The Decorating Dork

Inspiring and Inexpensive Interiors....Picking the Perfect Sofa

As I started to write this post, it made me go back into my archives and check the date of the last time I posted in this series.
June 7th.
Not June 7th of 2014....but 2013!
Holy crap, it's been a year since I wrote about redoing my living room? I'm embarrassed to admit that, and even more embarrassed to admit that a year later, NOTHING has gotten done in that room.
It honestly doesn't even seem like it's been that long.   It's been such a crazy, stressful year that in a weird way it's flown by.

So here I am AGAIN searching for inspiration to finally get this room done once and for all.

I am going to start off kinda where I left off.  Finding new sofas.  It really is the first step in putting together a whole living room redo.   You've got to find the perfect set and then build the room around the style and color you choose.    

I've always known I wanted grey couches.   I have been looking this past year at furniture stores and online but couldn't find exactly what I wanted.  I would like the look of something but then go sit on it and it just was not comfortable at all.  I really didn't think it would be so difficult to find a sofa set I liked in grey. I mean, sure I could custom order a couch with the fabrics of my choice but I can't justify spending that kind of money.  Even if I did have it. Well.... maybe if I did have it. But I don't.  So, moving on........

First, there's the age old question "sectional or sofa/loveseat combo?"   I have a sofa, loveseat and giant recliner right now and thought, it could be a nice change to get a sectional.   I'm pretty sure I have enough space.  Of course I would have to measure.   Sectionals don't look as big in a furniture showroom, but could totally over power a room if you don't measure correctly.

Then there's the question of  "a recliner or a couch with a chaise?"   For me, these are not decisions that come easy...what-so-ever!   I knew didn't want a recliner that was big and poofy like the one I have now but they really don't make comfortable, affordable, clean looking recliners that also happen to come in grey.
I tried a few sofas with a chaise, but they can be a bit awkward to get in and out of, if the chaise part is too long.
I told you, this is not an easy decision.    And if you are like me, who lives and works in your living room you know that it really is a big deal to make a choice that you won't regret in 6 months to a year.

Now let's talk fabric.   Again, something you wouldn't think would be such a hard decision but there are so many choices out there.    Options include leather, cottons, wool, blends, micro fiber, etc...
I'll just say I knew I didn't want leather or micro fiber.  The set I have now is a beige micro fiber and I'm sick of it.  I want a different look and style with this new set.    

So which one did I pick?  drum roll...................

I chose the Kasey sofa and loveseat from Bob's Discount Furniture.    It has everything I was looking for style, color, comfort and price wise.  For the two pieces it's $799.  That's a great deal! The chair and ottoman would be another $500.  I haven't decided if I'm going to get the matching chair and ottoman just yet but this is a BIG step for me. It's not about the money, I'm just not sure if I want all that furniture in my space.  I really don't need that much seating anymore.  
I don't know if you can see by the photo but the throw pillows that come with the set have some purple in them. Can I tell ya, I love them.  It's not something I would normally be drawn to.  I thought I wanted yellow with the grey but in person they give the set a bit of a feminine, modern feel.

Wheww... thank goodness that decision is made.    Now I just have to build the rest of the room around these.   Next up, paint for the walls and trim.  

Summer Grilling with Price Chopper....Red, White and Blue Style

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification with #CollectiveBias for #PriceChopperBBQ  All opinions are my own. 

This Saturday was the 1st official day of summer and that means the BBQ and grilling season is here! This year I'm throwing a 4th of July party and I can't wait.  I haven't had one at my house in a couple of years, so of course I want to go all out.
But "going all out" doesn't mean having to spend a ton of money.  Price Chopper is a great place to get everything you could possibly need for a fun summer of grilling without breaking the bank.  I'm thinking some Certified Angus Beef hamburgers and hot dogs are on the top of the list.

I'm big into "themed" parties, you can ask anyone who knows me.  So naturally I plan to do everything in my power to  Red, White and Blue  my whole BBQ. This will be my practice for the actual party, decide what will work, what won't and what I can add.

