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Monday, August 27, 2012

Save A buck or Two - Easy File Cabinet Makeovers

Complete tutorial at designsponge

How many time have you stared at that old crusty file cabinet and would have physically thrown it outside...if you could lift it?  Well, after today, whenever you look at that cabinet it will be in awe.  I've got something for ya!  These easy makeovers will not only be a snap to do but they will brighten up your space and bring some style to your organizing.

As you know, file cabinets are very sturdy, durable and very inexpensive. That is, if you buy a used one.  You can find them just about anywhere and everywhere, at thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist....perhaps forgotten in your own basement.  And many of us do. A lot of these pieces are metal and they rust after a while so as soon as the rust starts to show they are put out to the curb or sold very cheaply.  But hey, this is good news for you!  Don't let a little rust scare you from seizing or retaining a potentially fabulous piece of furniture.

Here are some easy makeovers/tutorials you can use to transform a drab looking file cabinet.  Are you ready? Okay, let's do this!

 Find the super easy tutorial for this amazing transformation at

You can never fail with map designs.  So chic.

Nothings adds more pizzaz than a pop of bright yellow.  How gorgeous is this!
Find the tutorial at littlehouseinthebigd

I absolutely love this! It is modern and romantic without being too girly...great balance and wonderful transformation. Find the tutorial at divineserendipity

The color and pattern on this piece is so rich, stylish and cheerful!
Find this tutorial at savedbylovecreations

Most of these transformations were done with  spray paint, leftover wallpaper remnants, spray adhesive, and cheap $2 handles from Home Depot or Ace Hardware. Stencils and scrap grass cloth can also be used as well.  Just have fun and let your imagination go!

Cherio and happy diy-ing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Song of The Week - Sanctus Real, Lead Me

This song is simply awesome.  Take a listen and you will agree with me.  I love the video for this as well.....enjoy.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Age Defying Beauty - Look fabulous At Any Age!

Lulu - dailymail (article)
A few days ago during a conversation with my sister-in-law, we somehow got to talking about aging and beauty.  Well, truth be told we started talking about it because I was complaining sharing with her about my new visitors.  Gray hair.  First, a couple showed up and that was fine but now they have invited their friends......and family....and their pets.  Hey,whoa there.  Now don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of gray hair, I even did a post on it here.....I just don't think am old enough (42) to do it right just yet. I would welcome/rock a streak of gray but not a whole head. Not yet.

 And so such was my lament to my sis.  Well, she is older than me and looks fabulous so I asked her to share some of her tips with me and man did she ever!

Here are the tips in no specific order.  Bear in mind this is from a woman in her early fifties who has followed this regimen over the years and proven everything listed here.

1.  Oil of Olay products - She loves and swears by them.

2.  Use a toner to clean your skin thoroughly.  She recommends Olay of course but a toner that is mild, gentle and non-drying is perfect.

3.  Follow up with a good moisturizer.  Do this morning and night, moisturize both your face and neck.  Make sure you don't forget to do the neck because the neck is prone to wrinkling later on and who wants that...

4.  Do not pick your skin!  This will result in scarring. Leave the pimples alone and apply an astringent to them instead.  

5.  Do something physical every day even if it's as simple as cleaning your house.  Get some exercise and do not take for granted the benefits of fresh air.  Taking a walk with ensure that you get both fresh air and exercise.

6.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  Seems like a lot but you need it to keep your body energized and at it's best. 

7.  DO NOT STRESS. Stress is the catalyst for a myriad of sickness and disease. Laughing and spending time with positive people and activities makes you healthier and adds much value to your life.

8.  Having a heathy spiritual life is also very important.  When you are overwhelmed you will have a comfort/resource to turn to.  Always.

9.  Take care of your hair. Keep it hydrated every day to minimize breakage.  Stay away from too much heat and products.  Find something that works and stick to it.

10. A well groomed lady takes care of her hands and feet.  Keep nails trimmed and on point!

11. Finally, have Confidence.  Once you look good you'll feel good.  Believe in yourself and do not let anyone shut you down.  Ever.

And there you have it, a simple list of tips that will keep you lookin fierce!  If you need more inspiration just check out this pic of Lulu who happens to be 61 years young.  In my opinion she looks better with age. For those of you younger folks, Lulu sang to "To sir with Love" which is the theme/title song for the movie "To Sir With Love" (a beloved 60's movie) starring Sidney Poiter...who hails from my home, the Bahamas.   It is one the the best vocals I have ever heard.  Love you Lulu.  You can read more about her and her new book on the subject of aging well here.  I will be getting a copy for sure.


Well, I hope this post was helpful to you.  Have a great week!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don't Give Up The Fight (Guest Post by Shanda Neighbors)

It was summer break. My middle sister and I had been fighting. She has always been a feisty one. We had a summer war going. My sister was little, under five feet  tall. She's been that size since she was about ten, and she's still just so at nearly forty. Anyhow, growing up she had a huge Napoleon complex. She'd pick a fight with anyone, age, size, sex, didn't matter. My eldest siblings survived her somehow, but by the time she got to me, it was out of control. She was relentless.  I'm guessing me being younger, and she being older, she assumed that entitled her to kick my behind at will. I disagreed with that theory. I was about her size (at three yrs younger) but I was much stronger. 

