ENTER TO WIN A $50 GAS CARD. YES, PLEASE!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy | Posted on 01-07-2013

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"I'M JUST TRYING TO TREAT MY FAMILY TO A LITTLE FUN!" --photo courtesy of photobucket

 

Are you filling up the family truckster and hitting the open road this summer? (Take me with youuuuuuuuuu!) Stop and Shop is here to help put the swagga back into your wagon. They have graciously offered to give a $50 gas gift card to one lucky Muffintopmommy reader and one Muffintop (moi!).

You know you’re a solid grown up when receiving a $50 gas gift card makes you go BOOM like Santa’s on your roof! But seriously, I’ve been saving on my gas for years at the Stop and Shop right in my town. Never mind the rewards you can rack up, their everyday gas prices are typically the best around. Getting gas there is a no brainer. (And with the scratch I save on gas, I don’t feel one bit guilty dropping into Stop and Shop for some vino!)

With Stop and Shop gas rewards, it’s easy keep more money in your pocket for Hamburger Helper, rocking plaid pants, and other miscellaneous funsies (see above–ahem) —and there are many ways to save. First, while you’re doing your grocery shopping. Stop and Shop has tons of every day items throughout the store that are marked “Gas Rewards”. You can plan ahead by seeing the participating items in the sale flyer each week. Baby items, flowers (they have a kick arse floral department!) and other household items are included in addition to groceries–woot!

Here’s how it works:

  • Save 10¢ per gallon for every 100 points you earn.
  • You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend with your Stop & Shop card.
Points Savings
100 10¢/gallon
200 20¢/gallon
300 30¢/gallon
…up to $2.20/gallon!

Up to $2.20 a gallon! That is crazycakes!

Not sure where your nearest Stop and Shop is located? Find one near you by visiting their website.

To enter to win the gift card, please leave your first name and last initial and tell me if you’ve ever saved on gas at Stop and Shop and what fun thing you might do with your savings. Please enter by Friday, July 4th at 11:59 EST. Winner will be announced on mah blog on July 5th!

Stop and Shop is giving me a $50 gift card to facilitate this review/offer. All thoughts and opinions are my own. As usual. Like it or not. :)

Cheers to summah!!!!!!!!!!

 

BON BONS HERE I COME!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-06-2013

And just like that, another school year is almost over. And now that I’m out of my pollen coma (*waves–remember me?), I realize I have tons of fun stuff to look forward to this summer with my three boys. Now that they’re getting older, I feel confident they can entertain themselves. Bon Bons here I come. FI-NALLY!

HANGING FROM CURTAIN RODS IS A FUN GAME! I THINK IT'S RATHER THOUGHTFUL THAT THEY DID IT ON BOTH SIDES SO THEY'D MATCH. I'M SURE HUBS WILL GET TO FIXING THAT WHEN THE STANLEY CUP IS OVER....OR IN 2014 SOMETIME. NO RUSH. NO RUSH.

 

Who needs educational games when we can just dump a family sized box of Cheez-It’s on the table and in the randy Christmas tree dish that’s most likely caked in dust. Bon appetit!

 

HO HO HO? WE DON'T NEED ANY FANCY CAMPS TO LEARN ABOUT SPACIAL RELATIONS!

We’ll be hitting the open road for sure. How lucky are we that 4 year old is totally qualified to run his own safety patrol? I mean, if he doesn’t come down with a rare dust induced botulism. Or the neighborhood kids don’t give him a wedgie—he did just shriek that a kid was riding his bike without a helmet on—on the movie Frankenweenie.

WIPE THAT SMILE OFF YOUR FACE BEAR. YOU'RE ALONG FOR THE RIDE BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M BUYING YOU A DOUGHNUT TOO!

Freeloader!

Some people like to lounge pool side at a fancay club. Not us! We keepin’ it real in the hood.

GUNITE POOLS AND SNACK BARS ARE SO OVERRATED. WHEEEEEE!

WT, two sides painted shed with dead flowers in windowbox, optional.

(Not pictured: mom holding beer in a can with Lands’ End granny suit on reading trashy magazine. Hear no evil, see no evil!)

Party on, rockstars, it’s summahtime!

WE HAVE A WINNAH! AND OTHER RANDOMOSITY…..

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-02-2013

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SO…

We have a winnah of the Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Heater!

As promised, the drawing was random:

YUP, THAT'S A DARTMOUTH HAT. NOPE, I DIDN'T GO THERE. WOULD AN IVY LEAGUER EMPLOY SUCH LOW TECH RAFFLE METHODS? I DID DRINK THERE ONCE AND WHEN I WEAR THE HAT, I FEEL ALL NH GOOD WILL HUNTING.

