A Much Needed Grown-Up Update

update

I’ve lived in three different houses and have probably upgraded my decor only three times in my 24 years.  I’ve had the same color room since I was in 7th grade and to this day I still use some of the same decorative accessories I used back then.  Coming to work for the Paul Michael Company, I took advantage of the vast array of decor at my finger tips.  My kitchen, living room, dining room, and hallways were quickly transformed into a cozy yet sophisticated environment.  However, in my year and a half of employment with Paul Michael Company, I never touched my bedroom.  My walls were adorned with paintings I did in middle school and paintings done by my nephew when he was about seven; my idea of a gallery wall.  My hutch was home to all of my jewelry boxes, random pig tchotchkes, and my cheerleading pictures from middle and high school.  After my husband built a new bed so we could retire the bed I used in college, I decided it was time to perform a much needed grown-up update, for both of our sakes.  Here are the results:

Our Bed Before

Our Bed Before

Try not to judge my lack of bed making, I didn’t know this photo would be used for a blog post at the time.

My "gallery wall"

My “Gallery Wall”

Yes, you’re seeing Ren and Stimpy, Ralph Wiggum, and an Andy Warhol replica.  I’m very happy I’ve kept these around over the years, but it was time to send them from the bedroom to the guest room.

Bed upgraded

Bed Upgraded

This corner of our bedroom feels much cleaner now.  To offset my colorful tapestry, my husband chose the Paul Michael Company Resin Elk Head to hang above us at night.  Yes, I love the way it looks.  Yes, it is a little scary to sleep under.

Click for Pewter Bedding (for some reason this bedding photographs blue, but it is a grey tone in-person), Decorative Pillows, and Sheepskin Rug.

The Petrified Wood Stump and Resin Elk Head can be found in-stores.

Yes, scary.

Only a little scary

Now for the hutch.

Hutch Before

Hutch Before

These small keepsakes worked fine in my college years, but should have been retired as soon as my husband and I moved in together.  This update was a little delayed but the results are worth it.

Hutch Upgraded

Hutch Upgraded

The room feels entirely different now and it works for both my husband and me.  This look wasn’t at all hard to achieve.  I replaced my old jewelry boxes with matching bone inlay boxes, I found frames for the photos I just had propped up, I chose a shallow petrified wood bowl to hold the jewelry I swap out daily, and randomly selected accessories I liked (I realized later most of them were animals) to fill the rest of the space.

Click for Rhino Bookends, Mirrored Star, Hippo Figurine, Orange Frame, Small Bone Inlay Box, Medium Bone Inlay Box, Bone Inlay Frame, and White Hour Glass.

The Vintage Crate, Glass Float with Rope, Ceramic Hand and Petrified Wood Bowl can be found in-stores.

Sometimes simple things like changing pillow patterns can make a huge difference and sometimes grabbing the bull by the horns for a whole room redo is exactly what you needed.  And sometimes exchanging your piggy banks for bookends is entirely necessary.

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

DIY Mesh Carrot

DIY Mesh CarrotThe unpleasant cold weather we’ve been having had us under the impression spring would never get here.  But warm weather has moved in, the grass is getting greener, and unfortunately for us down south, the mosquitos have started their familiar buzz.  With our DIY Mesh Carrot instructions, you can affordably update your door decor to match the changing season.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Supplies

Supplies

Step 1

Step 1

Step One:  Straighten out your half of the work garland on a table. Open the orange mesh and let the roll fall to the ground while holding on to the ribbon’s end. Working with the roll on the ground is much easier. Pinching the ends of the ribbon with both hands and bunch your way to the center. Using the springs on the end of the work garland, twist the bunch with the springs like using bread ties. Once secured, find the widest point of the ribbon and pinch and bunch your way to the center of the ribbon, again. Secure to the same set of sprigs.

Step 1 Continued

Step 1 Continued

Work your way down the garland frame, finding the widest point of the ribbon, pinching, bunching, and twisting to make a straight line of single poofs. Try to tie the ribbon in as close to the frame as you can get since you will be adding more poofs to the sprigs.

Step 2

Step 2

Step Two:  Starting at the top of the garland again, make another row of poofs, but only down to the sixth sprig. Make the poofs at the top larger to accentuate the shape of the carrot.

Step 2 Continued

Step 2 Continued

Now, make one more line of poofs down to the fourth level. There are seven levels of poofs – 1st has three poofs, 2nd has three poofs, 3rd has three poofs, 4th has three poofs, 5th has two poofs, 6th has two poofs, 7th has one poof.

Step 3

Step 3

Now it’s time for you bow.  Go here for bow instructions- they start around 2:20.

Step 4

Step 4

Step Four:  Tie in your bow using the wire frame.

Step 5

Step 5

Step Five – Tie on the asparagus bush to the back side of the wire frame. Use floral wire to secure it.

DIY Mesh Carrot

DIY Mesh Carrot

Now get to hanging and make all of the neighbors jealous!

-Video and Instructions by Elizabeth Michael

 

 

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jake Michael

introducing

 

Exactly ten days ago we had the pleasure of gathering to witness Jake Michael, and his fiancée, Leigh Thompson, tie the knot at St. Mary’s Catholic Church here in Lake Village, Arkansas.  The ceremony was beyond everything you would expect it to be.  The bride was a stunning vision in white with an anxious smile draped across her face, the guests whispered to their friends how exquisite the dress was as soon as the future Mrs. Jake Michael walked in the door, bridesmaids and groomsmen squirmed excitedly through the ceremony as their close friends committed themselves to one another, and the groom looked taken aback at the gorgeous girl standing across from him.

