Hey Y’all,

I have had a busy week.  The kids have completed their first full week and so far they are loving it. We actually started a count down on Friday morning– 1 down 35 to go.  This won’t be a long year…

Guess what! It’s Saturday already and that means it’s time for

a weekend wrap up of the WWW.

Here is a fun before and after of a gorgeous old home (you know I have a soft spot for old houses) that showed up on the Garden and Gun blog.  Let me just warn you…IT’S ONLY THE OUTSIDE. I’m hoping that they will show us the inside soon.

hint: this is the ‘before’ pic…

Garden and Gun Farmhouse

There was a big storm over at Thistlewood Farms.  KariAnne didn’t weep and cry over the fallen tree in the yard, no no. She cut that bad boy up and used the wood slices to decorate.  Girl after my own heart. Check out the loveliness here.

Wood Slices

If you had asked me 6 months ago if I would ever post any avocado recipes I would have gagged, made a face and then made some quippy remark about how I don’t care that its healthy fat!

But here we are today and I must say, something has changed and I’m all about some avocados. I think I have have made about 4,735 batches of guacamole this summer (might explain the recent weight gain…).  I really can’t get enough.

So when Mr. Creativity and I had brunch together the other day I ordered toast with mushed avocado and scrambled eggs.

Oh.  My.  Stars.

Here is a recipe for you.  I’ll be making this as soon as I get those stinking avocados to ripen.

Avocado Toast Recipe

So there is my wrap up.  Now you don’t have to spend hours and hours on your computer this weekend.  Go outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather — unless you live in Florida, then you should probably go to Lowe’s and get a generator and hurricane supplies.

Everyone be safe out there in the sunshine torrential-downpour state!

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Hey Y’all!

Have you heard the saying “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”?

Well I hope that is how Restoration Hardware sees this…

bathroom shelves

I mean, who doesn’t love everything that Restoration Hardware offers?!  They have a fabulous line of products and if the budget would allow, our house would look like their catalog.

bathroom makeover

The tiny little cabinet above the potty just wasn’t cutting it.  Oh sure, it held everything that it needed to, but it was plain.

bathroom shelves

And our guests don’t deserve plain.

They deserve awesome.

bathroom shelves

Industrial pipe shelves are just the thing for my guest bath and RH sells them for $195 each. I’m sure they are fabulous and they probably tell you how pretty you look, but really??

Since I don’t play the lotto and our trees don’t grow money, I have to imitate.

bathroom shelves

Honestly, the hardest part of this little project was hanging the shelves and if I purchased them I would have to do that anyway.

(Hanging these was a great workout for me.  Sadly, since I’m right-handed, my right side did most of the hard labor and I now have one arm that looks like Popeye.)

Oh well, the shelves are pretty and that is all that matters.

bathroom shelves

I hate to break it to RH, but this is one item that they have waaaay over priced.  I would have spent $600 plus shipping to purchase these from them.  At Lowe’s I spent about $50 on the 2x8x8 and the pipes/flanges/caps.

The stain and spray paint were leftover from other projects.

bathroom shelves

Now my guests will think I’m super fancy and they’ll be all like ‘wow! you’re super fancy’.

I could get used to people telling me that. 😉

bathroom shelves

What do you think?  Love them?  Hate them? Want to make some?

Let me hear from you!

To see all of the before pics of the guest bath + inspiration click here.

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Hey Y’all!

I have to confess something.

String Art Ampersand


Here goes…

Ampersand String art

I’m don’t always know what I’m doing.  Don’t tell my kids, because I need them to think that I’ve got it all going on.

String Art Ampersand

When I taught 8th grade science (eons ago), I loved seeing the string art projects that the math class would make.

Those kids obviously knew way more about math than I did.  I mean, when I was in school we didn’t make art projects in math.  That was reserved for, well, art class.

String Art Ampersand

I’m positive that there were long mathematical equations that they needed to master before taking the hammer and nails to the  wood.

I’m pretty sure that there is a correct directional angle to hold the string.

There is probably an intricate repeated pattern that is followed when winding the string around the nails…

String Art Ampersand

But I don’t know the right way to do any of that.

So I just did what all moms do when they want results but have no clue how to achieve them.

I winged it.

String Art Ampersand

Winging it is how we survive in those first few days of having babies.

Winging it got us through awkward parent/teacher conferences.