Child labor ensured the process ran smoothly, efficiently, and with the utmost of integrity:

NO PEEKSIES. HE'S A PROFESSIONAL.

 

AND, WE HAVE A WINNAH!

"BECKY B! BECKY B! BECKY B IS THE GUY WHO WON THE PRIZE! WAIT, WHAT IS THE PRIZE?"

 

I told him Becky B. is a gal, and that the prize is the heater. I don’t think he much cared. He raced around the family room with the slip of paper, “Becky BEEEEEEEEEEE.” Becky, five year old will never forget ya! Congrats! Email me your deets to janet@muffintopmommy.com and your heater will be on its way soon.

As for the rest of you, I am only sorry you couldn’t ALL be winners, kind of like child athletes. But I only had ONE special heater to give. I recommend the rest of you steer clear of state lotteries, casinos, and possibly even Bingo (Those octogenarians will trample you with their HurryCane. They will.). I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but you lost in a 1 in 18 chance raffle. Hold on to your money, honey!

I decided to celebrate Becky B’s win. And simultaneously drown my sorrows about your loss. We are the world.

ALSO, I HAD TO TRY OUT MY NEW FUN WINE GLASS. I LOVE IT--IT SCREAMS, "STEP OFF BOYS, THIS IS MAMA'S GLASS!", BUT IN FRENCH... IT MADE MY CHIANTI TASTE EVEN BETTER---THE ONLY RED WINE I CAN INGEST WITHOUT WINDING UP IN FETAL POSITION. YIPPEE!

Speaking of Vegas, the Boston weatherman said today that a funky storm system that is in Vegas today is going to whirl its way to Boston/the NH Saturday night and dump 6-12 inches on us!

I KNEW "WHATEVER HAPPENS IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS!" WAS A BUNCHABULLSHITE! THANKS FOR NUTHIN' , CHUMPS!

I told you gambling was bad! *exceptfreeMuffintopmommyblograffling

In other news, my office is painted its new color. I like to call it, “jailbird grey”. I like it. I don’t looooooove it. I like it more at night. And I think I’ll like it more when the touch up is done, and all my stuff is moved back in, including my colorful DIY curtains and chair. I’m working like a turtle to get my new Muffintop DIY blog up so I won’t bore those of you who only showed up for the funny and not the scary DIY projects!

LIKE THE DROP CLOTHS HUBS USED? I'M SURE IT WON'T BE HARD TO GET PAINT OFF MY HARDWOOD FLOOR. I'M NOT SAYING A WORD BECAUSE HE PAINTED FOR ME WHILE I WAS OUT RABBLEROUSING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND BUYING CHALK PAINT AND A MADAME GLASS. PAINT. WHAT PAINT? I DON'T SEE ANY PAINT!

 

FYI, jailbird grey is Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. However, I cheated on Benny with Val. Spar. Valspar. From Lowe’s. They have a new low VOC, high def paint that I’ve heard wonderbar things about. It’s paint plus primer and Lowe’s said two coats should do it and one gallon should do the whole room. But the first can of paint was really, really thin and we (hubs) used up almost the whole gallon on one coat. So….we had to buy another gallon. Which was bizarroly thicker and seemed better. ?????? Someone on quality control must’ve been sniffing glue, the cracksmokers. It was like two different paints. All in all, not.a.fan. And, it didn’t wind up being cheaper than Benny in the long run. Take me back, Ben! Take me back!!!!

(I used to talk to real men. Back when I was single. And ready to mingle. As my friend likes to say. But now? Now I talk to paint. That’s totally normal.)

G’day, muffintoppers, I’m off to commiserate with Madame tonight over Downton Abbey being over. Love, hugs, and randomosity–peace out!

 

CALLING ALL cold MAMAS! ENTER TO WIN!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-02-2013

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. With three little kids and almost 13 years of marriage, I’m just hoping hubs will come home from work and sing something romantic to me.

“Let’s go Outback to-niiiight!” 

Curbside takeaway=porn for moms. Aim high. (I know. How greedy of me to hope for more after the promise of microwave slippers a few weeks ago. Don’t get all jealous, ladies. It’s not a good look!)

Hey, we can’t ALL live at Downton Abbey. My cook and lady maid are on extended vacay. Listen, we all have to play the hand we’re dealt! (Sometimes you get to frolic upstairs at Downton and eat with 27 silver utensils, sometimes you have to stir soup downstairs, and sometimes you’re stuck in suburgatory!) I’m not an addict. 

