Welcome to Southern Comfort!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Hairy Mess

You all remember me blabbing about my fuzzies right? Well, in case you missed it, you can read all about them here and here.

We love our fuzzies, they are our current children and we treat them as such. Maggie gets cuddles on the bed every night before lights-out. Pickles gets to choose what can of food she wants every night for dinner (which she does.. and makes sure we know it's that time of day. There is NO forgetting dinner at our house). Maggie gets let out (or in) within seconds of a heard whimper. And all the love either of them could ever need in between their wants. Needless to say, they are SPOILED. Rotten.

John and I have always joked that when we die, we'd like to come back as one of our own pets. They sure live the life (and they know it).

But there is one thing that has us both completely frustrated to no end. Our fuzzies are ridiculously FUZZY! And they share. They share too much. We don't have dust-bunnies in our house. We have dust-buffalo! They tumble across the floor, headed every-which-a-way. No matter how much I vacuum, sweep, brush or mop. The floor will look great for about a day.

Then it's back.

Story of my life.

So when a  product says it will help end the hair battle. Believe me when I say, if a store sells it. We've bought it. For a while (when we lived in our apartment) I was in denial about it and figured it wouldn't be a problem and never did anything to prevent the hair. Big mistake. Before I knew it I was finding fuzzies in my cookies, on my pillow, in my drink, even IN the flour canister. That's when I had HAD it with the fuzzies.
No way could I have people over and not have anything to serve them because I had hair in it. GROSS! So our adventure began.

First we tried lint rollers.

Yes, they work. No, they are not a permanant fix. Perfect for getting fuzzies off your pants, car seat, or shirt before a meeting. Not meant for the ENTIRE HOUSE. We still use them (every morning before work), but not the fix we needed.

Our next attempt. A new vacuum cleaner.
We bought the Bissell Lift Off Vacuum Cleaner. I would have loved a Dyson, but I didn't have that kind of money to put into a vacuum. So I did my research and this was the best choice for the money according to Consumer Reports. And boy and I glad I went with this one.

It has lots of gadgets and gizmo's to get into the tiny-est places. Not just for fur, but for general cleaning too. Aaaand a special fur-grabber for lots of pet hair suckage on furniture. Yes, that's right. I just said suckage on my blog. :) It does wonders for our floors. Both carpet and hardwood... and the car! So for the money (under 150 bucks.. and lower when it's on sale! I got mine at Target on sale for $79!). A definate deal.

It helped A. Lot. Shew.. we're getting there.

But what about our pillows and the bed? We had heard about those new Pledge hair remover thing-y's. So we gave it a shot too. Why not? We've nearly done everything else. And I had a coupon. So we tried it and fell in love with it too.

For those times we don't want to use a ton of lint rollers. It really does work. I prefer to keep one in the car (next to maggies water bottle) for those quick trips around town when the weather's nice. Makes for very quick clean-up. And since they come in a pack of two, I keep the other one in my bedside table drawer for a quick little swipe whenever I see it needs a little attention.

So, Yes, the vacuum cleaner and the fabric sweeper help to clean up the mess... but how can we prevent it?
Special Dog/ cat shampoo? Tried it. Didn't notice a big difference.
Food? Overpriced and it too, not a big difference.
What about those rubber comb-like things? You know the ones They look like a brush on one side and a squeegie on the other. Bought one for 7 bucks and it works better as a chew toy than trying to get ANYTHING off the floor. A total dud. Gah!

Then, one day.. I saw a commercial.
Yes, I am one of THOSE girls. I will get sucked into a info-mercial in a nano-second. John has to have parental controls on the QVC and HSN channels at christmas time (just kidding. kind of.).

Enter the Furminator. If you have an animal with hair, you NEED this. Yes, it's a dog brush. Yes, it's expensive. I'm talking $50 expensive.

My first instinct was Whaaaat?!? For THAT?!? No way. There's got to be a better choice. So I was in denial. Again. Yes, I should have learned the first time. Well let me be the first to tell you, there isn't a better choice. I've done ALL the research for you. This little guy is the WAY to go.

It's magic. Once you use it, you know what I mean. No, it's not a razor, but it sure looks like one. It has TINY combs that get UNDER their topcoat and pulls out all the loose hair from underneath. The BEST thing I love about this guy is it keeps all the hair in one place while you use it! There's a magnet in the head of the brush that keep a static cling on the hair so it doesn't go flying. I swear the first time I used it on Maggie I got 3 Maggie's out of her! A-maz-ing. I was speachless. You can brush your dog daily, weekly or whenever you feel the need. The more you use it, the less they'll shed. I would love to do it daily, but I doubt the fuzzies would like that so much. We tend to be more on a weekly basis at the Early house.
We've had ours now for 3 years and it's still going strong. Maggie has really really thick, dense hair and it works perfectly. Pickles has lighter, less dense but still just as much hair and it works great on her too (when she holds still).

