DIY Projects

Painting Our Hallway – A Quick How-To

Happy fall, y’all! With cooler temps finally here, I’ve finished painting our little hallway, what I started calling our Hall of Mirrors. Let’s talk about painting your hallway and small spaces…

We have been living with coffee-colored walls throughout the whole house, including each ceiling, for the past 4 1/2 years. The paint was fresh when we moved in, but it turns out this is the original coloring of this house. Our neighbors across the court have a lighter version of this paint color on their walls and ceilings, which I would have loved!…


Begin with your ceilings

Always begin by painting the ceiling in any room. Once it is done, you won’t have to redo it for YEARS! ūüôā With wall color, you can change that whenever you like. It seems that walls get painted every few years anyway compared to ceilings as our styles change or we want to refresh a room’s look as walls get scuffed and have lots of little fingerprints and dirt on them.

Buy scrubbable paint – In bathrooms and high-humidity areas, it used to be recommended to use gloss paint for its durability and ability to handle humidity without peeling.

I like eggshell or low-sheen paint for walls, and satin paint for ceilings and mouldings. I like a light shine on my ceilings to bounce light into our rooms, but you may not like any sheen on your ceilings. It can highlight any flaws in your ceiling’s plaster or wallboard.

Use an angled paint brush – A sash brush has a beveled edge with angled bristles ~ perfect for cutting-in around mouldings and for edging. This type of brush is able to create a finer painted line underneath ceiling moulding and around door frames, etc.

The idea of painting a ceiling first sounds so simple but it is best! It keeps paint from dripping onto freshly painted walls so paint those ceilings! Even if you hate painting ceilings; get ‘er done. ūüėČ

As you paint, cut in around the mouldings and ceiling either first or last, then paint with a roller. I like to do the cutting in work first then roll paint right afterwards. Roll in even strokes with a light enough amound of paint on the roller so it doesn’t drip. Even though manufacturers tout that you can paint with just one coat, do two.

It covers better and won’t leave small vits of the previous color showing through the new paint. If the paint color you are trying to cover is very dark, use a primer like Kilz first then two coats of the new paint. The primer seals in the previous darker color so only the new color will show.

Protect your flooring and furniture – Always put down plastic to protect your flooring and drape sheets of plastic over any furniture or items left in a room as you paint. In a pinch, kitchen and garden waste black trash bags work well spread over a floor when you don’t have sheet roll plastic.


Beginning to paint the hallway

The usual way for painting a hallway ceiling and walls is to begin painting at one end then working your way along to the other end. In our case, I began in the middle right where you see the ceiling partially done at this hallway turn.

I began painting at this corner as I wished to paint the wall below it straight away. I was trying to get the wall below this area done in order to rehang the mirror which is usually hangs there.

So, start painting your room’s ceiling wherever you want. ūüôā

When a couple of coats of paint and a few touch-ups spots are painted and dried, the ceiling will look just as good as if you began at one end and painted straight to the other end. Just marry up the edges and go over any lightly coated areas with extra paint to blend it together.


Why do small areas seem to take so long?

The final room I have to paint is our small secondary bathroom and it does seem to take just as long to paint as a much larger room. This is due to all the things in the way which cannot be removed ~ like the built-in sink, the combination shower/tub, the toilet.

Having to work around these things moving a ladder at odd angles makes the job a little tougher.

Enjoy the process as you will love the results!

Our hallway ceiling and walls turned out great! I am still painting the doorway mouldings, baseboards (my least favorite things to do) and eventually all of the doors. I am really happy with how the ceiling and walls turned out!

What do you think? Yea or nay?

Are you working on any painting projects in your home? Soooo glad to be on the home stretch with all this painting. The house feels so much lighter now. It’ll be nice to have all of the rooms feel brighter in wintertime when we have less sunlight, especially in our living and family rooms.

Let me know what you think of our hallway’s new look,

DIY Projects

Our Laundry Room Paint Refresh

Good morning, dear friends! We have had two back-to-back snow days with an Arctic freeze welcoming in the month of February 2023!! The second for us this winter. Since I had the time and some paint left, I finished the baseboard moulding around the floor of the laundry area, so now that room is completely done!

