holiday home tour {dining room}

i usually have all of our christmas decorating finished before thanksgiving so that i can just sit back and enjoy it all as long as i can. if it were up to me, i would have everything up on november 1st... i do sort of get burnt out on having things out of its place. christmas decorations might come down right after thanksgiving if i did put them up that early!

i start and finish each room. one at a time. every year our home looks completely different... just like every other day in our house, nothing is safe.  i sit and rummage through the bins and boxes, stopping often to admire tiny little christmas memories that we have made. the first room usually done, mainly because the boys tend to leave this room alone except when riding the tricycle around the table  or the daily game of tag, is the dining room.

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i tied these cute glittered name tags on the backs of each chair. 's' is for santa, r for rudolph, d for dasher, b for blitzen. i actually bought one for each family member a couple of years ago when i thought i wanted to do a stocking for everyone. i didn't end up doing that, so now they serve as place cards.

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the black ticking stripe runner came from a local wholesale florist place. i'm really into black and white right now. i couldn't fathom only using it for halloween. i'm pretty sure it will become an everyday runner.

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the gold swirly tree was from stein mart. the large glass urn is from outrageous interiors. the snowflake and candle holder are from target.

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this is the only time a year when our china, that i had to register for when we were getting married, gets used. i pair them with 'fa-la-la-la' plates from kohl's.

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we are always having company over. from family and friends to pop in neighbors. the table turned bar cart is the perfect set up for an impromptu cup of cheer. target has a really cute one out right now. i've been eyeing that baby for a couple of months. this table from pier one serves the purpose.

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i like to have some sort of baked goods on the buffet piece everyday during the holidays. it's great for the kids and visitors... not so much for  this baby weight that needs to be leaving.

well, that's our dining room. hope you enjoyed the tour! when you decorate, do you do room by room, too?

-Nicole

meet our baby girl & let’s get ready for thanksgiving

oh. my. goodness! i can't believe it has been so long! lots of things have happened since i last posted... my oldest started kindergarten, my second one FINALLY got potty trained and i had this sweet baby girl. i'd love for you to meet our beautiful and  lovely

heidi caroline

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she is now 5 months old and i finally feel like i may be coming out of the crazy newborn/son starting real school/having a half-awesome half-terrible 2 year old thing. i have been thinking about and waiting for this day where i would find time to sit, write and catch-up.

you're going to think i'm crazy... i know i am, but do you ever talk in your head as if you're writing a blog post? i've been thinking for at least 2 months about writing to catch up and introduce our sweet girl, but i just never could find the time. i thought about it All The Time... driving to preschool- i'm thinking of what to write, cleaning the house - could i write about this?, cooking dinner- is this recipe post worthy? latest heidi outfit- that's totally worth sharing!  see, i am crazy! well, last night while i was folding laundry, i caught myself and decided that instead of talking to no one... i would actually sit down and write! so friends, here i am. again!

let's catch up- in case you're wondering whats been going on with my business...i've put a hold on my chairs and my design work. i hope to slowly get back into those things, sooner than later! i'm enjoying things that don't require me to be away from my family or keep me up all hours of the night. if you know me personally, you know that i can't sit still for very long. so, i have something fun to share after thanksgiving 🙂

speaking of thanksgiving. i am so thankful that our family is all within an hour drive. our neighbors left to go out of the country with their 3 small (under 4) kids f   or the week. as thursday approaches, i may be daydreaming of warm sandy beaches with just the 5 of us myself. however, i sure would miss grandmas layer cake, which is only debuted twice a year. i'm not even sure if it's good, seems like the folks that have married into the family sort of pass by the famous layer cake at dessert time, it may just be that we've had it since birth and we're  just born {or made} to like it. nevertheless, i'm looking forward to it!

at my very old age {early thirties}, i already have my set side dishes that are required for my entry at thanksgiving... well any family holiday celebration.