So, in our humble opinion and after LOTS of trial and error, we suggest a GOOD vacuum, a Fabric Sweeper and a Furminator to keep all the Fuzzies (and the rest of the house) looking just as good as you.

What about you other pet lovers out there? Any method that works great for you I've overlooked? I'd love to hear all about it!

*I do hope that SOMEONE found this post to be helpful. We were not compensated in any way for the above mentions. We just like passing along word of great products that help make your life a little less hairy (sorry, pun totally intended). *

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Versitle Art You Can Use Over and Over Again

Let me start by saying a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who posted comments about the living room makeover. I am so honored to have been featured on the DIY Showoff . For all my  (newer) followers, I can't wait to meet you and thanks for stopping by!

I can't wait to share with you this easy-peasy project I did a while back. But before I get to the project (I know, I'm so mean) let me share with you the background of this story/project.

Before we bought our beloved home, we lived in an apartment in Raleigh. We loved our apartment. Lakeside views, plenty of running room for Maggie, and ample storage. But alas, it wasn't ours. I've always had this need to make my spaces mine, and knowing I couldn't do anything permanant on our walls I had to get creative.

Enter Stampin' Up.
I LOVE Stampin' Up. I've become a paper snob because of them (and my fabulous Stampin' instructor, Catherine). And I promise to tell y'all all about my love for them in another post, but for right now I'm going to focus on one great thing they have.
Vinyl Decals.

It's under their Home Decor line and I love it. So creative. So fun. And yes, it's made for your walls. But wait. I live in an apartment. I can't put that on my walls.. nor can I take it with me when I go. So I put my thinkin' cap on and figured out a way I can have my cake and eat it too.
I put it on a picture frame.

I wish I took pictures of this project, but I wasn't blogging then. Dang. So You'll just have to oooh an ahhh at my after pictures.

I chose the "E" decal and a Wreath decal to surround the E. I found an old frame that we weren't using and decided to use that. Perfect. I lined the back of the frame with some Scrapbook Paper (also from Stampin' Up!) for my "E" to stand up against and really add character to our living room. Here's a picture of it from when we lived in our apartment.

(sorry for the horrible pic. it's the only one I could find.)

Perfect-o. It's now 3 years later and I still love it. Here it is in our living room now.  But the BEST THING about this simple project is, I can remove the paper in the back and exchange it out if my decor changes or I move the frame to another room. ACK! Love the versatility of it!

* Yes, I realize there's a strip of white at the bottom. Stupid background slid down and I've been too lazy not gotten around to fixing it yet.
Do you have any projects that you love? Share share share! I can't wait to see what you all have come up with!

* I was not paid or compensated by Stampin' Up for this post. I simply love their stuff and want to share wonderful things with y'all! If you are interrested in making your own monogram or for more ideas, contact the amazing paper crafter, Catherine Pooler at http://www.catherinepooler.com/*

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tags for 3's

I was tagged by Jac over at jayayceeblog.  Go check her out and here are my 3's! Enjoy.


Bussie (childhood nickname)




Sweet Tea!
Peach Bellini (which you can read about here)


Office Manager for Attorney's office


True Blood
Law & Order SVU
Modern Family


Paris (again)


Full House
Will & Grace
The Cosby Show


My mom's squash casserole and fried okra
BBQ- eastern NC style
Chocolate mousse cake (what? that isn't a dish?)


Our First Anniversary
Finally taking our honeymoon
Laugh Lines


Friday, July 9, 2010

Today's Feature on the DIY Showoff!

I am so honored to be the feature post over at the DIY Showoff! Roeshel is one of the most amazing DIY transformers in blogland and I am just over-the-moon excited to be in such wonderful company. Her website is www.thediyshowoff.blogspot.com to check her out.

To see me as the feature, Check out the post here

Thanks Roeshel for featuring me today!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Living Room Project Breakdown

This was the best and the worst project I've ever done. I say that because I had a vision in my head, but trying to get all those visions into the room was hard. Especially having such a short budget. The most expensive thing in this room was the floor lamp. But we'll get into that later.

I started this project the last week of May. It's now July. When I say I'm done, I'm really not. There are still some things that may need a teak here and there. I swear a home is never really complete is it? :)
The first project I tackled was the fireplace. Here is a shot of what it looked like before it's facelift. Not bad per se, but not what I wanted either. John and I had this ongoing "battle" over what to do with the fireplace. I wanted to paint it white, he liked the natural wood color. After many discussions, we did decide to paint it (since most homeowners like white now-a-day and it would increase our resale value, since this isn't our forever home). This is what sparked the living room makeover. John was leaving for a business trip to Salt Lake in late May. I decided I would surprise him with a new room.

