A Simple Update

Happy Monday Everyone! 
Tomorrow marks one month since we returned from our trip to Africa, and I appologize that I have not written about it yet.  It was life changing, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around everything I experienced (which is why I haven't posted anything about it yet.)  I promise a post will be coming soon, but today I wanted to share with you a simple update that I gave a tv stand.  This was the second piece of furniture that Michael and I purchased as a married couple, and it fit in our first apartment perfectly.  Now that we have more space in our house it is a bit small, so I decided to paint it using CeCe Caldwell's Memphis Blue.  I love the way it turned out, and so did someone else, because it sold in a matter of days.



Africa Here We Come

We are just a few days out from our Africa trip, and a lot goes through your mind when you are preparing for a trip to a third world country...I hope we get there safely, do I have enough baby wipes in case we don't shower the entire time, what will our accommodations be like, should I bring an entire pharmacy in case we contract some weird illness and on and on it goes.  I was reminded a few weeks ago how far I have come in the last few years.  Some of you might have no clue what I am talking about, but in the efforts of "Let's Keep it Real Mondays" I thought I would share something a little more personal today. 

During the last 3 years I have dealt with A LOT of anxiety, fear and worry.  It spiraled out of control to the point that I could barely drive by myself, because I was afraid I would pass out.  The Lord has brought me through all of that with prayers from so many, scriptures, a very supportive husband/family and some healthy decisions like supplements and detoxing.  (Did you know that stress and anxiety will make you physically sick?)  So now you see that a trip to Africa is completely stepping out in faith.  No control, no security, and no toilets!!!  :)

Over the next 14 days I covet your prayers for us, our team and those we will meet in our travels.  A few specific areas of prayer...
  • safe and smooth travels for the entire team (I am pretty nervous about all the long flights)
  • team unity
  • the Lord will strengthen our marriage
  • I will be filled with peace and joy, not anxiety or fear
  • the Lord will use us to show His love and grace
  • We will come home with a true sense of contentment and that ALL of my anxiety will be broken
Thank you for your prayers!  I cannot wait to meet this sweet little face. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the crazy amount of pink goodies we got her.  Have you ever shopped for someone who has virtually nothing?  Let me tell you, it is hard!  I wanted to buy everything, but at the same time I wanted the gifts to be useful and interactive.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7


Paint Party

We have had one giant paint party around our house lately.  There are so many furniture pieces around our house that have been needing a facelift.  In efforts to convince our neighbors that we aren't hoarders I have made a commitment to not buy anything new, and only paint what we have.  So far it is working and things are slowly cleaning up around here.  Today I wanted to share 2 different projects...

First we have a tired dresser that needed a pick me up.  The dresser was originally white-ish, so I painted it Cece Caldwell's Nantucket Spray, distressed it with sandpaper and used CCCP Satin Finish to seal it.  Can't you tell I love this color?  It is the perfect "beachy" color.  When I sanded it, a deeper turquoise also came through.
{after...how cute are those towels?}
{and that amazing resin octopus sold in just a few days...almost identical to the one featured in Guliana Rancic's nursery for Duke}

Next, I have a set of bar stools that looked as if someone tried to paint them, but failed miserably.  I painted them in CCCP Seattle Mist, dry brushed them with Dover White and sealed them with CCCP Satin Finish.  These bar stools have great classic lines, and are the perfect size for a small area.
{one last picture of the finished products before being taken to the booth}
 If you are interested in either of these pieces they are available at the J. Kelly booth at the Antique Market of San Jose.  5107 San Jose Boulevard Jacksonville, FL 32207.

Have a Great Weekend!! 

Linked to:

Miss Mustard Seed


Sweet Potato Obsession

I have always loved sweet potatoes, but I never realized how much I loved them until I was able to spit out four to five different recipes that I loved without even thinking twice.  I eat sweet potatoes year round, but they are especially good when fall and cooler weather begins (not that we are experiencing that in Florida yet.)  I wanted to share two of my favorite recipes that have become staples in our home; they are SO easy and delicious!

