Getting Your Porch Ready for Fall

Pumpkin spice. Hocus Pocus. Sweater Weather. These are a few of my favorite things. As basic as can be right here. 🙋‍♀️

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t LOVE fall. We all hate winter but fall – as fleeting as it is – is many peoples favorite season including mine. I’ve thought about why its my favorite and here is what I’ve came up with…

  1. Holidays are on the way. Once September hits you know its only matter of time till halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas come. Which means more time off work for many and much needed time with family. (Or much dreaded depending on who you are 😉 )
  2. Typical ‘perfect’ weather season. Which means I’m much less likely to stay inside during this time of year because bike trails, hiking and all the fun outdoor festivals and maker and flea markets. Because who doesn’t love something handmade and unique?!
  3. The Circleville Pumpkin show. Enough said. I love it and no one can ever take it away from me!!! I’ll be honest I’ve considered moving there just because of the 1 week a year the pumpkin show is happening. I think the main reason I love it is because my family always went when I was growing up and I have fond nostalgic memories about it. Plus the food, duh.
  4. Changing things up in my house during the fall. I don’t know why but fall always gives me motivation to do home projects and spruce things up with new accessories and cute fall details. This year has been a journey towards minimalism in my house (which will be another post for another day) so I will be doing less than what I’ve typically done in the past. One area I was most excited to spruce up for fall was my front porch.

My summer front porch was looking pretty tired. The summer plants that looked amazing at the beginning of spring/ summer were looking fried and crispy. And the red color on my front door that I painted when we moved in bums me out now.

So, I picked a new door color (with lots of friends voting on my Instagram stories- ya’ll had some serious opinions about my front door 😂) and I ended up choosing a millennial pink color. I love the change. (Behr pink elephant). My other options were a Golden yellow and black. I still think my door may end up being changed to the yellow color eventually but that’s the great thing about a front door refresh, it’s super quick and easy to change up.

I picked out some pretty pumpkins and mums for the porch!

We also made a new modern address plaque out of shims from Home Depot. It’s not quite attached to the house yet but it’s one of those Pinterest projects I’ve had on my ‘to do’ list forever and I just love it.

I still want to get a new fall wreath and probably add some string lights in there that can transition into winter. It’s kind of amazing how much more inviting a quick update to a front door can add to your homes curb appeal. Here is some amazing fall porch inspiration from @kindredvintage on instagram. Happy fall ya’ll!

Open Shelving DIY: Kitchen facelift part 1

The kickoff to our kitchen Reno… err I mean ‘facelift’ as I sold it to my husband 😉 … was tearing out dated cabinets, repositioning a couple cabinets and adding open shelving.

The kitchen is still a work in progress and will be for awhile yet- so this post is all about our open shelving DIY on a budget. Budget is key here. Brackets and ready made shelving add up quick – and it was very hard for me to find exactly the size and style I wanted.

One thing that limited the bracket style we could choose was our electrical outlets. I needed the style that only went up behind the shelves because otherwise we would loose too much wall space.

I started out looking online. Amazon, Etsy, world market, etc. Many of these stores appeared to have some type of shelf and bracket options but nothing that made financial sense for as many brackets as we would need. We estimated needing 17 brackets for all 7 total shelves we planned to add to our space.

So we took a trip to our local Home Depot to see what we could find that was readily available within a small budget. The short answer – there really wasn’t anything ready made at the store for our kitchen plans. But with a little imagination we were able to turn some regular hardware type brackets into exactly what we were searching for with just a couple coats of spray paint. BOOM black brackets done. Then it was on to the wood.

We had previously worked with common board for several home projects like an art ledge, our fireplace mantel and our small bathroom shelves – so we knew we liked the look and durability of this wood…but initially we were unsure we wanted to use the least expensive option for our kitchen.

But it was Labor Day weekend and unfortunately the wood selection at Home Depot had been pretty picked over…except for the common board. So we pulled just about every wood board off the shelf and hand selected the ones that spoke to us the most and were also the straightest. For me- that meant the more knots and imperfections – the better.