1} sweet potato casserole- it's so good that you'll want to slap yo grandmama. my mom entered it in her work thanksgiving feast competition. it took first place for sides, in a company that has over 200 employees. sure did. oh yea, it's that good. of course i don't want to deprive you of the ultimate sweet potato casserole, so i will share!

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2} creamed corn. my dad makes fun of this dish. it's whole kernels, which he says isn't creamed corn... it's not the texture of the corn that gives this recipe its name, it's the delicious heavy cream and parmesan cheese. it's lip smacking good.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

2 cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup margarine, softened

Marshmallows

Directions:

Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil, pierce with fork and place on a baking sheet { i usually buy 4-5 good sized potatoes}. Bake sweet potatoes in oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients {except the topping} and pour into a casserole dish. Make the topping by mixing ingredients together and crumble topping over mixture. Cook for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30-35 minutes, add marshmallows on top and cook until browned.

this is a great recipe to make ahead of time and refrigerate.

now for the Creamed Corn

2 {10 ounce} packages of frozen corn

1 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp. salt

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

in a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. whisk together the milk and flour and stir into the corn mixture. cook stirring over medium heat until mixture is thickened and corn is cooked through. Remove from hear and stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. serve hot.

go enjoy your family and tryptophan induced naps 🙂 happy thanksgiving!

nicole

Cherokee Life Magazine Feature

i'm super excited to be the cover story for the Cherokee Life Magazine for March & April.

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i am currently taking pictures of my inventory that i have in stock and will be adding those pieces to my  'shop' page within the next few days. i've been getting lots of emails and calls regarding custom pieces, meaning if you have a chair in need of recovering... right now, i am focusing on selling what i've made and what i'm currently working on. i'm expecting our 3rd baby and unfortunately am unable to do pick-ups of furniture and have to be careful of lifting , etc. i plan to resume custom pieces this fall!!

thank you so much for all of the calls, emails and kind comments! i'm just overflowing with gratitude! please take a look at the shop page and feel free to send over any questions!

you can see the article here.

Chalk Paint Workshop Coming Soon

I'm excited to announce that i've been able to continue selling the Chalk Paint (tm) decorative paint line even though Collective is no more. one of the perks of having Collective was that i had a great space to host Chalk Paint (TM) workshops. since i no longer have the shop, i will be hosting paint classes at my home in canton, georgia. if you're local, i'd love for you to join me on:

March 23rd from 9:30-12:00 for Intro to Chalk Paint (TM).

The class is $125

 we go over 5 painting techniques, plus how to use both the clear and dark wax. this class is 100% hands on... so wearing your paint clothes is a must! you don't need to bring anything, just yourself! paint and supplies will be available for purchase at the class. the class is limited to 10, if you're wanting to sign up please email me at nicoledunnflint@yahoo.com.

if you're looking for the Chalk Paint (TM), i have a booth at

Woodstock Market

5500 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth, GA 30102. 770-517-7771

hope to see you at the class!

the official mom wagon

last week the 4 of us snuck away for a little down time at our most favorite vacation spot, the glorious beaches of 30-A. in case you haven't been to this quaint strip of the florida gulf coast, 30-A is a stretch of beach front with hidden little communities. this area has always been super special to me and my family as it was where my hubby and i got married. a teeny tiny town, called seaside, is where we said "i do" barefoot with our family and close friends.

wedding day

crazy to believe that was 8 1/2 years ago! i look so young, well rested, and tan!!

we love showing our boys where we got married and walking down those boardwalk steps with these little munchkins holding our hands is just magical. i can't even describe the feeling.  so, seaside is our special little gem.

chris and boys beach 1 the boys being boys. yep, it was pretty chilly, hence the jacket and long sleeves on the beach.

back in november, we decided we needed to get something more practical than my super fun suv  i was sporting around. my husband has ALWAYS loved, i mean loved, a minivan. i have been fighting him tooth and nail for a long long time. for some reason, i felt like if i gave up my super fun suv, i was giving up a part of me. once we found out i was expecting #3, you better believe that mr. flint laid on the minivan sales pitch... hard.