Winging it is how we roll.

String Art Ampersand

And I must say, winging it is pretty awesome.

On this project it kept me from doing math. 😉

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PS- I used my silhouette program to make a large ampersand for this project. You could make one using any word/art program on your computer.  Just make sure you can print it at the size you need for your board.

*affiliate link added for your convenience


Hey Y’all!

Here are some goodies from around the WWW that I wrapped up and put a pretty bow on for you.  Well, not really.  But I have it all here in one simple Weekend Wrap.

This week is all about ‘Southern’.  If you are from the south raise your hand.  If you love the south raise your hand.  Okay, so now that everyone has their hand up here we go!

Draper James Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has a new line called Draper James.

Clothing, jewelry, home decor and much more. It’s all very southern.

It’s so southern in fact that she was asked to do an interview with Southern Living.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

Mr. Creativity brought home some fried chicken from the grocery store.  It was sweet tea fried chicken.

Oh dear.  I’m addicted.

Here’s a recipe for you to try it at home.

Country living home tour

You know my dream is to live in a farmhouse, right?

Isn’t that everyone’s dream?

Look at this tour of a 1934 Farmhouse in North Carolina and let’s dream together…

B Sullivan calligraphy stamp

Isn’t this just lovely?

Brittany actually writes this way.  In real life. (Doesn’t every southern belle write this beautifully?)

She writes so pretty that she made a gift tag stamp with her handwriting.

Hope y’all enjoy your weekend!

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Hey Y’all!

Can you believe it’s school time once again? (yes, I realize that some of you have been in school for 2 weeks now…I’m sorry) Here in my part of Florida we start up on Monday.  The kids are so excited that they can hardly contain themselves.

<cue the eyeroll>

Painted Table

Getting ready for school always calls for haircuts so that the boys look a little less ‘Bieber’ and the girl looks more ‘Pantene commercial’.

Painted table

There’s also the fact that these kids don’t stop growing.  Thus, lots of shopping has to occur.  By the end of the last school year, one of the kids had ZERO long pants that would fit.  Seriously I have got to stop feeding them if my evil plan of having small children forever is ever going to work out.

JK, they know where we keep the food…

Painted Table

I was over at our precious school the other day and noticed that a little table in our entryway was in desperate of a ‘back to school makeover’.  In the years past it has been covered by a table cloth and really didn’t do anything to enhance the foyer.

But it is old and crusty (my favorite adjectives) and I knew I could help it a little.

Painted Table

So instead of a new hair cut and new clothes, this little beauty got stripped, stained and got a fresh coat of paint.  All in one day.

Painted School Table

painted school table

Painted school table

He really should be on one of those 30 minute makeover shows.

He would totally win.

What do you think of this little table?  Isn’t he just adorbs?

I bet he would look great in a Pantene commercial somewhere 😉

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PS– Stain is Special Walnut by Minwax and Paint is Artissimo by MMSMP


Hey Y’all!

I am sitting here enjoying the peace and quiet that comes from everyone being sound asleep in the house.  Next week it will be quiet in here for a whole different reason (school) and I’m not sure that I’m ready for that.

Since I’m about to get all emotional on you and tell you how my kids are growing up too fast, let’s just skip the tears and anguish and move on to the reason y’all are here today…the secretary desk makeover!

We can cry later, deal?


painted secretary desk

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I asked for your opinions? Boy, did I get them.  Y’all are so full of creativity and ideas that it was hard to decide which way to go.  That might have made it a bit harder for me in the end…lesson learned. 😉

Here she is before:

Secretary desk

She wasn’t too hard on the eyes, but I knew she could be better.

secretary desk

I only had one person that suggested to leave her alone and not paint.  But honestly, I didn’t love the color of the wood.  To my surprise, the wood was very sun damaged.  The whole piece had at one point been the color of the inside, but the outside had faded to a creamy tan color.

Now here she is.  I’m in love.

 Painted Secretary Desk

I had hoped that the milk paint (trophy by Miss Mustard Seed) that I used on the outside would chip away on the body of it, but with the sun damage it just soaked right in and there is absolutely no chipping or crazing.  AT. ALL.

Painted Secretary Desk

The drawers needed some interest since the body of it was going to be so flat, so I sanded and added a white wash just to give it a little more pizzazz (those would be here jazz hands).