That summer we had several physical fights before my grandmother  intervened, island style.  She warned us both, "I don't care who starts it. The next time I catch you two fighting, I'm going to fetch, and give you both a switch, and you can both wail (she used an island term) on each other. The first person who cries, will have to face me, and a switch of my own. Remember, I don't care who started it, but I'm gonna finish it."  By "wail on" she meant beat the snot out of.  I wanted no part of that. Now you'd think that warning was enough to scare my sister. She'd never won a fight against me, or anyone else for that matter. Picking a fight with a sibling that's sure to pummel you, is insane! What's worst is, having to face my grandmother after the fact! She's was no joke! But, true to form, and hardly a day later, here comes my sister ready to fight. I don't remember the exact action that started it, what I do remember is, before I knew it we were throwing blows for the "umpteenth" time that summer. Grammy, true to her word, saw the fight, and quickly produced two tamarind switches.

 For the sake of this story, I will tell you  that a tamarind switch is from a tamarind tree. They don't break. Ever. She gave us each one, and just as though she was beginning a race,  she said "go!" I remember thinking, "I don't care how much this hurts, I WILL NOT cry."  At the time, that thought was a departure from strategy. I had figured out early on that crying, got me out of, or significantly lessened impending trouble. Crying quickly became a part of my play book, but not this time. I knew that this time if I cried, I'd put myself in a worse position.  I was taking swats that hurt like the dickens, but I was determined to give ones that hurt even more. Remember how I said I was stronger than my sis? It sure didn't feel like it, but whatever strength I had, I used. I put every bit of power I possessed into the whacks I was delivering. I wanted to cry, but she actually DID cry. As soon as she did, it was over. Grammy grabbed her, and I was free to go. Lets just say she got dealt with. 

 I wish I could tell you that we never fought after that but that would be a lie. My sister being who she is, and me being who I am, have fought many times since. I will tell you this, our fights have been few, and far between.....and to date, they have never been in the presence of Grammy.

Today I was reminded of the best fights, and friends you'll ever have, siblings, family. They've taught me the art of love, and conflict. It's a vital, and invaluable lesson. I'm grateful. Perhaps some will find this story a bit cruel. I'll admit that in the Bahamas we do things a little  differently.  It's a different place, and that was a different time. To me it wasn't cruel it was guided instruction. That day I learned, there are times when you should fight like your life depends on it. I learned that present pain isn't always the whole story. I learned that you can endure more than you think, and I learned that Sarah Knowles (grammy) is a woman of her word!

Find more of Shanda's adventures on her blog

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Good Deed And Some Vintage Jewelry

When I was a little girl I remember getting one of the best gifts I have ever received from a woman who was notorious for being a grouch.  For some reason she gave a starry eyed little girl a box of vintage jewelry.  Some of them were broken but I recall being in awe of the sparkle and shine of the beads...I had died and gone to heaven.  Needless to say I was hooked ever since.

Now that I am grown, I have an even greater appreciation for vintage jewelry. I can fully appreciate the stellar craftsmanship, the fearless color palettes and unrestrained imagination that went into each piece. I just love finding one of a kind pieces that make me gasp...and trust me, I find them pretty often because I collect them. One of the things I do though, is to research and find out about the various designers in the 1930's and beyond.  It has been so very informative and inspiring to me as a designer.

Here are two of my favorite vintage jewelry designers that you may want to buy or collect:

Marcel Boucher - He was born in Paris, France where he designed for Cartier and later for his own company. Marcel Boucher is highly respected as the most imaginative designer of quality costume jewelry. His bold, meticulously executed designs is sought out by collectors from all walks of life including movie stars like Sarah Jessica Parker. Each piece is a "work of art".

TrifariSince the 1920s, Trifari has been one of the most respected and admired producers of costume jewelry in the United States. Trifari was Founded in the1910s by Gustavo Trifari, the Italian-immigrant son of a Napoli goldsmith, the company has designed jewelry that’s been worn by countless high-profile clients, from Mamie Eisenhower to Madonna.

Image Origin unknown

Who would have thought that one kind act from the town's grouch would bring so much joy and passion into my life for these pieces and for design as a whole...  Thanks Miss B, rest in peace.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 Olympic Style - Hit or Miss?

 Like everyone else and their pooch, I am watching the olympics.  I am thoroughly enjoying the various activities especially gymnastics, swimming and my personal favorite.......the wearing/unveiling of the many many different uniforms.  Every country has their own individual style and colors so it is truly interesting, at least for someone like me.  Here are some of the uniforms that set tongues a-wagging.  What do you think?

JAMAICA - Hey, am a little partial since I have Jamaican heritage (via my dad) but these uniforms are so fly! Big up Jamaica, nuff respect!

Designed by Cedella Marley, daughter of the late Bob Marley,
 in corporation with PUMA

AMERICA - I am a huge Ralph Lauren fan and I think the uniforms are really beautiful in a pure classic "Americana "sense, something Ralph is best known for. There are some aspects however I could live without.......perhaps these could have a little more of an edge, after all, most of these athletes are young people.  I especially do not like that they were made in China.  Why Ralph?...why???

Designed by Ralph Lauren

BritainI grew up in the British culture...I drank tea and drove on the left hand side of the road  sang English songs and spent money that had the queen's face on it.......  All that to say, I love you, but try as I may I can't look at this uniform without wanting to dance. The sound track from staying alive comes to my mind every time.  I'll say this much, you have to have chutzbah to wear this!  Especially the men.  Indeed.
Designed by Stella McCartney

South Korea - I really like South Korea's uniform. This is a great example of classic done in a way that captures the modern sensibility as well.  It is hard to find that balance but this is a great example of that.  Gorgeous!  

Designed by Fila

And Finally these beautiful ladies at the Olympics.