With arctic temps and over two feet of snow dumped on us this past weekend, it’s no shock my Valentine and I have our biggest rows over the thermostat. You’d think the muffin top would insulate but nooooo. Irish McFreezypants had to marry a hot blooded Italian who wears t-shirts inside the house in winter and fans himself with all the dramatics of a strange southern debutante with a Boston accent, “I’m sweeeeltahring!”

I’m sorry, Scahlett O’Hah-ra. Jeez. Since I’m shuffling about like a 4 foot kid from A Christmas Story, I’m not sympathetic!

So imagine my delight when I got the chance to review a Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Surround heater—just in time for the most wonderful time of the year! Along with mah gift of extra, energy efficient warmth, I received the following info which, I believe, demonstrates I am NOT the cray cray one in this house!

JUDGE AND JURY, I REST MY CASE!

MMM HMM. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have to say this is a great little ceramic heater. It’s perfect to put under my desk by my feet while I work on my next book read Peep, and in our playroom which is often chilly since it abuts the non-heated garage–and it’s lightweight enough with convenient carrying handle to tote wherever my muffin top desires! It’s super quiet so it will not disturb any important Mario Kart racing, Lord Grantham viewing, or wine slurping. It has a wonderful control panel allowing you to adjust the temperature depending on how Christmas Story-ish you’re feeling, and how energy conscious you are! (Hey super duper green peeps, tada! You can pre-program the thermostat and even see how much energy you’re using with this heater.) This heater packs a punch as it can blast heat all the way around–hence the 360– or you can just use the 180 for a more targeted effect, and has excellent safety features like an overheat protection device, so you don’t burn the joint down! Bonus! (No really. Remember when Italian boy almost burned the house down thawing a pipe last year?)

Here’s what this little beauty looks like in real life—so you can see the scale:

SEE? TOTALLY COMPACT AND UNOBTRUSIVE!

Good news, m’ ladies (and m’ cold lords), you too can have a chance to experience this gem. Honeywell has graciously offered to send a heater to one lucky, soon to be toasty roasty, muffintopmommy reader. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name, and we will have a super official drawing—probably someone under 8 years old will pick a name out of a mixing bowl. You don’t even have to subscribe to mah blog, like me on Facebook, leave a blood sample, follow me on twitter, Pinterest, or the grocery store! (But I surely love when you do— minus the grocery store stalking–I don’t need you seeing the processed snacks in my cart!) Please enter here by next Monday, February, 18th by midnight. South Floridians need not apply. (I’m kidding! I know it gets like 45 down there at 2 in the morning once a year, you lovelies!). Heaters can be shipped to U.S. addresses only.

So what are you waiting for? Even if you don’t win, microwave slippers and a fabulous portable heater? For $59.99, or roughly the price of a Lands’ End sweater, you’re totally in biz. Visit www.kaz.com for more information on this and other Honeywell heaters.

Stay warm, muffintoppers!

*Honeywell did provide me with a free heater for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. As usual. Ahem. 

SOMEONE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD USE SOME HEAT!

 

PSST….IS THAT A VINTAGE GOSSIP BENCH OR A MOMMY’S TIME OUT CHAIR?

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory! | Posted on 31-01-2013

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Have you ever heard the words?

Gossip bench.

If that alone doesn’t intrigue you just fuhget it and get off mah lawn now!

A gossip bench, or telephone table, are gems from a time gone by. Basically, it’s a chair attached to a little table. Way, WAY (and by way, way, I’m really not sure how long, lemme be honest) before cordless phones were even a thought in some MIT trained brain and people couldn’t yuk it up in every corner of the house, people had beauties just like this:

ONCE AGAIN, I NEED SOME PHOTOGRAPHY 411 BUT YOU GET THE IDEA. ISN'T SHE GRAND?

 

Look at this lovely detailing:

THAT'S THE WAY, UH HUH, UH HUH, I LIKE IT, KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND!

 

So the rotary phone went on top of the table part, and the phone book went underneath. And the gossipy hausfrau’s arse went on the seat. Amen. I really wish that table could talk. How many incredible conversations might have gone on? I believe this table might be from the 40′s, so my imagination runs wild thinking about it. A GI calling his girlfriend? A mom calling her newlywed daughter to share recipes? Two teenagers talking about what—I don’t even know what?! Two gossipy hausfraus talking about seeing so and so’s daughter at the five and dime with a too short skirt? WHO KNOWS!

