did have a lot to answer!!!

    Thanks for sharing your kitchen pics again! What an amazing difference. We are in the process of renovating our 70’s kitchen and I can’t wait to see the final result.

    Love all the answers. I love that you take inexpensive things and make them look expensive!

  • Erin
    April 20, 2009 at 6:42 am

    You are way informative;0 Good post. I love, love, love Raiger in her heels and princess dress. She ‘s a crack up! Can’t wait to see you all!

  • JMW
    April 20, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Darby, love to see that you painted your cabinets and they turned out great. We’re about to do the same thing and my husband is a bit worried that the grain of the wood won’t come through – as if the cabinets will look like formica. I’ve assured him they won’t and I’ll be sure to share you pics to prove my point!

  • smcvicker
    April 20, 2009 at 7:00 am

    I am new to reading your blog and I love it! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Carrie
    April 20, 2009 at 7:04 am


    I am loyal reader although I never comment. I am an Auburn girl through and through and I am so thankful to read yours and your sister’s blog. Ya’ll are so sweet and I appreciate you opening up your life! Thanks for all the tips. Just wanted to comment and say thank you. Ya’ll both make my day.

  • Beth
    April 20, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Enjoyed the post. Just HAD to comment on the ‘before’ kitchen pictures…wow! And please tell me you saved the apple-themed paper towel rack…nice! That could come in handy when you go to the thrift stores…to leave it there, of course!

    Your ‘after’ kitchen is awesome.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Beth, AL

  • heather
    April 20, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Your kitchen transformation blows me away! Can’t wait to see your updated bathrooms!

  • Becky
    April 20, 2009 at 7:57 am

    that was THE most fun to read! thanks friend for taking all that time! and i can’t believe my little silly question made it. you know that was directed at our chat (that WILL come!!) and i ADORE that table cloth. precious!!

  • Mandy
    April 20, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Wow…I am impressed with your committment to answer all of this..but we love it…keep it coming! I love the girls’ red chairs…they are so cute! Have a good afternoon! Mandy

  • Dianne
    April 20, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I know this is hard work but we are so enjoying getting to know you better! Love Paige in her princess dress…too cute!
    Thanks for your sweet note.

  • Rebecca Frame (soon to be a Clark-)
    April 20, 2009 at 8:35 am

    thanks so much for answering my question…i firmly believe that other moms and girlfriends are the key to finding out the tricks to running a successful home! you’re awesome!!

  • Laura
    April 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I love all your tips, but I have to admit, I am really, really, really excited about finding some dry roasted sunflower seeds!

  • :o) mg
    April 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

    You are such a trooper! Y’know, the thing I think I love the most is how you reassure everyone that these things, which may seem too daunting, can be done. Thanks for encouraging all of us to just roll up our sleeves and give it a go.
    ps- War Eagle Carrie! My husband and I graduated in 1989. (I know, ancient, right? Age spots magically appear when I say that.)

  • Rae*Danae Designs
    April 20, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Darby-thank you for a wonderful blog! I so enjoy reading and learning from another crafty mom! I will check back often!


  • Jill Pope
    April 20, 2009 at 10:20 am

    You are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Caroline
    April 20, 2009 at 10:39 am

    PS. Raiger looks WAY cute in her dress and high heels! 🙂

  • annek
    April 20, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Maybe the carpal tunnel is from answering all the questions! haha
    I love kids in costumes…mine were always wearing some kind of get-up. I had a little girl at Storytime today wearing a long velvet and gold dress with her mothers black dress pumps on. She kept the heels on the whole time…even while chasing her friends after the program!:)

  • Katie
    April 20, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Man I am bummed that you aren’t a breaker…just a carpet sniffer. Although you totally make up for it with the camera tips…I read my manual too but somehow it didn’t all retain.

  • Kathryn
    April 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Darby…I may be pushing my luck, but I’m actually interested in the rug you are sniffing (the one where you can’t see your face). Any chance you remember the manufacturer/name of this rug (totally pushing my luck!!), or perhaps where you were when you were “getting your rug smell on”?
    : ) We just moved into a new house with hardwood floors in the living room and I’ve been putting off decorating this room b/c I haven’t been able to find a rug that I could use as a jumping off point for style, color combos, etc. This one is exactly what I was looking for! Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  • MAM
    April 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    where did you purchase your granite counter tops? local vendor or national retailer (if this do you remember the brand/color)? thanks!