after borrowing my neighbors baby car seat and trying repeatedly to make the 3 car seats work in my car, i gave in. i've had it since november and i have to say that after last weeks excursion to the beach... i am extremely glad that i have one. we all have room to spread out, the automatic doors are fabulous {especially when you have your hands full with kids and groceries} and all of the conveniences that the design team {which, they must have moms on that panel} came up with. yes, sometimes i do wish i still had my fun suv and i can't believe i am actually old enough to drive a minivan, but it's time to face the music-i'm a mom and we carpool and  i can fit 2, yes 2, chairs in the back of this baby 🙂

so, here's to all of you minivan driving mommas out there. i'm officially in the club.

this was the day i got her... still trying to figure out her name. any suggestions? my oldest son calls her "spaceship honda." it's cute, but i think she needs something a bit more stylish.

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have a happy day!

nicole

19 weeks & a lampshade redo

happy 19 weeks! when i was pregnant with #2, another pregnant friend of mine and i took a prenatal yoga class at our local studio. now that i finally feel like i have energy, i'm thinking about signing up again.

it was so much fun! i never had taken a yoga class before that series... i wasn't prepared for the stories the instructor would tell to help you 'connect' with your baby. i have to admit that i can be somewhat immature in some situations, so when the instructor told us to "swallow the light and let it warm your baby and then release it through your toe nails," you better believe it was all i could do not to bust out in hysterics! i never relaxed the whole 6 weeks because i was hung up on the many stories she would tell. however, i do believe that the yoga class helped me have a fast and smooth delivery, and had me laughing too {even 2 years later!}. any suggestions or ideas on other pregnancy exercise classes out there before i sign up to 'swallow the light?'

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last year for christmas i hinted to my parents that i would love this fabulous little lamp from anthro. i wasn't excited about the lampshade that the store suggested to go with it {plus it was like 98 bucks, no thanks!}.

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this lamp is probably the cutest lamp i've ever seen. ever! i was very excited to have gotten it for christmas 🙂

i had this shade down in my basement and thought it would do the trick until i found something that i felt was worthy enough to adorn this magical lamp. i really like the shape, just not that it's black. it worked for a year.

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i used one of those lampshades from joann's that has an adhesive on it so you can cover with any fabric. {they were on sale 50% off... so the shade was $8.50- not bad!}. i found this cute polka dot fabric at our local quilting shop and snagged a yard and a yard of interface lining, just to stiffen it up. it's definitely not necessary!

after the fabric was cut to fit around the shade, i used some scrap fabrics i had and cut out a tea pot and tea cup. i really wanted to have detailed hand stitching to adhere the pieces to the shade, so i called one of my dear friends, who happens to be a master hand stitcher {not sure if that's a title, but she deserves it!}, and we {well, she} stitched the tea pot and cup on the fabric. to create a little bit of interest, i put a button on the tea pot to look like the top of the lid. i then finished it off with a little pom pom fringe.

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i am so excited with how this little project turned out!!! the shade, fabric, fringe, and thread cost me less than 30 bucks! wahoo!

18 weeks & our falcons party!

boy oh boy, where have the weeks gone? i can't believe that i'm 18 weeks pregnant already! my history of child birth is that my little peanuts like to grace us with their presence 4 weeks early, meaning that i could very well be half way there! i hope that this baby decides to hang out {or should i say in} longer than 36 weeks!

according to babycenter.com, this munchkin is 5 1/2 inches long and weighs 7 ounces {the size of a bell pepper to give you an idea}. speaking of munchkins... i can't get enough donuts or anything sweet for that matter! i'm not an ice cream eater, but you better believe that i can devour a huge bowl of mint chocolate chip before i get from the kitchen to the couch! curse you delicious chocolate entenmann donuts and publix mint chocolate chip ice cream.