So one evening, one of my wonderful friends (thanks Emily!) came by after work and we got started on painting it. I primed it with some Kilz before painting it. I used Behr's Ultra White paint. Here it is now.

Beautiful. And yes, John loves it.

The next project I did was the couch. I needed to update the pillows in a bad way. Our couch is a hand me down, and as much as I love it, it is beginning to show its wear. Since we can't replace it yet, I knew I could give the pillows a little help. So I took the original pillows (as you can see in the first picture) and took off their covers. I knew I wanted a beachy, fun print, so off I went to the fabric store. I found exactly what I wanted.

I thought I liked the rust brown one because I'm in love with the texture, but it doesn't work in the living room so it will be used in another room someday. But the one on the left was PERFECT. It was pricey at $26.99/yd. which is way out of my budget. Luckily, it was on sale that weekend and I had a coupon (score!) I swear the stars were aligned that day. I ended up skipping out of the store with 3 yards of this fabric for only $7.99/yd! I still can't believe it. It ended up being the perfect fabric for my pillows. The green pillows I made from some leftover fabric I already had. Perfect.

We exchanged the oversized coffee table for another one we had upstairs. Since the "big box" as we admiringly call it was just a little too large for our small living room, we exchanged it with one we had in storage. It opens the room up and since you can see the floor underneath, does make the perfect place for Maggie to beg for popcorn. :)

The mirror above the fireplace I repainted. I used it as a child above my dresser for years. Come to find out, it's a hand-me-down from one of my Gram's dear friends I knew as "Grannie Ruth" who died in the 1990's. She was 88. The mirror was Grannie Ruth's mothers!

Project number 3 were the sitting chairs. I moved a couple of our chairs from the kitchen into the living room. I inherited them from my grandparents. They were made after my Dad's dad decided to have new chairs made out of some wood from our family farm back in the 80's I believe. I love the history behind them. When I first got them they were little worn and tattered so I re-covered them in a red stripe to match the kitchen, but I knew I wanted them to be beachy for this room. Hmm. I have seen all over blogland amazing curtains and pillows using painters canvas from hardware stores. So I headed to Lowes, grabbed some for myself for only $4.99 I slipcovered the chairs. I didn't take off the original red stripe, I just slipped the canvas over it. Looks just like linen and gave me the look I was visioning all along. If I need to move them to the kitchen for holidays or guests, I just take off the canvas. Voila.
The adorable pillows in the chairs I found at Goodwill for $2.99 each.

That awesome glass jug was found in my grandmothers house while we were cleaning it out. After a good wash it was perfect. You can't really tell in the pictures, but it has a subtle blue/ seaglass look. Beautiful.

The bookcase in the corner was a gift from my mom's dad. He passed away in 2002, but made this for me when I was a little girl for all my toys and books. My mom has been holding onto it for when I had my own house. The picture below kinda shows you how it looked before I painted it. I didn't really want to paint it. I had this internal struggle with myself for a while it was "being tested" in the living room. Grandaddy made this for me with his two hands. For me. Thinking about me while he made it. How could I cover it with paint? But it just didn't look right. So after a while, I decided to paint it. I wanted to love it in this room, not just like it. I decided to take the plunge, paint it and MAKE IT WORK FOR ME. And I'm SO GLAD I DID. I love it. It's perfect, and maybe, one day, I can pass it down to our little one for their toys and let Grandaddy's vision live another generation. I know he would be so proud.

Like I mentioned earlier, we did purchase the new floor lamp. I let John pick it out. He liked the square lines. I still haven't decided if I want to switch out the shade for a drum one. Any thoughts?

As for the foyer, I reused the small table we already had. It was a gift from my Gram (mom's mom) several years ago when she found it at an antique store. It's the perfect small table for a tight spot. The basket underneath was a given to us (thanks Lyndi!) at one of my bridal showers. It's been a real life-saver.

I shopped the house and found some picture frames that I placed beach pictures in. Love being able to shop the house and not spend a dime :)

The "E" monogram was a project I made back when we lived in our apartment. I bought the vinyl "E" and the wreath from Stampin' Up. I'll give the run-down on that project a little later since it's pretty cool (and very easy to do).

The grand total of our living room cost us $78.42 including paint. Not bad right? I don't think so. This comes to show that you can have a house that you love with a little patience, a little digging and some creativity.

So that's the run down on our new facelift-ed living room. Did I miss anything? Have you done any projects you love? Any room redecorating you'd love to share? I'd love to feature it or see what you've done. Any project big or small.

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