End of Summer Fun with Kids and Rice Krispies®

Need an easy idea for an end of summer/back to school with the kids party? Try this ice cream bar with kid favorite Rice Krispies on the bottom and build from there!

Since my kids are getting older (the youngest is 16 and the oldest is 26!) I invited my great nieces and nephew over for an end of summer fun/back to school celebration. The kids used to call me Auntie M but most of the time now it's just Marty and I'm good with that. Usually it's, "Marty, can I have some crackers?" … [Read more...]

Shabby Chic Bedroom Ideas

By using both chalk paint and Behr paint this bedroom furniture went from outdated to shabby chic gorgeous! Great bedroom ideas for budget makeovers.

Since I seem to be one of those distracted bloggers that can't keep all the balls juggling in the air I have to tell you I never finished sharing our budget bedroom makeover from last year. Yes, last year! I used to be so organized as a stay at home, homeschooling mom of five. For heaven's sake. WHAT HAPPENED? Life happened. The … [Read more...]

Chalkboard Paint Ideas for the Home

Chalkboard paint ideas are a hot decorating trend in everything from home decor to parties and organization. Fun and ingenious ideas to get you started!

Do you like following the latest decorating trends? Or are you more like me? You kinda slide into them while you're discovering  your own personal style? Some trends tend to hang around for years and some vanish before they really even get started. What does this mean for you and I? To me it means I should only grab onto those ideas I … [Read more...]

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

With only a few ingredients, this blue cheese dressing recipe takes a wedge salad from ordinary to amazing. Save time and money by preparing homemade!

When my husband and I were in the middle of the busy child rearing years (oh, only about the last 25 years or so) we knew we could count on date night on special occasions. His birthday, my birthday and our anniversary. Can anyone else relate? It was hard to find the money to both go out and pay a sitter but I knew I could look forward to … [Read more...]

7 Chalk Painting Tips for Beginners

These 7 easy chalk painting tips for beginners will liberate you from perfectionism and get you hooked on the latest and most fun way to paint furniture and home decor accessories!

True confession here. If you aren't familiar with my blog you may not know one simple truth: I am not a painter. My husband is the painter extraordinaire at Marty's Musings. He is a painting contractor by trade (until this happened and then it happened again) but there is one kind of painting that I AM an expert at. Chalk painting. You know … [Read more...]

Behr DeckOver Product Review and the Million Dollar Question

Readers wanted to know if the Behr Deckover restoration product lived up to claims of longterm wood coverage. These DIY homeowners are back with an update.

Behr Paint provided compensation for this post but we have loved and used Behr products for years! Last summer my DIY hubby restored our 20+ year old back deck with an amazing product from Behr Paint.  Since then I've received more questions about that post than any other. The most frequently asked question was how does the Behr … [Read more...]

Fabulous Frugal Fashions for Women over 50 (and the rest of you, too!)

Fabulous Frugal Fashions over 50 - Marty's Musings

The deepest desire of my heart for my writing is to be an encouragement to women of all ages, but I have an extra special bit of compassion for those of us over 50! I have always, always shopped secondhand for my wardrobe, mostly through yard sales. More recently I have added a bit of thrift store shopping in order to pick up some items … [Read more...]

5 Tips on How to Make Money on a Yard Sale

5 practical tips on how to make money on a yard sale while clearing out excess stuff! Includes where to hold it, what to sell, pricing, promotion and morel.

It's yard sale season and I'm back with more of my great tips! I live for this time of year that feeds my DIY and creative soul while saving us money. A few months ago I posted on how to tell whether that perfect buy is trash or treasure and the top 10 bargains to keep an eye open for when yardsaling. I have been committed … [Read more...]

Quick and Easy Brownie Bites

Quick and easy brownie bites are a snap to make with a packaged brownie mix and chocolate chips, rolled in powdered sugar. Kids and adults alike love them!

I would love to deny my love for chocolate but my daughter Rachel is here to dispel the myth by sharing our favorite Brownie Bites recipe. I'm a goner! It's amazing to me how motherhood has drastically changed my appreciation for the things that seemed so "normal" to me during my childhood. I look at my son and have a burning desire to raise … [Read more...]

Ranch Style House With a Front Deck

See how these DIY homeowners planned and converted their 1950's ranch style house into an updated home with terrific curb appeal and a fabulous front deck.

Last year we had our dream deck built on the front of our house. No, my DIY hubby Tim didn't build it himself (although he did build the one in our backyard and restored it last year.) We were able to find someone willing to build it for a daily charge and it was a great deal.  We haven't regretted spending the money paying someone … [Read more...]