i wanted to share a picture of what my bump looks like at this point... i'll shoot for next week! here's a picture to hold you over until then-

moving on... our oldest son, which is 5, LOVES sports. any kind. i took him to a sporting goods store before Christmas to pick out my husband something from him and gavin. i now know what it must feel like to take a young girl to the American Girl store. WOW! i've never seen anyone more excited to look at baseball gloves, basketballs, and marshmallow shooting gun thingy's... guess they're just born that way?? he ended up picking out a matt ryan {quarterback for the atlanta falcons in case that is news to you as well} jersey, because the boy loves {i mean loves} the Falcons. luckily for keegan, my parents got him his own matt ryan jersey for christmas, along with tickets to a game!

so the falcon's had this big playoff game on sunday and keegan wanted to host his very own football party. we were all very sad with how the game ended, but the party sure was a blast.

my mom {known as gigi to my boys} brought a cake and tattoos so that we can act like they had their face painted.

it was yummy. the whole thing was gone by monday morning {that may or may not have been my breakfast}

it's face painting time... or tattoo sticking time. 30 seconds to wait is tough stuff when you're 5.

he had to get one put on both cheeks, ya know. no such thing as overkill when you're a fan.

he wasn't as excited to have a tattoo put on his face like big brother.

but having a slice of gigi's cake took care of that...

he's such a funny boy.

nene made these yummy pretzel buttons, too. aren't they so cute?

the falcon's not winning was a good lesson for our son... sometimes you win and sometimes you loose, and there's always next season! did you watch the game? or have your own football party?

weekend recap & laundry room plans

what a gorgeous weekend we had here in south! i don't mind 70's in january at all! i met the last few vendors at Collective on saturday morning to finish moving out... now that's empty of vendors, it is so crazy to see the space filled with everything that's left that i get to take home. sigh. we have lots of tables and shelving left and i just have no idea where we're going to put any of it. guess i need to get familiar with craigslist.

after a morning at work, i ran over to have lunch with the Atlanta Bloggers Group. what a fun group of ladies and a wonderful networking opportunity. after a bite to eat with these ladies it was back home to play outside and enjoy the weather. that evening we hosted a dinner party for our kids and  young neighbors. it was a crazy loud house full of kids from almost 2 to 9! they all had so much fun! chris and i did to 🙂

now that's its monday, it's time to get back to business. tackling our laundry room redesign is what's on tap for this week. i've been spending lots of time getting laundry room inspirations together. here are a few that are speaking to me-

i really like the countertop and legs that would make a fabulous clothes folding counter... which i need!!

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like the sink... my laundry room is way to small for a sink.  what do you do with a sink in the laundry room? is that silly to ask? i really like the bead board on the wall, too.

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LOVE the stripes... actually I just love this whole entire room. be still my heart.

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i really love how clean and simple this room looks. the tile is fabulous, it just looks so spa like. maybe having your laundry room look like a spa would make folding clothes seem less like a chore and more like a luxury?? nah! laundry is laundry no matter how beautiful the space.

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do you have a fabulous laundry room or plans to create one? i'd love to hear about it!

happy monday!

my first quilt

my step mom made me a quilt when i was 4, fittingly called 'smurf', and i still love and cherish it. she's had lots of love over the last 26 years. unfortunately, i've been afraid that she is getting a bit to tattered to keep out to use all of the time so she has been put up until i make the time to fix her up.

see, she has had lots of love!

after i had our second baby, i thought i wanted to make a quilt that my boys could take with them when they move out as a reminder of home and a feeling of comfort. after some searching, i found some really cute quilt inspirations over on etsy and pinterest... man people are crazy talented!

having tons and tons of patterns and ideas to choose from,  i decided to go with a rag quilt... because it's probably the easiest quilt you could ever make. have you seen one of those? they are super cute, you have to appreciate the look of raw edges to love this quilt... knowing that my chairs and pillows often have raw edge seams on the appliqué, you better bet that this was the perfect quilt for me, it doesn't hurt that it's great for a beginner too!