All I know is I love this random piece of furniture! And hubs loved me enough to schlep it for me from some guy I found…wait for it….on Craigslist. A man who…let me just say, hubs said after picking up this piece of history, “I don’t want to speak of it again. Sanford and Sons. Without fun Sanford. Or his son.”

Okay then.

For better or worse, people. We took vows!!!

The wood on this table was actually in pretty good shape–you can’t see too well from my iphone trick photography, but it wasn’t the best stain job. All I did was unscrew the seat and slap two coats of miracle Annie Sloan chalk paint in the same Chateau Grey shade I used on my sideboard redo. It took no time at all.

SCALPEL, PLEASE. HA HA. JUST A PHILLIPS HEAD. I FIGURED IT OUT---THIS ISN'T BRAIN SURGERY, KIDS!

 

I bought some fun, sturdy (yet elegant!), upholstery grade fabric at Hobby (I love you!) Lobby, cut a square, and stapled it. I have skillz. (Not really. Noooo.)

WE MEET AGAIN, RUDOLPH SCISSORS!

THIS PART IS ROUGH. PAY ATTENTION. YOU FLIP THE CUSHION OVER, PUT IT OVER THE CHAIR FRAME, AND SCREW IT BACK IN. NEXT WEEK I''M TOTALLY APPLYING TO GRAD SKOOL AT HARVARD.

Before I put the cushion on permanently, I did wax and buff it so it would have a softer, less…well, chalky finish. I did distress it lightly as well.

So here are some pics of the almost finished product:

THIS WAS PRE-WAX AND DISTRESS.

 

I PUFFY HEART THIS FABRIC.

 

And…..now my gossip bench is ready for some 21st century action. I have actually renamed it the Chatty Kathy bench or Mommy’s Time Out chair. I love my kids, you love your kids, all of us who have kids LOVE OUR KIDS. But sometimes, they are ginormous PITAS! (Pains in the asses. You’re welcome.) At which point, we need an escape. Well, the French New Hampshire riviera is not always possible. I give you, Mommy’s Time Out Chair:

PEEP, A KINDLE, SOME VINO. YES, I DO BELIEVE THIS IS THE RECIPE FOR SOME MODERN DAY GOSSIP. I FEEL PROUD TO UPHOLD ITS HERITAGE IN A MODERN WAY!

YES, PLEASE.

 

ONE MORE SHOT. BECAUSE YOU KNOW I DIDN'T GET TO REALLY SIT FOR THAT LONG!

 

The funny thing is, with all of my recent Craiglisting, and seeing what these go for redone (and even not redone) on Etsy, Ebay, and Craigslist, I planned to sell the Chatty Kathy. But hubs —who wouldda thunk?? Has taken a shine to it and asked me not to sell it. What!? I know.

However, if you are reading this and you have a pocket full of cash burning a hole in your pocket, I will totally cut it free behind hub’s back  (For better or worse, people!) for the right price. Because the French Riviera Disneyworld is calling my name!

 

 

 

NO SEW UPHOLSTERY? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 24-01-2013

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Oh yes, yes I did. I’m talking no sew upholstery today. First, a friendly muffin top warning because I love you long time.

Do not read this post if you:

A. Are type A

B. Can sew

C. Are a perfectionist

D. Have reupholstered a chair the correct way or ohgodno are a real upholsterer person!

E. If you are all of the above, run, run for your life! AND DON’T LOOK BACK, WHATEVER YOU DO!

If you don’t heed my warning, I am not responsible for any injury that may occur, both physical or mental. I am not responsible if you throw up or break glass from your shrieking. My methods are not recommended for all, but only meant as a rough how to if  you would like to potentially upholster a chair in all the wrong wrongity wrong ways! Believe me when I say I searched hi and low for a slacker’s guide to upholstery and found NOTHING. Nothing!!!

So! Now that we have our muffintop surgeon general warning out of the way, the rest of you lovely readers type B slacking em-effers in da housee! who are still with me and wanna know how you can DIY upholster a Frenchy chair in 52 easy, totally wrong, and barbaric steps, buckle up!

You will need: a cheap chair to practice on (Don’t start with granny’s antique!), pliers, scissors, fabric, a staple gun, a glue gun, fabric, adult beverages, a spirited vocabulary, and Band-Aids.

So! New Year’s Day, I decided to grab this fabulously sh*&%y French Country armchair with ottoman (bonus!) I spied on Craigslist. Though it had great bones (Ethan Allen—excuuuse me) it was a grubtastic dog! The owners were very proud of its former glory, but hel-lo.

You can’t even tell how gross it is—YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.

WAIT!