Seven Layer Dip in a Mason Jar

This Seven Layer Dip in a half pint sized mason jar looks adorable and tastes great! Perfect for any party or family gathering this mexican meal in a jar is both healthy and fun! It's also perfect for a make ahead lunch.

Life has been a bit crazy lately (understatement of the year! you can read all about it here) and I never got around to sharing the recipe for this adorable seven layer dip served in mason jars that I created for my daughter's 17th birthday party. Here's my daughter Rachel to give you a little bit of family history about her dad and his passion … [Read more...]

Budget Decorating Ideas for the Deck

These budget decorating ideas for decks and other outdoor spaces will inspire you to shop yard sales, thrift stores and even curbside for inexpensive treasures to repurpose and update for a beautiful space you will love.

Do you love a good before and after as much as I do? What is it that we love? The ugly duckling picture of an unloved house/deck/piece of furniture dying for new life stirs something inside of us. Why does this fascinate us so? I think maybe it's because it gives us hope. And permission to dream.  Because … [Read more...]

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

Great advice for new dads from a first time father, with everything you need to know to make it through those sleepless, scary and adjustment filled days!

Welcome back my daughter Rachel and an especially big welcome to her husband Donny!  Let me tell you about my son-in-law. Throughout the courtship/dating process he and Rachel spent a lot of time in our home. We got to know Donny so well we considered him as just another fixture in the house! He loves to tease me and I try to give as … [Read more...]

9 Tools to Survive a Crisis

Marty's Musings shares her personal story and 9 tools to survive a crisis. From taking care of yourself to knowing when to ask for help, there is hope!

  Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day?  Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is set to cover the yearly emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn't predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Right … [Read more...]

DIY Headboard from a Closet Door

Wait until you see this DIY headboard from Marty's Musings transformed from an old louvered closet door into a chalk painted and distressed shabby chic beauty!

I'm not sure why all our DIY projects seem to take FOREVER but it could be that we're just like you and have full time jobs and family obligations and church activities and on and on. So we won't talk about the fact that we revealed our master bedroom makeover last August and I'm just now getting the DIY headboard tutorial onto the blog! Our … [Read more...]

DIY Framed Jewelry and Earring Organizer

This DIY framed jewelry and earring organizer from Marty's Musings is created inexpensively from a yardsale frame and chicken wire. Perfect for hanging necklaces or earrings.

  Today my DIY hubby and I are here to give you the skinny on one of my favorite projects in my low budget bedroom makeover. I'm in possession of a bunch of earrings. And necklaces. And a few bracelets. ~smile~ My daughter got married and left a bunch with me. I yard sale and pick up a few things.  I'm a hoarder … [Read more...]

Everything You Need to Know on How to Paint a Room

A professional painter shares everything you need to know on how to paint a room with great tips for the beginner wanting to save time and money.

I love to create something beautiful out of other people's roadside castoffs or yard sale bargains. But paint a room? Not so much! When we moved into our home 24 years ago I was assigned the closets. Those lovely hidden places that no one will ever see.  Kind of like Siberia for those that glop paint all over everything.  Yep, … [Read more...]

How to Decorate a Bedroom (for Practically Nothing!)

How to Decorate a Bedroom for Practically Nothing - Marty's Musings

  When I shared my master bedroom makeover a couple of weeks ago I told y'all it was a budget makeover where everything except for one or two items  (and I mean EVERYTHING) was either a DIY project, a yardsale find or a hand me down. Now hopefully y'all know I'm a painfully honest person (just ask my family) but I thought … [Read more...]

Craft Room Makeover and Organization Ideas

Craft Room Makeover and Organization Ideas - Marty's Musings

I would love to say that I am a bold, confident woman, but the truth is I'm just a work in progress. Probably a little bit like you if you're honest. I want to be complete. Whole. No blemishes or scars. Dare I even hope, acceptable and perfect? Funny how my decorating seems to mirror my life. Incomplete. Unfinished. Blemishes and … [Read more...]

Small Bathroom Remodel

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings

If you follow me on Instagram or facebook you know we've been in the middle of a bathroom demolition for several weeks. We live in a 2000 square foot house that was built in the 1950's. Need I say more? The bathrooms are tee-ninesy. That's Southern for "if you sit on the toilet your elbows touch the wall and your arms can reach the … [Read more...]

How to Make a Gallery Wall

How to Make a Gallery Wall - Marty's Musings

  We have transformed several areas of our home in the last three months and I want to start out sharing the one that tickles me the most.   Since I got hooked on Pinterest a few months ago (you can follow me by clicking on my side bar) I have incorporated some of the ideas I've pinned. My inspiration for my project is found here. I … [Read more...]