So a great thing about going to Home Depot is they will make straight cuts in your wood for you if you ask! This means you don’t have to own any kind of fancy saws or know how to use these tools to complete a DIY. This was something I didn’t know about a few years ago so I thought it might be valuable info to some of you. I knew my measurements and the super helpful guy working in the wood section that day fixed us up in 5 minutes.

After that we went to the stain and paint section and tried to choose how we would seal the wood. I picked out a stain sample and also a new product to me- Tung Oil. When I tried both at home on scrap wood I knew right away that the tung oil would give the look I wanted. Tung oil is simple to use and it basically just brings out the details and provides a light gloss to the surface. The can says that it will not darken over time which was a biggie for me since I knew from experience that polyurethane would yellow over time.

After waiting very impatiently for everything to dry Bill was able to start hanging brackets and we put up our new shelves. I’m pretty much in love with them. acs_0249acs_0248acs_0250

As I said earlier the kitchen as a whole is still a work in progress. A coffee bar area is going to be another big project in this space along with a faux tile backsplash, painting cabinets and changing out the hardware. I will be blogging the process and when its all done we will have some fun looking at before and afters – because who doesn’t love a good before and after am I right?!

 

Disney Trip!

Well we’re back from a super fun trip to Walt Disney World. Anyone else come back from vacation and think – I can’t believe it’s over!!!? That’s where I am today. I’m doing vacation laundry and tidying up the house getting ready for a full week back to work. 😩Bill is mowing our very long grass. Reality has set in.

But I wanted to be sure to write about our trip while everything was still fresh in my brain so I can share some of the highlights- in case your planning a Disney trip soon. Spoiler alert: you should totally plan a Disney trip soon!!! 🙂

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We stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and my favorite part was the nice shower/ bathroom. Bill’s favorite was the very large flat screen. The resort had undergone some renovations very recently so everything felt very fresh and well thought out.

Our first full day at Disney was spent at our hotel pool and then the afternoon at Disney Springs. (The last time I was there it was just called ‘downtown Disney’- I was amazed at how huge this place has gotten!) We started by doing a coca-cola flight and tasting coke products from around the world. This was super fun and they were all pretty good (except ‘Beverly’ which was the clear soda from Italy.) We made our way to Sprinkles and tried the captain crunch ice cream which I would highly recommend. We did some shopping and then ended the night at the Dinosaur restaurant.

The next 2 days we spent at Magic Kingdom doing all the rides for the first time. Tomorrowland is my favorite – we rode space mountain several times on the trip. The carousel of progress is also a favorite of mine that I remembered from when I went as a kid. Haunted mansion, splash mountain and pirates of the Caribbean were also standouts.

The park was all decked out for fall and Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party which was a major highlight for the trip. We got a ton of compliments from cast members and strangers on our group costume- inside out. It was so fun to see all the other costumes people wore to the party. And the hocus pocus show was probably my most favorite- because duh, HOCUS POCUS. Bill’s fave was riding space mountain and pirates of the Caribbean with the special Halloween changes they made. If you ever get to go to Disney while they’re doing the halloween party- you def should do it.

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Epcot day was especially hot out- but we still had a lot of fun riding rides like Soarin’ and making our way around the worlds showcase for the food & wine fest. I did a bad job taking pictures of the snacks we got there but honestly everything we had was pretty great.

 

Hollywood studios came next with us starting with a great breakfast and rides in the new Toy Story land. My 6 year old niece rode the tower of terror two times in a row and declared it was her favorite. My favorite meal of the day was at the sci-fi drive in diner. The burger I had was excellent and the dessert – the home made candy bar was to die. No joke – it makes my mouth water just writing about it. One-hundred percent if you go to Disney go to Sci-fi it was one of my favorite things we did.

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Animal Kingdom was something we weren’t sure we wanted to do or even had time for when we planned our trip but we ended up being really glad we did. Pandora- the new avatar area was super cool and the flight of passage ride was easily Bill’s favorite. We went there first because we knew this area would have some of the longest waits and we were not able to get any fast passes, but we ended up only waiting about an hour for each avatar ride. Expedition Everest and the Dinosaur ride were also really fun. (And a little scary 😉

We went to dinner at the Grand Floridian – 1900 park fare and the food was great. Cinderella, Prince Charming, the evil stepmother and step sisters took turns stopping by tables and taking photos. We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on this trip and my sister-in-law who planned our whole trip surprised us with a mickey anniversary cake. It was a really great night and way to celebrate 9 years being married.