But let’s take a look at where we started…

As some of y’all may know, when we bought this house here in North Texas in 2019, the whole thing was painted this taupe color. Even the ceilings were painted this color! I was happy to not have to paint upon moving in, but it’s too contemporary for me. Slowly, I have been going room by room and painting all of the rooms into a softer grey color, more of what I like.

The last home I lived in with my parents (1976-1987) was built with pecky cedar stacked logs. These logs were squared off, 8″ thick, and all of the walls inside that house were a dark rich reddish brown and when it was freshly oiled it was lovely!

I was okay with brown then because most of our rooms as my bedroom had big windows which let in a lot of light. I also didn’t know that I was affected by seasonal affective disorder (winter depression from lack of sunlight, for anyone who isn’t familiar with this term). I was always an outdoorsy kid, so it wasn’t a problem growing up. We were either at the beach on weekends (the four years in Hawaii during the 1970’s), I was cycling everywhere on weekends, plus I raised goats for milk so I was out milking them and soaking up sunshine daily. California is blessed with over 300 days of sunny skies each year, too. Great for keeping away the blues!

Just a little white paint (Valspar Ultra White 773957) straight off the shelf brightens the ceilings and the whole room!

Here in our Texas home

We are surrounded by four oak trees and a fruitless pear, so it is fairly dark indoors most of the year. In winter, we have a lot of light because the leaves are down, but come spring, the leaves will magically appear and it’ll become a cave indoors.

Okay, and also my eyes and hair are brown (well… now silver and brown, lol!). And, I used to wear a lot of brown, but I am SO OVER brown. I wear a lot of color to combat the brown look. ūüėČ

Repainting all of these walls to something lighter was a necessity for me. I have been painting with Valspar “Comet Dust,” which is a color I last used when we renovated the kids’ bathroom upstairs at our last home. We opened up the area between the vanity and the rest of the bathroom. You can find those two posts here and here.

“Comet Dust” is a pretty silvery grey with blue undertones, depending upon the light. It sparkles in the sunlight! I painted these walls in eggshell (Valspar 773956 eggshell here in Texas rooms; satin in California).

Our master bedroom/bath paint refresh

Here is our bedroom in progress. I pulled out our 12′ ladder to paint the ceilings then switched to a long broom handle and painted from the floor for the last of three coats of paint. The ceiling was sooo dry that it needed three coats to really cover the taupe and to get rid of any streaks in my painting skills. ūüėČ

Painting the Skylight Chimney

This next photograph will show you the ladder I used to get up into this chimney area. Thank goodness this ladder Mr. Ethereal picked up a year ago at a Black Friday sale is super sturdy as I sat on its top to paint this small area’s insides. It is designed so you can do that, too, btw.

This ladder was also great for standing on and turning around as needed to scrape the old paint off the skylight. Those paint marks drove me crazy whenever I’d look up! Sorry, I am a perfectionist that way. ūüôā

A little scraping, Windex and some paper towels took care of that. I just needed to have the right ladder to get it done. ūüėČ

Werner Multi-Position Pro 375 lb. Ladder

This ladder is one of those ladders where you can extend it, you can use it as an A-frame (pictured here) or as an extension ladder all one length. It can shorten. It can bend into a 3-sided “box,” if you will, so you can stand on it. Also, you can put two of them near each other and run a board across to use as a scaffold. It is really multi-functional! WORTH the money. (*not sponsored, just like the product a lot.)

Lowe’s isn’t carrying the exact model anymore but I found this one and it close. Ours is made of aluminum and this type linked is made with fiberglass. Maybe there were problems with our model (?), but so far Hubby has used it fully extended to fix a light on the upper roofline of his mom’s new home (while she was gone over Christmas; I held the bottom but didn’t really need to), and we had no problems. Once locked in, it’s solid. I felt perfectly safe sitting on top of it. It didn’t wiggle at all, like our six-foot A-frame ladder does.

Overall, it took three weekends to paint the whole area, minus the doors which I will hopefully remove this spring and paint all of them outdoors with a sprayer.

You’d think a smaller area would take less time to paint? You’d be wrong on that thought. It takes the same amount of time to paint this as a larger box room because of either having to move things around or just maneuvering in tight spaces.

