Tag Archives: tips

The Secret to Decorating for Christmas

11 Dec

I am certainly not the best, by any means at Christmas decor, I am more of a Halloween gal, but after many years, I finally figured out the secret of Christmas decorating.

Ribbon.

 Start out by picking out some ribbon that suits your fancy, fill your cart up with it and then slap it on everything you own.

{Apparently, ribbon has some magical powers in the universe }

Coordinating ribbon can instantly transform your everyday items from BLAH to FA LA LA in a jiffy and make it seem like you really thought this thing out.

Here’s a quickie tour of my decorations for this year, I didn’t go all out this year, since I was sick and pretty busy, but it came together all the same. {ribbon} wink, wink.

Front

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Rock-n-Roll ribbon meets lumber jack

Entry Tree
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Filled with roses and vintage ornaments

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Love these vintage silk thread ornaments, I got from an estate sale, I bet you probably had some of these on your tree growing up.

This is Bob. He’s so jolly, he doesn’t need ribbon.IMG_9488

Dining TableIMG_9489

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Thrifted candle holders

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Ribbon is from Hobby Lobby

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Plaid Moose Christmas card holder from Dollar General

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Big Lots plaid and fur tree skirt

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Big Lots plaid and fur stockings

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Stylish Piggy MascotIMG_9507

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Mr. Christmas from Big Lots, voice activated musical light show for your tree. This is really fun!

Sun Room
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Vintage brass deer and dollar store silver tree

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Kitchen Chandelier

This light was a DIY project. I saw a beautiful wood beaded fixture online for 1,200.00 bucks, so I went to Hobby Lobby, bought some wood beads and wood finial, strung them on my Lowe’s fixture and this is how it turned out!

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Here are some links from Tator Tots & Jello for some DIY Wood Bead Chandeliers.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

xoxo

-stylishpiggy

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The Evolution of Chicken Farming

10 Dec

Chicks, you know the yellow balls of fluffy goodness they sell at the tractor supply each Spring, the ones you can’t possibly resist and must bring home to live with you immediately. Those ones.

Well, 7 of those came to live with me last year, five yellow ones and two browns.  Hey, it wasn’t my idea, tractor supply makes you purchase 6 and the 7th was just an impulse buy.

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Awwww!!!

I brought them home, put them in a tub of shavings with some water and food and a warmer light. I carefully monitored the temperature every 10 minutes and could not sleep for fear that they might need me in the middle of the night.

Before long, they started plumping up, one chicken in particular was growing much larger than his siblings.  “Ah, what a Big Boy you are”, I would say, even though they were supposed to be all girl chicks. I have a weird tendency to call girls, boys.

I cleaned out the shavings religiously, but soon their home was way too smelly for my laundry room and that’s when they decided to live in my garage until they grew all their feathers.

I need an outdoor coop, stat!  I ordered some plans off ebay, took a trip to Lowe’s and before we knew it, we had ourselves a coop.

It was getting warmer now and the chicks had almost all their permanent feathers. Time to live outdoors!

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In the beginning, I pretty much changed out the straw bedding every time a chick laid a turd. The new coop looked so pretty and clean and I wanted to keep it all Martha Stewart. However, I was not aware that chickens poop every 2.5 seconds multiply that by 7=a shitload of nasty, {pardon my language}, but that does accurately describe the situation.

On cold nights, I would go out in the middle of the night and tack blankets to the outside of the coop, so they would stay warm. I couldn’t sleep for fear that something would happen to them. Goodness, being a chicken mother was hard.

So, back to the one chick that was growing much faster than all the others, “big boy”, this chick got so fat, that she could hardly walk by 6 months . After a consult with Google, I realized that my impulse buy was a meat chicken, which are normally slaughtered by 8 weeks, they are bred to get fat on the fly.

Poor, big boy, he never had a chance. He was at the bottom of the pecking order, due to his disabilities. I finally had to separate him, so he didn’t get pecked to death, but eventually he succumbed to his obesity and I found him lying feet up one day. I still cry every time I say his name. I have a thing for underdogs and I really liked that chicken.

RIP “Big Boy”

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I then decided that the chicken coop was on the small side for six chickens and that I would just let them roam free during the day. This made them very happy! I loved seeing them running around the yard, doing their thang. However, their freedom was cut short by the fact that they started to terrorize my shrubs, tear my plant beds to a shreddle and poop everywhere.

Back to coop, fellers.

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After I got tired of replacing the straw bedding everyday, I tried the cat litter approach. I put play sand down and scooped the poop balls out daily with my handy dandy scooper. “Hey, this is working pretty good”. Eventually, the poop mixed in with the sand and became concrete. Now, I’m back to just a dirt floor. I rake it… sometimes.

On a side note, did I mention that its very hard to give a chicken a bath. They don’t like it, not one bit. I eventually accepted the fact that outdoor animals just have to stay dirty.

Lets’s talk about chicken eggs, shall we?

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First Chicken Eggs

When they first laid their eggs, it was very exciting! It is amazing to me that these things just POP right out of their butts. Nature is cool.

At first we ate them and then we didn’t eat them, then we gave them away and then we ate them, then we fed them the eggs to the chickens and now I throw them in my compost pile. This may sound silly, but turns out that I can’t stomach an egg that I have to clean poop off of.

Then, there is the pecking. Chickens are freakin’ mean to one another. The strong will peck the weak until they bleed and pull all the feathers out of each others butts. I tried this stuff called “no peck” which didn’t work, I fed them extra protein, which also didn’t work. I made a homemade concoction of Vicks vapor rub and grape Koolaid and rubbed it on the chickens who were getting pecked, which worked for a couple of seconds.

Koolaid stained chickens are quite unattractive, however, they do look splendid in Christmas hats.