PLEASE IGNORE THE POST XMAS PLAYROOM SQUALOR. AND THE CUTE PHOTO BOMB!

Obviously, I did not think these “Before” pics through! You really can’t tell how grungy the ottoman was amidst the playroom squalor!

So, first, after I got home with hubs having not been stabbed with a pitchfork (We’re 3 for 3 on living through Craiglist purchases—not to get all braggy!), I vacuumed underneath the chair (don’t even bother to ask!) and washed all the wood with Murphy Oil soap. Then decided it needed a fresh coat of paint.

DUDE, THIS WAS AFTER WASHING. SEE WHAT I MEAN? BLEACH YOUR EYES! BLEACH YOUR EYES!

 

Hence, the paint. And the beer. To wash away the memories.

THE BEER HELPED FREE MY INNER PICASSO.

 

I’d planned to get the chair reupholstered, but after I got home (file under I can’t make this shizz up), my dishwasher went kaput.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MEEEEEEEEEE!

LET’S REVIEW. Now I have:

1. a hangover

2. a grubby chair

3. and I’m getting jiggy with mah old pal from my apahtment days, Dawn, “It softens hands while you do dishes!” (Bullshit! That’s to make poor souls who have to wash dishes by hand feel better! To me, “NOT DISHWASHER SAFE” is just a dare. You take my dishwasher? You take my SOOOOULLLL! ) And  hey, nothing against you Dawn, but you ain’t my style! (Which is Lazy. Capital L. Party of one.)

Despite my obvious appliance emergency, and because I loooove to laugh out loud…I dared to dream.  The scene in mah head: Muffintop skipping through a meadow full of flowers….LOLOLOLing all the way until she plunks down in her pillowy soft, clean, newly upholstered in chic fabric, French Country chair whilst cradling an adult beverage and smut magazine….ahh. Then came the reality: I decided to get some upholstery quotes even though I needed to make a date with an appliance man. The upholstery quotes ranged from $275 plus fabric to $275 for just the OTTOMAN plus fabric PLUS $675 plus fabric for the chair.

L NO L to that fuzzy math!

Btw, $275 is a good deal as it turns out, but at this point, I figured this thing is going in the corner of my office (and by office I mean, the room I call an office but is really the place more accurately known as school paper graveyard/where I grab envelopes to send in lunch money/field trip money/conduct other super serious hausfrau banking/order shoes online). (Call me, Donald. I will totally hawk crap in Times Square on Apprentice! I have glue gun cred, Donald.)

I looked at the chair and thought, “I can do an ok job on this chair, stuff myself in the corner on it with my beer and Kindle, and that is good enough for meeeeee!”  Scratch the frolicking in a meadow. But seriously, if you can sew, you could for real do a kick ass job on a chair like this. Since the cushions aren’t attached like a regular arm chair, this is a good type of chair to start with! (And possibly, ahem, end with.)

I trolled online for fabric (the upholsterers said fabric would be $10 to $40 per yard and I’d need 7 yards). I found  Waverly Solar Flair Fruit Punch fabric for $8.50 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabric (coupon code–halala!). Suck it, upholsterers. I’ve not seen it for less than $16 a yard elsewhere online.

IT IS RAINING SUNSHINE UP IN HERE!

 

BOOM!

It’s not for everyone and I think speaks to a caged in muffin top’s psyche on a 5 degree January day. Ahem. I also thought maybe the pattern might hide mistakes?

So, I started with the ottoman, figuring that would be easier than the chair.

First I had to pull off the double welting trim–double welting trim is what covers up upholstery staples. If you’re fancy and you can sew (why are you still reading this?!) you can make new trim, but I can’t sew, as we know, so I had a plan (more later!).  I swear that trim was glued on and stapled to that chair better than my house is put together.  They must have upholstery ninjas at Ethan Allen. What. the. frack. I envision a mean man with a fireplace poker prodding hunched over, underpaid workers sneering, “More glue! More staples! If anyone should find a Craigslist bargain on one of our chairs, they shall never, never, never be able to pull it apart and must live with the original fabric forevaaaaaah!” in a meany, old school, 18th century, I own the whole world and several colonies, British accent. (I’m not talking about you Fergie. Or you Prince William. Let’s party sometime!) But that’s just me. I’m sure the good folks at Ethan Allen are just like you and me! (Nooooo.)

I needed pliers to start prying off the cemented on welting, and had to put some muffin top into it. Ultimately, the chair was no match for my laser beam focus. Actually, I bent my hub’s pliers I had to pull so hard and almost took my eye out. (Safety first! Meep. I recommend goggles! Can you see it? “Good news! I saved $275 upholstering this chair! Bad news, I’m blind in one eye!” Dum de dum dum dum….)