We didn’t move the washer or dryer out because the gas and water lines were fully hooked up and it’s a pain to re-install them. Especially the gas line! Just didn’t want to cause an issue or get sick from low-lying propane not getting out of the house.

I was really careful stepping around that yellow gas line and obviously when moving the ladder legs around it. ūüôā

Our surprise score!

When my mother-in-law and I went thrift shopping for items for the Odd Fellows Poker Tournament gift baskets towards the end of November or early December, I found this hanging rack! Coincidentally, I found the exact same one at Lowe’s this past weekend for $25.99. Great score!!

Originally I thought about using it in our bedroom closet so hubby could hang all up all of his baseball caps, but then I realized I loved it for the laundry room. It is larger (wider) than the cheap metal one the previous owners left up and ever prettier. The other was more like a broom hanging rack, like you’d put up in your garage. Gag…

This one is a little more modern and it really pops against the light grey walls. I love it!!!

And yes it is brown. ūüėČ

We are really happy with how the laundry room turned out. Just after I had painted the ceiling, Hubby commented how much brighter the whole room looked even then.

It really looks nice now!

And here is our laundry room all put back together. I love its fresh new look and its ethereal French paint job!

Thanks for stopping by today! Leave me a comment about how you liked this post, if you would. SYS will be up later today in our Double-Header Wednesday.

Now it’s game-on to the dining room!

Barb ūüôā


The Right to Refinement ~ An Antiqued Nightstand Reveal

I am excited  to share the reveal of this little nightstand
with you all today.  Layers and layers of chalk paint add such
an antiqued¬†richness to the piece that it’s hard to believe that this little¬†swan was ever an ugly duckling…

Here’s this sweet nightstand in its original paint color ~ okay but a little drab.

Directions continued…

In the  first post Antiquing with Chalk Paint I shared all the chalk paints I had used up to ASCP French Linen.

After letting that layer dry and rubbing some of it back off so that
it was more of a lowlight or accent I rubbed on some watered down
Liquitex Burnt Umber.
I worked the burnt umber around all the appliqu√©s’ curves and into places¬†where I thought the nightstand could use some definition.
I was trying for a dirt stained look that you’d find on a¬†centuries old piece ~ like the dirt got into a furniture¬†piece’s crevices.

Here’s where I switched and looked to another post of friend Cindy’s* to use this really great product:
The last paint to put on carefully using just my forefinger was some
Amoco Rub ‘n Buff ~ gold
lightly over all the raised portions of the appliqués.
It’s inevitable that you’ll get gilding in the wrong spot so keep a
damp cloth nearby to carefully rub off any mishaps.

I tried both silver and gold as I wasn’t sure which I liked better.
I even took a mini survey on my Instagram and several people
said they liked the silver better.

Once the burnt umber was rubbed on the silver just didn’t look
right to me so I went with the gold.¬†I was trying for an Old World European French look and I don’t¬†think silvering on furniture started happening until around the¬†Art Deco era of the 1920’s to 1940’s.¬†

This was really fun! Anyway, I did feel a bit like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz as it tends to get all over you very quickly if you forget and rub your nose or scratch an itch on your arm. Just the tiniest bit of gilding or silvering goes a long way ~ very economical!

(You can see where I nicked the top front edge of the nightstand with silver
when I was trying both out and I didn’t see it in time before it dried…)

The last thing to do after the gilding dries (wait 24 hours) is to rub it to a shine then add either a clear rub-on furniture wax or a polyurethane finish to protect all that wonderful chalk paint goodness.

Here’s how¬†¬†it turned out!¬† I am loving this little nightstand now with its new blue look!¬†¬†I had never worked with¬†chalk paints before and I can tell you that they go on very¬†smoothly¬†and there isn’t any chalky feel to the¬†furniture once dry.
Part of what I really liked about working with this type of paint was that when you are wiping back the paint to reveal underneath layers the paint is on there enough that you have to rub a bit but
not too hard.

Chalk paint creates the most lovely soft matte finish…

All of the chalk paints I used and the Liquitex Basics Burnt Umber.¬† The final paint was Amoco’s Rub ‘n Buff in gold, then a¬†final coat of clear furniture wax to protect the paint.