  • Aubrie M. Hanchett
    April 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    You can add me to your clothing source ASAP… You’re welcome to anything in my closet 🙂 Unfortunately, all who know me are aware that clothes and shoes are my achilles heel. Instead, maybe I should say, “Please take some!” You can have first dibs before the garage sale we’re planning… and planning… and planning… and need to just “Do”! I’m so proud of how your doing on all these questions 🙂 I’ll be home this Thurs- Sun and, if you’re still at it, let’s find a time where you can talk and I’ll transcribe 🙂

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    April 20, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I love your Q & A sessions! Cute, funny and informative all in one.

  • Heather H
    April 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    ok, i know you think you bored people to tears … but i was hanging on every word.

    thank you so much! it’s so fun to learn more about you.

    i talk about you to Adriane like i know you … and she just laughs and laughs.

    thanks for sharing your life with the world!!!!!

  • Kellie
    April 20, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    One more question….What kind of lens were you using when you took those pictures? The lowest my aperture value will go on my camera is 3.6 – but I think that goes along with the lens – am I right? Also, I have something for you on my blog!

  • Allison
    April 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    my friend who had a son born in june was diognosed with DeQuervain’s syndrome (also known as mother’s wrist)…just something to look into for wrist pain.
    thanks for taking the time to answer the q’s, i am loving it!

  • Floor Rug
    April 21, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Hi, Nice blog it really impressed me a lot. Great models of rugs and nice info about it.

  • Courtney
    April 21, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I’m loving this ‘series’ and that photo of the apple, PB and sunflower seeds has me all but jumping through my computer screen.

    If Justin’s out of commission for Round 3, I vote for the Raiger taking over.

  • Linkis Family Love
    April 21, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Question to add: How do you stay so thin? What are typical things you eat? Are you a runner?

  • Shireen
    April 21, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Hey, girl,
    You’re right about the rug! 😉
    Love you!

  • Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality
    April 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, I just love your kitchen reno, that is fantastic! Great job on that.

  • andi
    April 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    You are kickin’ in the bloggin department. You folks better appreciate this woman!!!!! 🙂 Your too cute. Love all the work you’ve done to your home, but the break dancing takes the cake. Had so much fun Monday.

  • Ariel
    April 22, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I am new to your blog and love it!!!
    Did you live in your house while you renovated it? I have three little kids and am thinking of embarking on a major home renovation. I am, however, so scared that my husband I will kill each other and my children will run away from home if we try to live in the house while it’s being completed. We are “do it yourselfers” so the renovations will take a while.


  • joy
    April 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Darby, You are so sweet to really answer all these questions! I am really enjoying reading them. You are a sweet, genuine girl!

  • Victoria
    April 23, 2009 at 8:59 am


    Love the kitchen remodel and had a couple of questions for you.

    1) How many can lights did you end up installing in the kitchen?
    2) Did you have someone scrape the ceiling? It looks stipled in the before pictures.


  • maria
    April 23, 2009 at 9:36 am

    just discovered your blog and i love everything about it, your family and you. ok, that is coming on strong but i think you are amazing!

  • No.35style
    April 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    i am loving this q/a thing!! i am going to try that pb/apple/seed snack tonight!

  • nikinikinine
    August 5, 2009 at 9:53 am

    someone already asked this, but where is that rug you're sniffing from?! It looks like the Darby rug from PB…however, this post predates that rug!

    Help! (if you have time & you even remember what it is)


  • iron scroll baluster
    September 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Take a trip to your local crafts or art supply store and browse through the available scrapbooks.
    Photo to art portraits are increasingly more preferred these days thanks to few reasons.
    Next most people like to remodel their kitchens and get the new modular kitchens

  • Skin Blemishes
    September 15, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Great observations and thanks for taking the time to write up this. I have found it very useful. My cousin Kate told me about this website. You might also find this very useful too. See cure eczema