PULLING OFF THE DOUBLE CORDING TRIM. IT WOULD BE EASIER TO SKIN A CAT. NOT THAT I WOULD WANT TO SKIN A CAT. BUT IF I DID WANNA? I JUST KNOW I COULD!!!

The next step should be to pry off all the upholstery staples and then the fabric. But this is lazy ass, muffin top DIY, so after it took me like twenty minutes and one finger cut to pull out three staples, I said, “Schluck this!” , took a swig of my beer, and ripped the fabric off sans staples and decided I’d just staple the new fabric OVER the old staples. Sing with me Montell Jordan, “This is how we do it!”

FABRIC OFF. STAPLES STILL IN! YOU WIN, ETHAN ALLEN, YOU WIN. SMUG BASTARD.

 

Next I saved the ottoman fabric that was remarkably intact –despite my bastardization of the pulling off process–to make a template. I traced the old fabric onto the back of the new fabric, cut it, and stapled it.

YES, I DID. I CUT THAT FABRIC WITH MY RUDOLPH CHRISTMAS WRAP SCISSORS.

THESE ARE THE PROFESSIONAL GRADE TYPE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED…..

It looked like this:

I’M AN OBVIOUS PERFECTIONIST.

 

YOU DO THE CORNERS LAST. YOU PULL AS TIGHT AS YOU CAN AND FOLD AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND THEN….

GIMP! A NO SEW PERSON’S BEST FRIEND! I GOT LIKE 800 YARDS FOR $12. OK, LIKE 15 YARDS. BUT STILL. I JUST HOT GLUED IT ON TO COVER THE STAPLES INSTEAD OF FANCAAAAY DOUBLE PIPING.

BUT WHAT, THERE’S MORE?

NOT BAD FOR A TYPE B, L NO L’ING, MUFFINTOPPER!

 

This was my best work, peeps. It got harder from here.

THE PROPER THING TO DO WOULD BE TO SEW A ZIPPERED COVER, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT WASN’T GONNA HAPPEN. SO I DECIDED TO WRAP THE FABRIC UNDERNEATH.

 

Like so….

HELLO HOT GLUE, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? ALSO, I CAN NEVER FLIP THE OTTOMAN CUSHION, BUT, ETHAN ALLEN DIDN’T EITHER—THERE WAS VELCRO ON THE BOTTOM OF THEIR CUSHION SO EH, WHAT’S THE DIFF?!

 

And the finished ottoman:

LIVING UP TO MY TYPE B EXPECTATIONS–FABRIC IS NOT CENTERED, NATCH!

 

PART B, THE CHAIR. Dudes, this is getting long and I’m thirsty and want to schlump into mah chair, so I’m gong to illustrate most of the rest through pics.

The decking turned out to be the easiest part. I couldn’t rip the whole fabric bottom off because it was sewed on. No WAY was I was gonna mess with that Ethan Allen scary ass shizz!

I USED MY SCRAP MATERIAL FOR THIS PART. SCORE!

 

CAN I GET AN AAAA-MEN FOR STAPLING OVER STAPLES, PART DOS?! VIVA LA MEDIOCRITY!

 

THE FABRIC WAS SURPRISINGLY EASY TO SLIP BEHIND THE ARM OF THE CHAIR. I WENT BACK AND STARTED THE SEAM NEXT TO THE ARM SO THE GIMP WOULD COVER IT.

 

VOILA! AND HEY, WHAT’S A FEW THIRD DEGREE HOT GLUE BURNS! I AM MUFFINTOP. HEAR ME ROAR!

 

The arms weren’t bad at all!

I RIPPED THE FABRIC OFF THE ARM IN THE SAME PRECISE FASHION AS THE DECKING. AHEM. AND THEN USED IT AS A TEMPLATE.

STAPLE, STAPLES EVERYWHERE! SNIP SNIP WITH MY RUDOLPH SCISSORS TO GET RID OF HANGING THREADS!

 

OH GIMP! WE MEET AGAIN. YOU MAKE MEDIOCRITY MAHVELOUS, DAHLING!!!

And without further ado, meet my *new*, clean, BRIGHT and SHINY, if monstrously perfectly imperfect, fun French country armchair and ottoman!

DONE! THIS IS WHERE THE MUFFINTOP SHALL RESIDE WHEN SHE WANTS TO!

