Change your ugly light fixture today!

I don’t know why, but houses almost always have at least one, or several of these type of light fixtures:

I call this unfortunate fixture a “boob light” because, well…you know. Look at it! For some reason all builders insist on installing these in homes (ahem, they’re cheap.) and I’m sorry not sorry, they’re ugly. They hold bugs and dust and don’t give off sufficient light. There, I said it. Nothing against a boob, it just doesn’t go on my ceiling. Ya know?

BUT, while puttering around my house recently a boob light light bulb went off over my head! (translation: I got an idea!) What if I could take off the lampy boobish part and instead use a lampshade?! Y’all. I may not have another good idea for years, because I feel like this one was pure gold. It was easy, cheap and quick. I am so pleased with it and I’m excited to share it with you! I think you’ll really love it.

Unscrew these two pieces from the bottom. Careful to hold up the glass part (uh..the boob) of the light fixture. These are what holds it up. Keep these handy, because you’ll need them again.

Now, avert your eyes if you’re the quesy type. What you’re about to see, you can never unsee.

See? I’m sorry we all had to see that. At this point I’m thinking, “hey, if this plan won’t work, at least I’ve cleaned out this mass burial site for moths! But gosh, I hope this works because….yuck.”

See that bolt in between the light bulbs? That’s what held on the glass part and will hold on your lampshade. Depending on the size lampshade you use, you may have to trim your bolt down, or go pick up a shorter one from a home improvement store. Ours was a bit long, so after measuring, Brian trimmed it using bolt cutters.

I snatched this shade right off a lamp upstairs, because this was an emergency! What’s even better than already having what you need? Having found it so affordably in the first place- I found it at Goodwill for only $5.99! (See what else I will only buy second hand here)

It must be a lampshade with this type of fitter inside. If you have what’s know as a “spider fitter”, or “harp and finial” (the type that sits above the light bulb) this project won’t work. If you need a lampshade, this one from Walmart is less than $10 and ships in two days.

Line up your lampshade with that bolt coming right through the center of that fitter. It will seem a bit awkward, but once you get it tightened on, you can straighten a bit.

Remember these?? Screw them back onto the bolt just like they were, but better, because now they’re holding up your cute lampshade.

That’s it! $6 and literal minutes of “work” to swap out an ugly, bug filled light fixture with a lampshade. Please let me know if you try this, and if you’re interested in any of my other light fixture diys, you can find them right here:

I would love to hear from you, and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

The ONLY place you should be buying baskets, and a Dining room chair makeover

As I’ve shared before, I love finding thrifted treasures. And I may be biased, but I am sure that my local Goodwill store is the best Goodwill store there’s ever been.

I know there is a bit of an “ick” factor to using someone else’s old stuff, but besides the fact that most things can be washed or cleaned after you purchase, I love the unique look you can give your home with things you’ve repurposed. I often feel proud of how little I’ve paid for an item that I’ve been able to turn into something I really enjoy using in my decor.

Like this old tool box. (It was $8 in case you’re curious)

That basket with the pillows is also from Goodwill.

Or this basket I use for my cook books:


Friendly PSA: DO NOT buy baskets from anywhere that isn’t a Goodwill. It is a basket-a-palooza at that place. You can find any shape, size, and style of basket to fill any need you have. Laundry hampers, trashcans, decorative…the one pictured here was meant to hold a 9×13 dish. I have a basket of some kind at every door for shoes. All from Goodwill, all for less than $10, and likely less than $5.

My kids know better than to say they can’t find their shoes. If they’re not in a basket, you better keep it to yourself. I have set you up for success little people. Shoe. Baskets.

Also, lamps. Will you find the lamp of your dreams at Goodwill? Probably not. But I love the warm, cozy look of lamp light and for much cheaper than new, you can find many styles, colors and sizes of lamps any day at a Goodwill.


My latest, and perhaps greatest find is a dining room table and four chairs. We have been on the look out for a new, rectangular table for our dining room. We have even discussed making one ourselves, which is still the plan, but for $150 and a little diy-ing these chairs went from someone else’s old stuff, to my new dining room set.

Here’s a look at their old seat cushions, with help from my awkwardly posed assistant.


Here’s another, in case my adorable model threw you off a bit.

Under the chair, there were 4 screws holding the cushion on. Unscrew each one, and set aside for when you’re ready to put it back together! Don’t forget where you put them. Just sayin’….I gave each cushion a wipe down with a damp, slightly soapy rag and sprayed with febreze before covering.

Cut your fabric so you have 2-3 inches of border around the outside. I chose this tan ticking because, 1) I already had it and 2) ticking is classic and timeless, but mostly because I already had it. 🙂


I started at the top with a staple right in the middle. This gave me some leverage to pull the rest of the fabric around. Don’t stress too much about the perfection of this first staple. You can go back and give it another tug and another staple if it needs it.