This summer I found that one sweet potato peeled and sliced into thin circles was the perfect amount to complement chicken or fish on the grill.  There are 2 ways to prepare them-- sweet or savory. 
  • Sweet: Lightly coat sweet potatoes in coconut oil and sprinkle cinnamon on top.   
  • Savory: Lightly coat sweet potatoes in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle freshly chopped rosemary and sea salt on top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread out sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 20-40 minutes depending on thickness.  Turn sweet potatoes 1 or 2 times while cooking.  I think they are best when the edges are a little crispy and the middles are soft.  

You are probably thinking that Mexican food and sweet potatoes don't belong in the same sentence, but if you try this recipe you will soon realize that you are very, very wrong.  I make this recipe at least once a month(sometimes more) because it is easy, filling, healthy and husband approved.  This recipe is from the Citron Limette Blog, but I make one change and add ground turkey. 

{Image via Citron Limette Blog}

  • 4 Sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 - 1lb ground turkey
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans (such as Eden Organic), rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1½ cups fresh salsa
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) reduced-fat shredded cheddar-Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. I prefer to bake my sweet potatoes in the oven but for a faster option you can use the microwave...Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes, turning and rearranging potatoes after 5 minutes.
  2. While potatoes cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ground turkey, onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté until meat is cooked. Reduce heat to low. Add beans, corn, and salsa; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  3. Split potatoes lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Fluff with a fork. Spoon about 1 cup bean mixture over each potato. Top each serving evenly with cheese and cilantro.


Pretty Paper Please

I was going through pictures on my phone over the weekend and realized I have done quite a few custom banners this summer for birthday parties, baby showers, engagement parties and so on.  They are such a fun and inexpensive way to create a personalized focal point at any event.

{"Chiefs Treats" was used at a fire chief's retirement party}
{One of the first banners I ever made.  Still one of my favorites}
{A preview of banner for a beach themed engagement party.}
{I loved this simple request for a birthday banner.  Not pictured is an add on of pennants with multi-color ice cream cones.}
{This cute cake topper is perfect of the ice-cream lover and mimicked the ice-cream that attached to the banner above}

(This mini banner hung on the high chair while a cute little girl enjoyed her first birthday cake}

Do you have a party coming up that needs a little something special?  Email me at julianne@juliannekelly.com, and I would be happy to create something unique for you. 

In efforts of "Keeping it Real Mondays" I thought I would share how much my sweet puppy loves paper.  Either she was mad at us for leaving her all day, or she really doesn't like Ballard Designs...


Africa T-Shirts

It has been so so long since I last blogged.  Things have been busy in a good way, but I am hoping to find more time to blog now that things are slowing down.  As I mentioned previously Michael and I are going to Africa in October.  We only have a 6 days left to raise the remainder of our $10,000.  In efforts to raise money I designed a t-shirt that we are selling; all proceeds will go towards our trip. 

Here is the important info...
  • September 8th is the last day to order
  • The shirt is a gray Comfort Colors t-shirt (my FAVORITE) with white printing
  • Please mark your size in the "notes to seller" section when purchasing.  Available in sizes S-XL
  • Shirts are $22 each
  • Shipping is an additional $5 and up to 3 shirts can be shipped together.  (NOTE: If you are shipping more than one shirt add a shirt with shipping included to your shopping cart and then add your additional 1 or 2 shirts with local pick-up so that you are not charged shipping multiple times)
  • Shirts will be for sale until September 8th, and then they will be printed and shipped.  They will arrive before we leave for Africa.
We would LOVE for you to wear your shirt at some point while we are gone (October 9-19th) as a reminder to pray for us and our team.  Thank you in advance for your support! We greatly appreciate it. 