First, I've gotta head out to Price Chopper with my list and coupons in hand.   When walking into the store I always stop at the iSave kiosk, scan my AdvantEdge card and print out even more savings.

Another way to save at Price Chopper besides their low prices, specials and coupons is on gas.  Just by shopping and using your AdvantEdge card you earn points towards discount off every gallon  (up to 20) at a participating gas stations.   Also, each week there are usually bonus items that earn you even more Fuel AdvantEdge points.  So, keep your eyes peeled for those bargains as well.  (every little bit helps)

Ok, now that we've got that all squared away, it's time to get shopping!
Walking through the produce section I'm grabbing some must have grilling veggies.   Corn on the cob, onions and ripe tomatoes are always a "given" at my BBQ's.

Next, it's on to the meat department.. by far my husband's favorite stop in any grocery store.    He insists on only buying Certified Angus Beef hamburgers and steaks.  I'm picking out hamburgers for our BBQ but getting a couple steaks to have for ourselves as well.   Can't pass up a great looking steak.

For the hot dog lovers in the group (me included) we are going to try these new Hillshire-Ball Park Park's Finest hot dogs.  They are all natural 100% beef and come in several different varieties.  I'm going to try the Cracked Dijon Mustard and Slow Smoked Hickory.  They sound like they'd have a great flavor.    

While at the store I picked one of these FREE Grilling Guides.   It's full of tips, tricks, do's, don'ts, recipes and more.  I suggest you grab one for yourself, it's helpful to have handy at any time of the year.

I also suggest you check out some of Price Choppers' social media sites they're a great place to get ideas and see what Price Choppers is up to.

* Price Chopper on Facebook 
* Price Chopper House of BBQ on Pinterest
* Price Chopper on Twitter
* Price Chopper on Instagram
* Price Chopper on YouTube 

Now that I have the meat all picked out it's time for the fun stuff, side dishes, drinks and can't forget about the desserts!

Now the fun part....... EATING.
I sent my husband Chris to man the grill with the burgers and dogs while I got working on setting up the table, drinks, side dish and brownies.
I'm in love with the mason jars. (Of course it's an idea I got off Pinterest) It's so easy to just grab and go at a picnic, everything you need all together. Glass, utensils, napkin and even a red, white and blue straw.
The Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad is an easy dish to add to any BBQ table.   Just boil the pasta add the seasoning packet, mayo and you've got a great pasta salad everyone will love.  Doesn't hurt it's flavored with bacon, I mean who doesn't love bacon?

On to the fun stuff where I can really make the Red White and Blue  shine the drinks and the dessert.   
First of all I'd have you know the drink is more of an experiment.   I got the idea I wanted red, white and blue ice cubes and what better way then using Gatorade.  (on sale for 77cents each this week at Price Chopper)  I thought adding them to some plain seltzer water would give some flavor and fizz while being all patriotic at the same time.   This has to be tweaked a little.   The Gatorade ice cubes needed to stay in the freezer longer, the seltzer water needed to be colder.   I'll give myself an "A" for effort. It did taste good.   But you get the idea I was going for, right?  

Now that the burgers and dogs are ready, they need to get the red white and blue treatment as well.   This took some thought.  The red and white part were easy, but the blue was a challenge.   I thought of bleu cheese, as a play on words but I don't really like bleu cheese (only bleu cheese dressing with my buffalo wings)  So I wracked my brain and came up with dying the mayo blue.   I know, it's a bit over the top but it's fun and I know everyone will get a kick out of it.

This is my plate, burger was delish, hot dog was AMAZING.   I didn't eat it on a bun (trying to be good and not go total carb overload) but it was so flavorful you don't need a bun, ketchup, mustard or anything else.

Thomas wanted to try both the hot dog on a bun and a hamburger, but he prefers chips to any kind of pasta salad.  I love the cute hot dog baskets I found, can use them for anything.

Last but not least.... it's DESSERT time!   I made the Betty Crocker brownies, but to give them the
red, white and blue treatment.   I bought some Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and the very nice lady at Price Chopper's bakery department sold me some of their patriotic sprinkles they use on their baked goods.