Fold the corners, “gift wrap style” and staple. I kept a hammer close by to really ensure those staples were in good, and tight on the corners. Keep the fabric pulled as tightly as you can with all the staples following that first one. You don’t want it bunchy.

My photographer, who is also my husband, is taunting me in this picture saying things like, “work it. work it. Nice stapling…” and things to that effect. He’s hilarious.

This is a crucial step! Spray the living daylights out of your newly covered cushions with this  blessed stuff.  It seems too good to be true, but I can wipe off drips, drops and spots with a wet cloth and I’ve been really pleased with how clean the cushions have stayed. Buy some here.



We’ve had these chairs for almost 2 months, and this is Landon’s seat. See what I mean about the Scotchguard?? Why haven’t I been Scotchguarding all the things??

There you have it! This project took less than 2 hours, and including the applying and drying of the Scotchguard spray, it took 2 days to finish. I am happy to give this table a new home here, at the Yellow House and make some happy meal time memories around it.

Do y’all shop at Goodwill, or other comparable thrift type stores? What are your favorite things to get there? Is the “ick” factor a dilemma for you? Love to chat with y’all about it.

I’m always so glad to have you here, thank you SO much for reading! -Steph

The Smiths Do Round Top

Through the years, Brian and I have shared a love of garage sale, flea market, and antique store shopping. When we were dating, and first married, in college, we would hit up this flea market outside of Nacogdoches on Saturday mornings. We got his clock there:

I’m pretty sure we paid less than $10 for it (Brian says $5). It’s lived with us in our apartment in Nac, our house in Houston, our house in Cedar Park, and now Driftwood. It still works and everything.

These days, our ‘people’s old trash’ shopping experience is limited to the yearly Settlement Home garage sale in Austin ( Plug: The sale raises money for a great cause, The Settlement Home for Children, so if you’re looking for a great place to donate, here’s some ways you can help: Brian and I look forward to this all year. We have found many treasures there. Some vintage finds, like our antique desk, and this washboard, hanging on the stairwell gallery wall:

But, we also got our food processor and weed eater there too. I pretty much outfit my kids for the whole year from that sale. Like cute, boutique stuff and matching Christmas pajamas. Yes, please.

Anyway, all that said, Brian and I have been really wanting to get some “new” (and by new, I mean new to us) things for this house. The challenge is that you have to be hunting for these items for as long as it takes. This requires patience, and acceptance, of your current space which doesn’t quite align with your vision yet.

These days, you can re-do your whole house in a few hours at a furniture store. (“These days”?! Excuse me while I put on my bifocals, and get out my crossword. Is it cold in here? I need my sweater.) -Not knocking that at all by the way. Not everyone wants dead people’s stuff in their house. If I was offered a Pottery Barn shopping spree-forget it. I take it all back. I love new stuff. (that’s not sarcasm-my first language. That stuff is awesome.)

But, making things, re-doing old things, and finding those things takes time.
As part of the hunt, about once a week, or so, Landon and I hit up the Goodwill nearest us to, “look for treasures”. And, I have found some. Like this crate, for example:
Landon also found a Buzz Lightyear toy. I’m sure he would say was that was our greatest accomplishment on those trips.
But, this week, Brian and I did something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We went to ROUND TOP. If you don’t know, Round Top refers to about 10 miles of tents and shops in and near Round Top, TX. All filled with vendors peddling their wares. Many vintage, antique goodies, some rustic-looking creations, furniture….some of it is in the style of a garage sale:  a large table with a mound of tetanus, errr…rusty knobs, and old keys. Some of it beautifully styled, and usually more pricey.
In one word: overwhelming. I think I was lost the whole time. “You’ll give me a million dollars if I can point to where we parked?” Can’t do it. I’m surrounded by chippy, rusty, dusty treasures and I can’t, and don’t want to, find my way out.
We walked from shop to shop from 10 AM-6 PM. My pedometer (on my phone. No, I didn’t wear one on my belt.) clocked us at about 20 miles. So, if you’re thinking of going, wear good shoes, take your water, and put on sunscreen.
And, if you’re like me, maybe bring your flare gun/smoke signaling equipment.Soooooo, here’s some of the things we found in Round Top:

Side Table
Living Room Rug
Oktoberfest Table

That table right? We have had our eye on outdoor eating furniture/blogs about building our own, since we moved. We have two huge porches, and gorgeous views. The guys we bought this from were German, and informed us that the tables/benches are used by breweries for Munich’s Oktoberfest (big party of tents with thousands of these tables drinking all day). They had like a thousand of these tables and benches you could mix and match. We sorted through many of them, but ended up being happy with all three pieces. We love that the table, and the benches can fold up, so they can be stored/moved easily. But, they are long and skinny, so they fit really well on the porch without taking up too much space.

We left feeling happy with our purchases, and had so much fun. I would go back tomorrow, but I think Brian would settle for next year.

Thanks for reading! XO, Steph
(Originally Published March 26, 2017)