CLICK HERE to purchase


For the Love of Lighting

If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I have a love for lighting, but I am so picky.  Remember our infamous dining room chandelier?  We went over 6 months with that hideous outdated/broken fixture. 
I have been in love with these DeVine balls-- a vine from Thailand that has been formed into a circle and bleached--ever since we found them in Atlanta several months back.  Shades of Light sells them for $479! 

We bought them with the intention of turning them into light fixtures and selling them at our booth for much less than Shades of Light sells them for.  The more I looked at them, the more I wanted to keep one for myself.  I had a light fixture I loved in our "round room,"but I knew the DeVine Ball would make that room even more unique and interesting. Here is how we made our own...

We started out with the guts of an old shiny brass light fixture.

After wiping it down we applied several coats of Rustoleum Hammered spray paint.  I am not a huge fan of the chemicals in spray paint, but this stuff is a miracle worker.  It makes old ugly brass look like oil rubbed bronze. 

Once it dried Michael attached the lighting to the DeVine ball and we hung it.  

 One of my favorite things about this light is the shadow that is reflected on the ceiling.    

If you are interested in a DeVine light fixture or just buying the ball and making your own light, we have several left.  Email me at julianne(at)juliannekelly(dot)com if you are interested. 

Linking up at:
Common Ground
Redoux Interiors


J. Kelly Presents...Painting 101 Workshop

I have some exciting news to share today...I have scheduled our first painting 101 workshops for July 11th and July 13th!!  I would LOVE for you to join us and learn how to use the amazing line of CeCe Caldwell's paints and finishes.  There are only 8 spots available in each class, so click here to sign-up and reserve your spot. 

I will also be offering a 10% discount on paint and finishes for all attendees. 

If you have a group of 4 or more friends and would like to schedule a class feel free to email me at paint(at)juliannekelly(dot)com.  It would make the perfect get together for you and your friends!


Painted Furniture Friday: Beachy Bookcase

I have been lugging around this bookcase since college from one house to the next. It has always been a great source of storage, but not so easy on the eyes.  (I had already taken the shelves out in the picture below.)
The color was just blah, but when I saw this image of a perfectly turquoise bookcase from one of my favorite blogs, Puttin on the Grits I knew there was potential.  I pinned the image so long ago, and kenw at some point she would end up beautiful.
{My inspiration via }
 I cleaned the shelf and then used CeCe Caldwell's Nantucket Spray.  I have been dying to use this color ever since we first got our paint in, and I have a feeling I will be using it on many more pieces.  After two coats of Nantucket Spray, I wet distressed the entire piece and finished with CeCe Caldwell's Clear wax.  I'm in love... 


And just to keep things real...I styled the bookshelf in the middle of my living room.  It is going to be used to hold CeCe Paints at our booth.  We should be getting our next order of paint in soon, and we will have several new colors and a few new finishing products.  

To purchase CeCe Paints come visit the J.Kelly booth at
The Antique Market of San Jose
5107 San Jose Blvd  Jacksonville, FL
if you are out of town we would be happy to ship!
Contact me: paint (at) juliannekelly (dot) com

 Linking Up to:
Common Ground
Miss Mustard Seed


Bathtub Herb Garden

Growing up my aunt always had the most adorable hungarian bathtub that she would use to grow herbs or fill with drinks at a party.  When I found several of them a few months back I snatched them up and knew I had to keep one for myself.  I was hoping to use it for drinks at a party, but since we don't have any parties planned and our summer is pretty busy I decided to go ahead and use it as my herb garden.  I mentioned before that I have a black thumb, but I am happy to say that I have kept my herbs alive. :)

I began by filling my tub halfway with soil, and then placing my herbs where I wanted them.  I planted the taller herbs towards the middle (rosemary, basil, dill, mint) and my herbs that would spill over along the edges (parsley, oregano, thyme).

A few weeks later it looks great and the herbs are happy as can be.  My mint has gone crazy....time to make some mojitos.

I have one hungarian bathtub left and it is priced at $275.  Email me at julianne@juliannekelly.com if you are interested.