*My inspiration was a Louis XV buffet Cindy Blackenburg of the blog and online shop Edith and Evelyn created for her home.
I loved all those multiple layers of blues and greys that she created
on her formerly 1950’s brown dresser!

Pretty blooms glow in the late afternoon sunlight.
I am loving how this dresser turned out and it inspired me to look
for a poem or two…
‘No one need suffer, therefore, who cannot emulate a neighbor‚Äôs costly appointments. The privilege of¬†extravagance belongs to the few, but the right to refinement is a legacy to us all.‚Äô
with Lina of Sew Historically.

Hence today’s title… ūüėČ

This little nightstand with its charming layered blue look certainly adds a certain refinement to our Prairie Home and I was in turn inspired to do some cleaning and create an early fall vignette.

A small painted tobacco basket I found at Hobby Lobby paired with¬†a few faux rose stems ~ which had the loveliest bit of peach blush-coloring to their leaves ~ aded to the roses and peonies¬†I put out earlier this summer…

To these I added in just a few small off-white hydrangeas
and beautiful blue larkspur stems to complement the blue
hues in the nightstand. What do you think of these two together?
All in all a pretty fun photo shoot and project! 

Let me know how you liked this project!
*Thank you!*

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Loving this little swan now,

Antiquing Furniture with Chalk Paint

Chalk paint¬†¬†is a type of paint I have been wanting to try¬†out on a piece of furniture for a couple of years now and I think I’ve found the perfect piece to transform…
When I was little my father would paint thrift store dressers and stain and build shelving for each of us kids for our bedrooms
each time we made a military move.
He would also paint pieces and shelving for he and my mother
to house all of their paperback and travel books
which were many.

Every time¬†¬†a piece was refashioned with paint it was an amazing and exciting process to see how a sweet piece of furniture that was not so exciting to start could become loved again¬†just with a little elbow grease and a bit of paint…

Last year¬† I found this little nightstand at Hobby Lobby¬†and loved all of of its wooden appliques and the “shield” on its little cabinet door.¬† The small footprint it has¬†is a perfect size for extra storage¬†in our little¬†Prairie Home on wheels¬†and has that French and Old World elegance¬†I so love.
I needed a free standing piece of furniture in our living room and this nightstand is tall and has a good size cabinet underneath and a small drawer ~ a good place to store some of my decorating
things and I am able to decorate the top seasonally.

After checking out some bloggy friends’ posts on¬†how much
they really like working with chalk paints I thought I’d give
this tall nightstand a new look for fall…

One of the nightstand’s fall 2017 tableau dressed with a French linen towel and our little maiden.
Now I’ve kinda come to enjoy black a bit more as a color on furniture¬†but my heart really loves furniture with a lighter color.

From a post from last fall talking about English candy boxes.

¬†So I thought I’d try to make this simple piece look a little more
Old World European French ~ more in my color pallet.
This little nightstand was the perfect piece for me to get
my hands dirty with chalk paint!

This first chalk paint is Annie Sloan’s Aubusson Blue ~ a really beautiful rich French blue!

After reading  a post by blogging friend Cindy Blackenburg of the gorgeous blog Edith and Evelyn on creating her
Louis XV French Buffet out of an old 1950’s dresser just¬†by
layering different chalk paints  ~ I was itching to
try her techniques!!!

You start with choosing your paint colors by figuring out what base color you want to show through the most then layer complementary
colors as highlights and lowlights.
These are done in a series of washes and dry brushings to create
the final look.

Here are the paints I used:

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ~ Aubusson Blue B906032

ASCP ~ Provence (another lighter blue) B909074

American Decor by DecoArt ~ Yesteryear ADC27
*close match to ASCP Parisian Grey

FolkArt Home Decor chalk paint ~ Sage 6351
*couldn’t find ASCP Duck Egg blue so this was a
close match to a photograph.

ASCP ~ French Linen B903051

Liquitex Acrylic Basics ~ Burnt Umber

Here I’ve pretty much used Cindy’s recipe of Annie Sloan chalk
paints but swapped out a couple of colors with close matches to save a little money and also when I couldn’t find the right color.