The last day the highlight for me was definitely lunch at Be Our Guest where we sat in the ballroom which literally is a replica of the beasts castle. The west wing is also there with the rose 🥀. I was totally geeked because I LOVE beauty and the beast. And for the record- ‘the gray stuff’ WAS delicious.

We really had an amazing time on our Disney trip with our family and we definitely want to go back in a few years after Star Wars is done. I’m so glad we got to go with our nieces while they’re still young and excited that we went.

To Paint Brick or Not to Paint Brick- That is the Question

Few things are as polarizing in decorating and home selling as painted brick. Just ask my Dad who answered with a resounding ‘NO’ the first time I threw out my idea of painting our brick fireplace. My husband Bill was basically on the same page as Dad the first couple times he heard me say it too.

But I kept mentioning it, reading blogs about how to do it, and pinning painted fireplaces on Pinterest. Eventually…and I mean after years of feeling mediocre about our main living area – I found a simple tutorial and I bought my supplies:

  • wire brush- to brush loose debris from your brick
  • sponge- for cleaner
  • TSP: cleaner/ de-greaser- to clean brick prior to primer
  • painters tape
  • brushes and rollers
  • primer: kilz – did about 2 coats with this
  • paint: Behr masonry stucco & brick paint in white – took about 4 – 5 coats in some areas…I wanted the pure white look

It was really hard to decide to actually paint my brick but afterwards everyone – including my most skeptical critics – were impressed and agreed that I had added a ton of value to our home just with some time, paint and serious elbow grease. Now I look at my fireplace and absolutely love it – It is so very me. And the best part about it – my husband is now way more on board with even bigger ideas I have for our home. 😉 Win- Win.

The evolution of our fireplace:

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One of the reasons I think it is difficult to commit to a project like painting your fireplace is the thought in the back of your mind of…will this hurt me when I try to sell my home? I believe the short answer for Some buyers might be yes. But for most modern buyers painted brick can be an asset if done in a tasteful and simple way.

I’m not saying you should paint your fireplace neon orange. GOOD LORD please do NOT do that! I also am not saying ALL brick should be painted. Lets say you have a 100 yr old house – if it has pretty fixer-upper type brick- then leave it alone. But I have seen painted fireplaces that greatly improved a space when done in white, black, gray and even *gasp* teal. If you enjoy a more farmhouse look – white washing may be your cup of tea. Pinterest has a ton of inspiration on this subject.

What I like to do  before starting any project is start a board where I just pin what I like. I don’t think too hard about it- just pin. Then I scroll that board and see what sticks out as similar in each picture before I make any decisions. After doing this process I was able to make my white and black paint color decision more easily.

Here is some great painted fireplace Pinterest inspiration:

Ultimately – I believe you should make decorating decisions that make you happy and content with your home while you live in it. Paint is temporary and you can easily change the colors should you ever decide to sell and want to appeal to more buyers.

So, where did “hello Jolley” come from?

I have always liked the word “Hello”. There’s just something about when you write it. It looks happy, welcoming and cheerful. Jolley is my last name – a fact that makes people smile (or joke…especially around Christmas time) when they hear it.

So a few years ago when I was really into flea markets, thrifting and repurposing furniture I decided to open a little booth in an antique shop in my town. I debated for weeks about what to call my shop and “hello Jolley” is what I landed on. It just made me happy. I kept that booth in the basement of Country Hearth Primitives for 2 years and loved every second of it but ultimately decided that although I really enjoyed it – I did not have the kind of time or energy needed to keep up with the demand of that business.

I learned a lot from that little booth and I am thankful for the people it caused me to meet and the contacts I made. The booth may not be in that store any more but the name stuck. I kept using “hello Jolley” on my instagram and it only seemed natural to keep using it to start this blog. And just for fun…here are some pictures of some of my favorite pieces I did while running that little vintage booth in Grove City, Ohio.