Painted Secretary Desk

Painted Secretary Desk

The suggestions that I received for the inside of the piece were wide-ranging.  Paint it a grey, paint it white, don’t paint it at all, paint it hot pink or lime green (Shelley–you are a trip).  While I can appreciate ALL of those suggestions, once the outside was grey with a white wash, it needed a white on the inside.

Painted Secretary Desk

I did branch out and paint it boxwood green initially, but that did not look good.

At all.

It was really bad.

I think it would have been great if the outside was a dark grey or graphite.  But the light grey needed a light color inside.

Painted Secretary Desk

So there she in in all of her glory. I’ve already had someone hint at wanting to purchase her.  Not sure if I’ll part with her or not.

But if she goes, she will be waving her jazz hands as we load her up.

Thank you for all of your input, it was fun interacting with y’all!

MM signatureLinking to:  *  Merry Monday  *  Work it Wednesday Wow us Wednesday *

Dedicated to Great Teachers!

Hey Y’all

I absolutely love all things school.  I even loved going to school when I was younger (maybe just because of good friends and cute boys, but it still counts).

If you ever had a great teacher raise your hand.

<pausing to look around the room>

So we all have had at least one great teacher in our lives.  I bet you can tell me their name, the class they taught and the year that you had them.

Teacher Gift

I heard once that you may not remember a single sentence a person from your past said to you, but you remember how they made you feel.

When you think back to your favorite teachers what do you remember?  Do you remember the lectures or do you remember how you felt when they spoke to you?

Do you remember the tests they gave you or do you remember being encouraged?

Teacher Gift

I had one teacher that was absolutely brilliant, but he would forget EVERYTHING (everyone that took any chemistry class at FHU, is smiling and nodding with me now).  He would forget what he was about to say, where his notes were, where his glasses were (usually on top of his head), when class was supposed to start–but he knew chemistry backward and forward.

His wife once said “If he gets alzheimers, how will we know?”.

He was one of those teachers that students loved. He made you feel like chemistry was something anyone could understand.

Teachers are Werth Gold 4

I had one middle-school teacher that was small in stature but our class thought he was the coolest person ever.  He once got in trouble with the librarian because he was chewing gum and she thought he was a student.

She sent him to the principals office.

We didn’t let him live that down.

Teacher Gift

My middle-school history teacher was one of the greatest because he didn’t keep us in books all day.  We didn’t read about history, we experienced it.

Instead of reading about the civil war, we made bullets by melting and molding metal (yes, we made bullets in school–calm down, we didn’t shoot them).

When we studied about Native Americans we dug out a canoe, cooked a traditional meal and reenacted a chunkey game (and made our own chunkey stone, are you impressed yet?).

He was one of those teachers that kids couldn’t wait to get to his class.

Teacher Gift

I even had one of the sweetest substitute teachers that ever lived.  She called us names like “sugar pie sweet darlin'” or “honey baby dear child” or “precious darlin sugar lump”.  It was like she just went through a rolodex of nice words to call all of us.

And we loved it.

We would make up reasons to go ask her a question.  It would go something like this:

Me: “Can I go sharpen my pencil”

Her: “Well of course sweet sugar precious darlin’ child, you go sharpen that pencil honey.”

You can see why she is my favorite. 😉

Teachers are Werth Gold 2

Teachers are our window to the world as children. They teach us more than just math/science/reading/grammar, they teach us about people.  All different types of people.  We learn how to obey and respect adults that aren’t our moms and dads.  We learn how to communicate with (and sometimes even disagree with) authority figures.  We learn who we are as people because of how they interact with us and how we respond to them.

Bless their sweet precious darlin’ hearts for dealing with all of us.

Teacher Printable Gift

I made this printable just for those teachers.  Because they deserve it and so much more.

Did you have a teacher that was ‘werth’ their weight in gold?  I’d love to hear about them!

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Remember when you were forced to read over the summer?

And to add insult to injury, you had to write a report on that book? (for the love of Pete!)

Teachers really knew how to ruin a summer of brain-dead activity.  I bet they would have made me do math too, if they had thought of it.

But now, I crave time to read.  It could easily be considered an addiction when I get into a good book.

You too?