After the brownies were baked and cooled, I put a couple spoon fulls of the frosting into a pastry bag, microwaved it for just a few seconds so it would be easy to drizzle over the brownies.  Topped them with the sprinkles while the icing was still soft and there ya have it..... Brownies fitting any 4th of July party.

There ya have it... my test run 4th of July picnic.    Hope I gave you some inspiration for your summer grilling or BBQ.  Whether it be for the a patriotic party or just a Sunday Funday with your family and friends it's all about spending time together.  

Easy D.I.Y. Distressed Pallet Flag......Just in time for 4th of July. #MadeByYouMonday

Happy Monday!  Only another day and a half of school left for my Thomas and then....."school's out for summer." (sung in my worst Alice Cooper impersonation.)   I'm excited for this summer. Vacations at the beach, day/weekend trips, BBQ's with family and friends, golf , hanging out in the sun by the pool and did I mention THE BEACH?

Before I get all sidetracked thinking about the beach, I want to share with you a DIY project I did this weekend.  So quick, so easy and so cheap it was practically free.

I've had this old pallet laying around for probably a year now.   I picked it up down the street from my house in the parking lot of a local business.   I knew when I snagged it I wanted to make it into something cool. I just didn't know what.   I see a lot on Pinterest  of what people make and do with these old pallets,  it's amazing!
I got my inspiration from wanting to do a project for my upcoming 4th of July party. Plus there's a spot on the front of my house that's had the same twig wreath for years and it was way over due for a change.   (Look at me, killin two birds with one stone.)

Supplies Used:
~1 pallet (FREE)
~1 each red, off white, blue paint and black paint - (bought craft paint from Walmart for 50 cents each)
~1 package of assorted sized wooden stars (bought at Joann's Fabric and Crafts with a 50% off coupon. paid only $2.00) 
~1 package of assorted paint brushes (bought at Walmart, $2.47 for a set of 3)
~Nail Gun
My total cost was $6.47 but most of us have paint and brushes in our craft supplies. I happened to only have foam brushes at the time and had just thrown out all my old paints.

I don't know why I bought 2 each of the red, white and blue paint.  I guess I got a bit carried away when I saw they were so cheap, plus I didn't think I was going to go with the distressed look when I started out. No worries, they won't go to waste.   I have plenty of ideas to use up the rest of the paint.

You'll have to forgive my photography skills.  I get a bit wrapped up in my projects and forget to snap good pics as I go along.   I'm trying.    This one is so easy, a step by step tutorial isn't as necessary.

First thing I did was have my husband cut the bottom 3 slats off the pallet so it had more of a "flag" shape. Pallets come in all different sizes and shapes, some are more of a square.

To get the distressed look, I painted the blue square and stripes of the flag using a very light hand and very little paint, like a dry brush technique.  

Next I had "roughed" up the stars before painting them.  I used a rock from my driveway, just so they weren't so smooth looking.    After painting them with the cream color, I dry brushed black paint to distress them a little.

Then I had my husband nail them to pallet.   (I did pick out 13 stars but dropped one on the ground and didn't notice til I was all done....shhhh, don't tell)

.....and there ya have it!  Quick, easy and cheap!  My 3 favorite things about any project.


I'm linking up this #MadeByYouMonday over at  
You should go check out her site, it's an amazing place for all things creative.  

Summertime Picnic Must Have.... Beverage Dispensers

That was a long cold winter and now that Memorial Day is behind us, it's finally starting to feel like summer around here!  
Summer is all about picnics, cookouts and  barbecues. Whatever you want to call them, it means with all that yummy food will be equally yummy cold drinks. What better way to serve up your favorite summertime beverages then in fancy dispenser?

These days you can find drink dispensers in just about any store that has a kitchenware department.   They can range anywhere from $10-$100.  Whether they're made of glass, ceramic or plastic there's a dispenser to fit everyone's style. I've picked out a few of my favorites that are in all different shapes and sizes.  