Is the chair perfect? Hell no! Far from it. The cushions don’t have double welting (piping) trim, can never be flipped, and the fabric is not as “tight” as I would have liked. The cushions are squishy so trying to pull the fabric tight underneath, to then (Gasp!) glue the fabric like I did the ottoman–which was firmer—was much more difficult. But hey, for only a coat of paint, some elbow grease, an inexpensive chair with only $60 worth of fabric, I have this fun-can-never-be-moved-from-the-corner-chair! Oh and bonus—I had enough fabric left over to upholster my desk chair (aka a Queen Anne style dining chair) and make two no sew curtains (deets to follow).

From shizz to shine, all on a dime! I gots to save my money for new shoes and wine!

Salud, Muffintoppers! I swear my wine tastes better in my fun chair!

Oh, and p.s. Yes, that is Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity on the table next to the chair. Now available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and other fine retailiers! (What? I have a new DIY habit to support! Forgive the shameless plug!)

 

 

MUFFIN TOP DIY….

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 03-01-2013

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Wow, so the title didn’t scare you away, huh?

I love you guys! Happy New Year to all you crazy muffintoppers. I hope 2013 brings you much peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Speaking of prosperity, or a lack of it, ahem, I have some fun stuff to share with you. During the holiday season, I got my DIY on.

 

Shizz to shine….all on a dime. 

I gots to save mah money…..for new shoes and wine. 

Or somethin’ like that. I also like feeding and clothing my kids. They are so demanding like that!

Quick backstory. When I got married and was all off with my bad self with a double income and no kids, I bought a traditional, pricey cherry dining room set. Which, I have grown to dislike over the past almost 13 years. Practically hate. I know it’s great quality furniture with dovetailed drawers and blabbity blah, but it’s not really my style anymore which is a gut punch because the planner in me thought I’d always like it because it would never go out of style. BURN! When I look at it now all I see is big and brown and… bor-ing. But at the same time, I feel kinda married to it because it cost a lot of money and because the practical part of me knows I can’t sell it for near what I paid for it. So, I decided if I can’t beat it, I’d join it. Or somethin’ like that……..I’mma show you some pics of my DIY but please forgive my craptastic iphone and pocket camera pics….I’m a writer not a photographer (definitely chose the wrong gig!).

I'D SHOW YOU THE TABLE BUT SHE'S CURRENTLY INDISPOSED.....WITH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ON TOP OF HER!

So the big Bertha china cabinet inspired this whole DIY kick. Enter Craigslist. I’ve been on enough blogs lately to know if you have an eye, you can score some nice pieces on the cheap and get your magic on. “Pfft! I can do that! I think?” , I huffed inside my head as I perused all the afters on blogs and Pinterest. So I decided I’d look for a sideboard to break up all the brown in the room and paint it a fun color. I also wanted a place to throw some lamps for extra lighting and a place to display some pics and other fun shenanigans.

I sniffed around and then boom, scored a cherry, dovetail, old school, sturdy as my muffin top, sideboard on Craiglist! FOR $25!!!!

TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH?

TWENNY FIVE US DOLLAHS! HO HO HOLLA!!!!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEE!!!!

ONE DAY IN CASA DE LA MUFFIN TOP GARAGE AND ALREADY, CLUNKITY JUNK ALL OVER IT. CAN YOU SEE THE SCRATCHES ON IT? SHE WAS A BANGED UP DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH....

You can see some damage here:

LITTLE SCRATCHY......

AND….

SCRATCHTABULOUS. AND NAKED--NO KNOB!

The top was a tiny bit sketchy:

A LITTLE SKETCHAROO BUT TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH!!!

Did I mention I politely asked made hubs drive an hour and fifteen minutes to east bumbleberg randomville (It’s not every day you get to drive by a nudist park! You’re welcome!) to meet a stranger at a barn to pick this up because I was skeered that this was too good to be true and that someone would stab me with a pitchfork and stuff me in a hayloft instead of selling me this thing of beauty for TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH! (Maybe I should write fiction!) The woman was a doll, turns out. WHOOPS!!! I mean, phew, because that really would have stunk if hubs was stabbed with a pitchfork and stuffed in a hayloft all because of Big Bertha! (I don’t even know what a hayloft is but I’m assuming it’s a loft with hay and a good place to hide a dead Craigslist shopper.)

After hubs got home, he was kind enough to A. wash the sideboard with Murphy Oil Soap because, hi, the kind lady bought it auction and who knows where it was and who had it and what they had in it and……eww and B. he took off all the hardware for me  and then he picked me up some special, magical paint called Annie Sloan chalk paint. (Not to be confused with chalkboard paint.)