The original paint job was flaking off badly every time I cleaned this little nightstand so I don’t feel
badly giving this sweet piece of furniture a makeover.¬† ūüôā
This is just the beginning and after adding all of the layers
up to French Linen for highlights ~ here is what this little
formerly dark cabinet looks like now:

I am really happy with the overall look but may wash over some more with Aubusson Blue a bit in places to bring that color
out more.
The original black is coming through in places and gives a
nice additional depth to this little nightstand also
which I really like!

The Burnt Umber will go on for shadowing next and then
I am going to try a little
Rub ‘n Buff Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf¬†by Amaco¬†and
see which looks better on this piece as the final paint¬†layer before adding a clear wax coating to protect this nightstand’s
new look.

Check back  soon to see how this little nightstand
finishes up! 

Update ~ Here is the final reveal of how
the nightstand turned out. 

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A bient√īt, ūüôā

Painting and Slipcovering Furniture for an Updated Look

I love  the look of painted furniture and several years ago
I finally got around to painting four of our six French style
dining room chairs plus our coffee table a lovely soft white.
I’m thinking of working soon on refinishing a little black cabinet
here soon so…
Today I thought we’d talk a little about redoing furniture
to give a tired piece of furniture a brand new look!

In the background, you can see one of the unpainted stained caned chairs to the right of our little china cabinet with flowers in a French style tin.¬† The other I kept up in our bedroom next to my French style Drexel desk.¬† ūüôā
Painting furniture  is pretty easy to do with the right tools
and really all it takes is some sandpaper, a paint brush, your favorite can of paint and a little elbow grease!
I know I’ve shared about repainting furniture here before but
each time I talk about it it’s from a little bit of
a different angle.

Here you can see lots of bits of sanded wood along the chair’s seat top ~ I really enjoy sanding
as it’s something really relaxing to do!

Here’s what you do

Grab some 60-100 grit sandpaper and using a small palm sander or a sanding block sand down all the areas to be painted on your furniture piece ~ this removes the previous wax, varnish or polyurethane finish and will work down through to and remove
the stain, too.
Be gentle when working around any carved detailing as it’s
really easy to smooth it off.
{Ask me how I know this… ;)}

The nice thing about using just sandpaper and NOT using a
chemical remover to take off existing varnish is that there is nothing that has to be thrown away at a special waste site as
may have to be done with some removers.

Afterwards wipe your chair with a clean damp rag to
remove all the sanding dust.
Lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper a second time if
you want your piece to feel really smooth once it’s finished.

Perfect paint

Most woodworkers paint “with the grain” but sometimes this is
hard to do around carved details so be forgiving with yourself
if around details your paint looks a bit swirly.
A nice wax finish after your paint dries gently rubbed into and around these carved details will buff out any of this
“ugly part” that happens while¬†painting plus really make these details really pop.
On these chairs I painted two light coats of paint and lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper in between the two coats of paint.
After the second coat dried I sanded back to reveal a little
of the original wood and leftover stain giving them a
Shabby Chic look then finished them with a clear wax finish.

Recently I was reading how Cindy of Edith and Evelyn Vintage
added several layers to create a beautifully painted
pink French table.
She used several layers of different chalk paints then sanded back
between coats and lastly waxed this sweet table to give it its museum quality look.
Check out the link above to see more of her lovely pink table and how she created this look plus to visit her lovely website.

The top of the table was going back to its original 1980’s look… Definitely an ugly phase for this poor table!¬† Love the way
the legs turned out but eventually that washed off, too.¬† ūüôĀ
For the  coffee table I used a wash of white paint with the paint cut down 1/3 with water.
After sanding¬†off the original poly finish and sanding back to the light pine¬†stain the table had that 1990’s white in the grain look
I was trying to achieve.
Above is the first incarnation of this table before I worked
on it a second time.
I made the mistake of NOT waxing it with a clear coat so when
I’d go and clean it the paint would wash off ~ hence why it’s
important to add some kind of wax or polyurethane to seal in
the color and look you’ve created.

Same table with more white repainted on it and lightly sanded over the detailing. 

This coffee table has had three lives so far and I don’t see why

it can’t have another once it gets here to Texas!
I love its size and it’s perfect for putting your feet on and for
serving and with some TLC and a new paint job
it’ll be loved again.