                    Glass Dispenser      Glass Dispenser w/ Blue Lid                          

        Glass Dispenser w/ Chalkboard Label       Mason Jar Dispenser w/ Red Lid

         Double Dispenser with Stand        Honey Pot  Dispenser w/ Stand

 Basic Plastic Dispenser w/ Orange Lid      Plastic Dispenser w/ Wooden Lid

                White Ceramic Dispenser            White Ceramic Mason Jar Dispenser w/                                                                                                                   Chalkboard Label Christmas Tree Shops          

Yellow Bucket                     Red Honey Pot 

Do you have a favorite?  I'd love to know which one you like and what kinds of drinks you put in your dispenser!      

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Tacos, margaritas, guacamole and fruit.......Ay Carumba!   

We love celebrating Cinco de Mayo in our house.  I mean what's not to love about eating some good Mexican food, drinking some cold margaritas and a themed dinner table?
You don't have to go crazy buying expensive dishes, glasses, placemats and decorations.  A trip to your local Dollar Tree should get you everything you need for a fun week night dinner with the family.       

Sometimes I wish I was able to cook better.   I'd love to make a whole authentic Mexican dinner, but being half Spanish doesn't help me one bit.  Tacos it is.... 

I am trying to get back on track with my diet/weight loss, so I'll making myself a taco salad (no shell) and decided on fruit as dessert to go with our fiesta.     Although I will be treating myself to a glass of SkinnyGirl margarita as well.  Hey, Cinco de Mayo only comes around once a year!      

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo?   I'd love to hear about your fiesta.     

My Mornings with Millstone® & the Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal Drip Coffee Maker from Wal-Mart #CoffeeJourneys #Cbias #Giveaway

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias, Millstone® Coffee, and Mr. Coffee®.  #CoffeeJourneys

I love my morning coffee, don't we all?  Although a lot of people are using the single brew/pod coffee machines, I think a drip coffee maker is still my best bet.   Combining Millstone® french vanilla coffee and the Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ coffee maker from Walmart  is just heaven in my book.

Now to make this an even better deal,  #CollectiveBias have given me the opportunity to not only try this winning combination for myself, but I'm able to give one away to a lucky reader! Could it be you? 
Well, you've gotta go on a little journey with me first before we can get to the good stuff.   Keep scrolling....

Heading out to Walmart is nothing new for me, I'm there all the time.   I have to say I've never been in a Neighborhood Market store though.   It's gorgeous, green and full of great buys.

First stop on my journey is the coffee aisle to grab some Millstone® french vanilla coffee. (I'm a flavored coffee kinda gal.)   Millstone® has several other coffee roasts like a  Kona Blend, Hazelnut Cream,   Breakfast Blend and Decaf versions just to name a few, so there's something for everyone.   Did you know that  Millstone® is made from 100% Arabica beans and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and not refrigerated?  I had no idea, all these years thinking once I opened a package of coffee it had to go in the refrigerator.   Oh well, moving on.....  Next it's to pick up the Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal coffee maker.   Personally I can't use a coffee maker with a glass pot, I'm way too much of a klutz.  I can't tell you how many I've broken over the years.    So not only is a thermal pot the way to go for us "accident prone" people, it also keeps your coffee hot and fresh for hours longer.   Another great function of the Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™  is the pause 'n serve, it allows you to have a cup of coffee before the full brewing is done.  Awesome feature for when you just can't wait for that first cup of morning coffee, right?    

Mmmmm.... I wish you could smell this!  There's nothing that gets you ready the day ahead then the aroma of that first cup of coffee.

I have to admit, I like to have a little "french vanilla" with my french vanilla.   Sometimes I do use a flavored creamer with my flavored coffee.  What can I say?  

Here's a little  Instagram video of how my morning  #CoffeeJourneys goes.   After I get Thomas on the bus I brew myself a pot of coffee, sit at my computer and call my mom.   The only thing that could make it better, would be if I was at the beach with my mom and my cup coffee but that's a whole other story.

Don't forget after you watch the video make sure you enter the giveaway below for one of the best coffee makers and coffee around! 
 Are you ready to head out on your own #CoffeeJourney? Then enter to win the Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal Drip Coffee Maker and a package of Millstone® flavored coffee below. Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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