I knew it.  We are both so smart. 😉

Summer Reading List

Here is my summer reading list for 2015.  I guess I should clarify, these were read in June while in Tennessee and Israel (more on that later).  I haven’t gotten to feed the addiction since getting back to Florida.  But I plan on getting a few books in during the fall before the holiday madness begins.

summer reading

All The Light We Cannot See is a page turner.  I loved that it flipped back and forth between each character’s point of view.  This story is set in occupied France during WWII and is a beautiful story about kindness in the midst of war.  I highly recommend!

summer reading

What Alice Forgot is one of those books that makes you think about your younger self compared to your today self (make sense?) It also makes me not want to take a spinning class.  Read it, you’ll understand.

summer reading

The Red Tent was my reading choice on our trip to Israel this summer (I’ll post a few pics on here one of these days…). I absolutely fell in love with Dinah the daughter of Jacob and Leah (from the Bible). But reading about these people while in the land where they lived was pretty phenomenal.  I think you’ll enjoy it even if you are reading it in the good ol’ USA.

summer reading

The Astronaut Wives Club was pretty good.  I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger–until the Challenger explosion.  That was the end of that dream.  This book was a fun look inside the lives of the families that supported the early astronauts.  There is now a TV series based on this book. But I’ve been too busy reading to watch. ha

I’m hoping to get a few more books finished before school starts back. But I can make no promises, I’ve got to get these kids to finish their summer reading and reports. 😉

What have you read lately?  I’d love some suggestion from all my smart readers!

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*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience and to help support this blog.

Hey Y’all!

I love my readers.  You know that, right?  I think you guys are the kindest, most supportive people in the world.  Your comments make my day.

So, I spent some time thinking about you.

That’s not weird is it?  They were all good thoughts.  I mean, you guys are the coolest, so what is there to think other than good? 😉

Well a few of you have mentioned that you only see my posts on Facebook or when you click on a link in Pinterest.  That’s all good.  But what if these posts came in your inbox and you could read them whenever you wanted?

That’s called subscribing.  Don’t worry, it’s free.

There are a few places on the blog where you can submit your email address and they will come to you.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.35.57 AM

This free printable is a thank you gift from me to you for subscribing to McCall Manor.

It will come to your inbox.

Just like the posts. 😉

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Hey Y’all!

I can’t wait to share this fast and fun project with you today, but first I want to give a big virtual hug to the best husband the world has ever known.

Mr. Creativity has been MINE, ALL MINE for 19 years today and I can’t imagine life without this energetic/creative/loving/hot-as-fire/Godly man.  Thanks babe for our wonderful life together.  Here’s to many, many more years together! mmmmmwahhhh!

MM Painted Lampshade Label

Sorry y’all had to endure all the sappiness, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

On to our regularly scheduled programming: Making a lampshade un-ugly.

MM Painted Lampshade 1

Now you might be thinking, “Holly, that’s not so bad.  Why do you say it’s ugly?”  Well, dear friends it’s not.  But it wasn’t the right color for the room, therefore it was ugly in that space.

This shade is brand new.  It came with a lamp that I got on Target clearance for $13 (and I had a $5 off card…so basically it would have been wreckless of me to pass it up.)

You see, the Pretty Girl has a new room (we will share more on that as soon as all of the details are completed) and she needs more lighting and lighting can get expensive.

You know, she is a teenager now and with that come mascara and lipgloss.  So lighting is like, literally, totes important. 😉


MM Painted Lampshade 2

But the lampshade was oatmeal and her room didn’t approve.  If you have a room that doesn’t approve of a lampshade you have chosen, here is what you do:  Paint it.

Yep, you heard me.

Steps to take:

1. Wet it with water (pic above).

2. Paint with diluted paint (pic below).

3. Drink some coffee.

4. Put it on your lamp.

MM Painted Lampshade 3

For her room, I painted the shade white with black trim.  I didn’t go for perfection, because I wanted it to have a casual, artsy vibe.

Because she has become artsy. At least that’s what the comments say that she gets on Instagram.

And people only speak truth on Instagram.

MM Painted Lampshade 4

As you can see, the watered down paint gives the shade almost a water color effect.

And what’s more artsy than water color?

If you are going for a ‘perfect’ look, just add a second coat.  Be sure to spray the fabric with water in between coats.

MM Painted Lampshade 5

I think the room finally approves.

This lamp is like, literally, totes adorbs.

MM Painted Lampshade 6

Do you have a lampshade that could use a little love?  If you try this out, let me know!  If you have done it in the past, send me a pic!

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