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Now we are just about caught up to the present time of my chicken journey.  I have 4 nappy white chickens with raw butts and 2 mean brown chickens. My once beautiful coop looks like something from the Beverly Hillbillies from all the trial and error updates I have done over the year and I am getting pretty tired of disposing of dookie eggs that I don’t won’t to eat or give away, because I feel like they are unsanitary and I don’t want to kill my neighbors.

Lets face it, I’ve lost my passion for chicken farming and it only took a little over a year to do it.

It was a very cool experience and I learned a lot along the way, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Is there such thing as an indoor chicken that doesn’t poop?? Maybe I should invent that.

There is always the boiling pot, I guess.

xoxo

-stylishpiggy

Estate Sales: The Good, Bad and Ugly

26 Aug

Estate sale

What is an estate sell?
Well, an estate sale is where your family or a hired professional company sell off all your worldy belongings after you’ve kick’d the ‘ole bucket. Dollar bills, ya’ll…
 If you have never been to one, its definitely an interesting experience. I am about to give you the good, bad and the ugly on these kinds of sales… so here we go.

The Good~

If your interested in people, like I am, an estate sale is like a window into someone life.  By the time you have made your way through the sale, you really kinda get a mental snapshot of who the person was and what kind of life they led.

I especially love it when a family member is putting on the sale. That’s when I get all the stories of how their mother loved that hat and how their wife wore that coat to all the parties and it was her favorite or how they wore that dress when they were a teenager. It’s nice for me and its nice for the family, some days, I keep a tissue in the ‘ole pockets in case I start watering up.

M-E-MO-R-I-E–S !!! LIGHT THE CORNERS OF MY MIND…..misty watered colored memories….of the way they were… {little Barbara Streisand for ya}

Vintage stuff is just automatically cool and at these sales, there is lots of it. Buying these items also makes me feel like I’m extending people’s legacy, I just think its neat that a little part of that person is gonna be “livin’ on” with someone else and that their items are once again gonna be enjoyed.

Since I sell most of my vintage scores in my Etsy shop, I feel like I’m doing my part to spread the love, cause now Aunt Betty’s beloved coat is going to live at Katie’s house in New York. What did we do before the days of the internet?

 The bad~

Some of these sales can really be kinda sad and a little creepy.

Some homes reek of some unidentifiable smells , some have dank Freddy Krueger spider filled basements and attics and some still have hospital beds in the living room, Aww, one day we will be old too.

I hope ghosts don’t really exist, because I don’t know if the recently deceased might appreciate me hauling away their prized processions. I could be doomed. Oh, lawd.

You better hope you ate your wheaties before you visit one of these sales, cause you buy what you can carry in your little chicken arms and It pretty much never fails that the first thing I pick up is usually some big ass 100 lbs coat or a huge vase that I have to lug around for the rest of the sale. It is a big possibility that you might be lugging boxes out of a 1000 degree dark attic down 5 flights of stairs and unfortunately your car is 20 miles down the road. Good thing your adrenaline is in high gear at these things, it’s the thrill of the hunt, don’t do drugs, do estate sales instead # cleanliving.

You CAN go ahead and pay, load your car and then come back to the sale, but time is not on your side at these sales, cause while you’re loading your car, Sallie Mae buyer just scored that vintage pink coat in the other room, curses……darn you Sallie Mae’s of the world.

The Ugly~

Speaking of the other people at the sale, other buyers and sellers can sometimes be ugly and are a reality show just waiting to happen. Some of them are downright annoying, or is it me? PMS is a bitch.

There are the seasoned vintage sellers who know everyone and everything, the ebayer, the book guy, the guy looking for gold, the annoying husband and wife teams, the young girl with the basket, who looks like red riding hood and the old man looking for tools.

There is also the incredibly obnoxious lady wondering why she didn’t get a chance to look in the box before you picked up the whole thing and carried it away. The admirer, who’s following you around eyeballing everything you pick up and the lady who knocks you down as she speeds past you. I might have to trip her one of these days.

Then there are the Feshies as I call them, the professional companies hired to run a sale,  some of them are nice but I have found most to be generally unpleasant. They have their minions stalking you around from room to room watching  you like a hawk to make sure you don’t steal anything and that lady checking you out..why doesn’t she ever smile…its a mystery.

I get it, maybe there’s a criminal element that they all have dealt with in the past, but it ain’t me sister, so gimme a break.

 Estate SaleTips~

*Come first or come last,  sales are usually on Friday-Sunday, you may get the best score by coming first, but if you come last you get the best deal, typically everything is 1/2 off on the last day of the sale.

*Have a game plan, depending on what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for clothing, head toward the bedroom, if you want tools, head out to the garage first, if you want some soap from 100 years ago, head to the bathroom and so forth. {you sicko} Thank goodness, I have never seen any undergarments for sale. Seriously, they sell anything and everything at estate sales.

*Don’t forget to haggle, never hurts to ask.

*Be respectful of the items, don’t just toss it around like yesterday’s garbage.

*Bring cash

*Bring hand sani

*Bring a box or basket

*Make your own sticky notes that say “Sold” on them and stick them on things you absolutely can’t carry, make sure your really gonna buy it though before you put that sticky on it.

*Inspect it and Smell it, some stuff you can’t launder or air out

Each sale has a different vibe, you kinda don’t know how its gonna go till you get in there and dig around. Overall, these things are interesting and fun and  you just never know what in the world you will find.  Every sale that I have gone to I always find myself saying, at least once, “what in the heck is this”, cause I have no idea.

What’s your craziest estate sale experience, leave me a comment and don’t forget to subscribe!

Also, if you wanna see some of my finds, visit my Etsy shop!

xoxo

-stylishpiggy

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