Making slipcovers¬†¬†for your furniture has the wonderful benefit of creating a totally different look while not changing the actual furniture’s underlying design and fabric.
Slipcovers are great in that they can easily be whipped off
when in need of washing, they update furniture without making
permanent changes which sometimes we are torn about doing
when using paint or recovering a piece, and they can be
created in any number of ways to suit one’s taste.

Last year I shared How to Make a Slipcover in three parts
 here, here and the reveal here.  Slipcovers can be very trendy
and help to update our homes to whatever style
we currently like.

One of two sofa slipcovers made to give our living room a totally different look.¬† Here’s a better look at the refinished coffee table with its second paint job.

Ruffles and pleats change the entire look of a slipcover such as in these sofa slipcovers I made several years ago out of drop cloths.
Here below you can see the original settee opposite and how both
sofas were covered in floral fabrics.

Adding or not adding piping around the slipcover’s edges
adds another layer to the look.

Here I’ve done both:
The slipcover on the couch has piping trim added to the back of the sofa upper seat {not seen but on its backside} as well as piping along the seat bottom and arms for added
definition and durability.

On the seat covers I did not add piping as I thought it would clash
with the piping already on the underneath fabric, just visible along
the front of the seat edges.

Sorry for the dark photo!  I was just learning how to use our Canon camera when I took this photograph.

On trend

On the¬†¬†easy chair above I used piping along the chair’s matelasse back pillow edging like the¬†original cover had.
Piping creates a really clean and contemporary look that works
well with all furniture styles making a piece always look
up-to-date and fashionable.

Piping also has the added benefit of stabilizing fabric seams making
a chair’s seams really durable ~ good on furniture which get
a lot of use.

If you’d like to put piping on your next recovering or pillow project read how to make piping or welting¬†here.

Next time  you look to paint or recover a former favorite chair remember these paint and slipcovering tips. Redoing a piece of furniture to suit your current tastes and how your home looks now is a fun to-do project and really makes that once tired piece of furniture a favorite once again.

Recycling at its finest ~ always a good thing.

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Snickerdoodle Create Make Bake ~ Shoppe No. 5
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create with Joy
Style Showcase ~ Shabbyfufu
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ Savvy Apron
Inspire Me Tuesday ~ A Stroll Thru Life
Waste Not Wednesday ~ Fairies and Fauna
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Keep In Touch ~ Let’s Add Sprinkles
Talk of the Town ~ My Repurposed Life
*Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Courtney’s beautiful book is out this week!
Stop by to check it out then order yours.
Sew It Cook It Craft It ~ Sew Historically
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife
Saturday Sparks ~ Pieced Pastimes
Edge of the Week ~ Shelby on the Edge

This post was featured at
Keep In Touch #33 ~ Let’s Add Sprinkles!!!
Thank you, Katie! 

Happy decorating,



Fall Furniture Re-do

My Fall furniture re-do
last year was working on my dining room chairs.
I had thought about refinishing them for several years
having grown tired of them being brown.
They were quite pretty as they were, but
I was tired of them,
so I knocked out four in one weekend!

First, sanding with 60 grit sandpaper.
I know ~ really, really rough.

It took off the varnish really fast and I was careful
not to knock down any of the carvings.
As pieces of sandpaper wore down on the legs and seat, I would use the still good parts folded
to get into the grooves of the chair carvings and around the little flower parts.

On the caning, I just lightly sanded the fronts and backsides. The caning was already worn from 
years of use, so I was pretty sure it would take the paint really easily. It did.


When you refinish your furniture, you may want to go over your piece with a much finer grain sandpaper after the first coarse sanding to close your wood grain before painting.

I just did a light dry-brushing of the paint so some of the grain and original dark stain would show through.

I¬†didn’t¬†do that as my hands gave out…¬†But, I am pretty happy with the results!¬†Now these chairs have a kind of¬†chalk paint-feel to them which I really like.

Really loving how they turned out! 

I just dry-brushed the white paint onto the chair lightly going over the carved parts.

Now, this fall to finish the other two.

Here are the chairs in our dining room at one of my teas this past winter (a mini preview of Christmas-time!!!)

Happy decorating and redoing around your home!
Thank you for “Liking” my posts and “Sharing” and “Following” them!!!¬†
Please leave me a comment. Have a lovely day!

Blessings to you,