once making my decision on the type of quilt, i enlisted my dear friend, lindsey of lr stitched. she undoubtable makes the most beautiful quilts i've ever seen... and did i mention she's published, too? so you know that means she is definitely the go to girl for quilting and just about every other sewing project you could think of.  it's awesome to have someone like that around for sure!

i talked her into showing me the ropes on how to make one and she graciously obliged {and it was even on her birthday!}. thankfully, i didn't have to twist her arm too much! after meeting up for a rag quilt monday, i went home knowing the basics of how to cut, piece, stitch and snip this bad boy on my own. check out how she turned out!!

i LOVE it! curling up in front of my fireplace with this just puts the biggest smile on my face! you know what the sweetest part about the whole thing is... my 5 year old is so proud of it! he showed it to my sister-in-law and said "it's called a quilt and my mom made it! it's so cozy!" i just love that precious heart of his!

the fabrics that i chose are from bonnie & camille for moda fabrics and it's the marmalade collection. the front is cotton and the back is fleece. it's super soft and comfortable. the fun colors in this quilt actually helped jumpstart my need to brighten up my house. i would love to be able to use all of these florals and geometrics in my home... not sure if i could get away with it in a house full of boys, we will see though 🙂

should you want to make your own rag quilt... i will be making my second one soon and will share the basics of how to do it along the way. here are the fabrics i'm planning on using for rag quilt #2.

have you made a quilt? if so, i'd love to hear what you've made!

Cleaning House

even though my house could seriously use a good cleaning, i'm actually cleaning up all of the unnecessary time suckers in my life. you know, it's hard to give things up or to say no to something... so it was pretty tough letting some of these things go. even though i won't be doing these things anymore, they are freeing up time for me to do the things i really enjoy. here's what's changing...

1. The main one and toughest decision- i decided that i am not going to continue Collective Co-op. i opened this cute little shop in May as an outlet to sell the Chairs and Pillows besides going to Scott Antique Market every month and paying to participate in tons of arts festivals. unfortunately, collective co-op didn't turn out to be the best outlet for selling the girls. instead, the store became an animal all its own. it took time away from my family {as i expected it would}, time away from making and promoting the chair business and i had no time to do this... blog.

besides not selling any chairs, it isn't a way for me to make money. yes it was fun, but it also cost a lot to run... so, i should be completely finished up with collective by the end of this month. even though it's bittersweet, i am soooo excited for the things taking it's place.

2. Things i'm not 100% devoted- i am a member of a local organization of women that focuses on charitable events thats proceeds go to benefit the children and less fortunate in our county. yes, this organization of women is wonderful and i have made lots of great friends. it is so tough to give this up after 3 years but i haven't been giving 100% for well over a year. which, i don't think it's fair to the organization or to the actively involved members for me to just show up every now and then. i would rather find something that i am on fire for... still looking at some things to get involved in.

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even though those are just 2 things, they are 2 huge things in my life that i feel so relieved to let go as hard as it may be. these are the things i'd like to do:

1. Work on my home and show them with you.  i am going to work on various areas of my home like i am an actual client and give you the secrets we designers go to school to learn. i hope that you'll be able to use these tips and tricks so that you create a home you love! plus, i will take on your design dilemma and help you work through them.

2. besides design, i'd like to share recipes and cooking ideas too... i live in the south and we are all about brunch with friends and beautiful garden parties. i'd love to share some tips and tricks to hosting like a true belle.

3. Start planning a blog with a friend of mine where we take a room in her house and redo it from top to bottom... one room per month for a whole year. how fun is that going to be! coming out january '14.

4. Grow my brand and expand beyond the chairs- i've been working with some pretty talented small business coaches. we have been planning my path and can't wait to tell you all about the fabulous things in the works!!! i tend to jump into things really quickly {surprise, surprise}, so it's tough to wait and actually PLAN things out. more on this topic to come.

5. Write an ebook- design and upholstery inspirations

The most exciting thing coming our way... drum roll please-

5. HAVE A BABY!! Yep! Our family is growing by 1 more. Baby Flint is due July 3rd!!

Here's to change!