Let me tell you something right now. I read about it online and wasn’t sure what to think. The fact that it’s $40 a quart (as in $15 bones more than the piece!) and the nearest place to get it is a cutesy boutique 45 minutes from my house did not help sway me! BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They said you could paint something without priming and without sanding. I liked the sound of THAT. They said it adheres to anything. Often with only one coat, but that you should probably wax it afterward because otherwise it would be a very flat, almost chalky texture. It’s known to make distressing easy, if you’re into that. And, they said, one quart goes a long way.

I had to try it—I thought if this beast could become a beauty with this paint, it was worth the price of admission.

So here’s my piece (minus drawers) after two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Chateau Grey—I’d applied them both the night before. I personally thought it was too streaky with only one coat but it covered crazy, crazy well considering the condition and color of the piece and no sanding or priming. I’m a belieber now. Seriously. And after two coats, I still had over a half a can left!

I did distress it lightly with some 140 grit sandpaper–first time ever. It was pretty easy!

I LOVE THIS LITTLE DETAIL AND THOUGHT THE DISTRESSING WOULD HIGHLIGHT IT.

Now here is where things got a little ugly: waxing. It was twenty degrees the morning I hauled this out on the deck to wax it. The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint peeps recommend you buy their wax but I was a. skeptical and b. really skeptical and c. trying to stick to my DIY cheap theme and so I thought, “HA HA! I don’t need no fancy Annie Sloan wax for….twenny five dollah! I can get a sideboard for twenty five dollah! I will buy Minwax at Lowe’s for TEN dollah and save $15 dollah! for beer/shoes/Cheerios.”

Par-tayyy!

Except it wasn’t. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was TWENTY freaking degrees. (Dumbarse couldn’t have gone all DIY in August? I had to start this shizz in December?). The wax was hard, crumbly, not pliable. I thought I’d just “Wax on, wax off!” ala Mr. Miyagi. Apparently, I ain’t no Karate Kid. I knew it had been going too smoothy–and the kicker? It started to SNOW and I could not haul this thing in my house because the wax is SOO STANKY and would have for sure given 7 year old some kind of asthma attack. As an added bonus, I had major bed head, was clad in polka dot pajama pants, and we finally got new next door neighbors and they were moving in just as I was fighting with a yellow wax can, sputtering and yelling at a green sideboard on my deck, which happens to face their house.

“Welcome to the neighborhood!”

I haven’t seen them since.

Anyway, lesson learned on the wax. I threw a hat and legit pants on, screeched to Lowe’s and bought the cheapest buffer they had for $30 bones and went over the piece and it was like silk. But next time I have a rough piece like this, I won’t hesitate to spring for the fancypancy wax.

Anyway, enough of all this! I wanted to take you through the process in case you are on a budget and want something pretty and shiny!

Here she is now:

HERE SHE IS!!! AIN'T SHE GRAND?!!!!!

 

OH! Here’s a close up of the new bling knobs I got at Hobby Lobby (Hob to the Lob–where have you been all my life?!!)

THEY WERE SERIOUSLY LIKE $3 EACH. OMG!

 

And check this out:

AFTER I SCHLEPPED THEM HOME, I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH THE SHAPE MIMICKED THE SHAPE OF MY FAVE ASPECT OF THE PIECE! I HAVE NO IDEA IF THAT WAS SUBCONSCIOUS OR A HAPPY ACCIDENT!

 

I think my new beauty will have a long and happy life here.

OOOH, MOOD LIGHTING! THANKS TO THE TARJAY LAMPS I SNATCHED OFF MY DRESSER!

Sorry for the long post, Muffintoppers! I know some of you might not be into DIYing and want to just stick to the funny biz, so I’m thinking of starting a little fun DIY blog on the side. I figure if I can do it, ANYONE can. I have some other projects up my sleeve. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Should I go for it?

Update:

Wait! A reader told me I forgot to tally what I spent on the whole shebang;

sideboard: $25

gas to get sideboard: I dunno. I stink at keeping track of stuff like that.

hubs not getting stabbed in a hayloft: Free. That makes the trip to get sideboard, and finding out where the nudist park is, a free joyride.

paint: $40

wax: $10 (but I can use it again–when hell freezes over or my new neighbors work up the courage to speak to me!)

buffer machine thingy: $30 (But I can use it again! To get hubs ready for the nudist park! Too much? I’m kidding, people!)

Hobby Lobby bling knobs: $6

So let’s see….25 plus free plus 40 plus 10 plus 30 plus 6 carry the 1 = $111? Yup. $111. Dude, you can’t get furniture at Tarjay for that! I’ll take it!