Shortly after the “You may kiss the bride!” part, we headed down Main Street to Paul’s office to celebrate the newlyweds.  Normally, Paul’s office serves as the accounting office, board room, bread baking kitchen, Dove Hunt party venue, and warehouse for Ecommerce.  In just a week’s time, it was transformed into a reception hall for the new Mr. and Mrs. Jake Michael.  Using Paul Michael Company merchandise, Ron Pepper worked his magic to create the “woodsy wonderland” the bride envisioned for the event.  He certainly did not disappoint!

Before it all started

Before it all began

Getting started

Getting started

The centerpieces

The centerpieces

Teak bench seating

Teak bench seating

One of the buffet areas

One of the buffet areas

Click here to shop our reclaimed freight flooring tables.

Another of the buffet areas

Another of the buffet areas

Anyone need a cold beverage?

Anyone need a cold beverage?

The cake.  Need we say more?

The cake. It almost looked too good to eat.  Almost.

Fun fact about the cake:  Paul’s sister baked and decorated this delectable masterpiece.  The flowers are made out of sugar.  Yes, sugar!

Cozy seating area

Cozy sitting area

No centerpiece.  Just a bit of light.

No centerpiece. Just a bit of light.

Gifts for the girls:  nail polish and bobby pins

Gifts for the girls: nail polish and bobby pins

Side tables

Side tables

Usually the brick and wooden walls of the accounting office and kitchen areas are bare, but Ron hung Paul’s favorite antique wall art to add some color and character.

Antique circus art

Antique circus art

Star Brand Shoes

Star Brand Shoes

This particular antique sign belonged to Paul’s grandfather.  Our corporate office resides in the old Mansour building on Main Street, so this sign was a special sight to see.

Jake's Place

Jake’s Place

The happy couple

The happy couple

Of course we couldn’t do a post about the happy couple without picturing the happy couple! Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jake Michael, y’all!

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

 

 

 

PMC Cooks: Tasty Tuna Casserole

Tasty Tuna CasseroleWhen my husband requested tuna casserole for dinner yesterday evening, I didn’t want to take the easy way out and just serve up a box of Tuna Helper.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Miss Betty Crocker, but since I hadn’t cooked in a while I figured I should put in more than minimal effort.  The words, “This is better than my mom used to make,” might have escaped the husband’s cheese covered lips.  Or maybe it didn’t.  I’ll add a bit of mystery to this post.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 oz. Farfalle pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 small, chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup baby peas
  • 3/4 cups chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1 package chopped Shiitake mushrooms
  • 20 oz. tuna packed in oil
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 more tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch or 2 of basil leaves
Ingredients

Ingredients

Here’s how to get cookin':

  • Prepare your noodles al dente.  Set them aside for later.
  • Chop your onions and mushrooms separately.  Set them aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt 4 tbsp butter for your base.  Sautee your onions.
  •  Add flour and stir.  Whisk in your whipping cream and milk.  Bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens, then remove from heat.
  • Add your pasta, tuna, mushrooms, peppers, cheese, and peas.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet, add the remaining 2 tbsp butter.  After it melts, add the breadcrumbs and mix well.  Remove from heat.
  • Put casserole into six, single serving casserole dishes for portion control, or one large casserole dish.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top.
  • Bake at 425 °F for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with red pepper flakes and basil leaves
Tasty Tuna Casserole

Tasty Tuna Casserole

Serve and enjoy!

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

 

 

Meet the PMC Pets

pets_bannerAs most of you know (or so we hope) our stores are pet friendly locations no matter what size or breed.  While this comes as a shock to some people, pets in the work place are nothing out of the ordinary for the Paul Michael Company crew.  Since the company’s establishment, we have always had a pet friendly atmosphere and have even welcomed a cat or two as live in furry friends in our stores.  Since it’s Monday and cute fur babies put a smile on everyone’s face, we wouldd like to introduce the pets of Paul Michael Company!

Tennessee from our Lake Village location has designated napping spots around our store and loves glamour shots.  If you have ever visited our Lake Village location, you’ve probably met Tennessee.

Tennessee

Tennessee

Tennessee

Tennessee

Cypress from our Lake Village home office enjoys climbing in front of computer screens when you give them more attention than her, climbing atop our tallest warehouse shelves, and desk naps.

Cypress

Cypress

Cypress

Cypress

Melba, or Melba Toast if you prefer using her whole name, came to us one day after she followed our Ecommerce Manager, Mary, down Main Street one sunny afternoon.  She has a wonky eye ball and she’s put on a few pounds since her arrival, but she is just as snuggly and endearing as the next kitty.

Melba Toast

Melba Toast

Melba Toast

Melba Toast

Melba Toast, the early days

Melba Toast, the early days

Sheba is the on-staff security guard at our Lake Village home office.  Her favorite hobbies are sitting in laps, barking at anyone who comes in the office door, and fashion.  You might see an “outfit of the day” post coming from her soon.

IMG_1192

Sheba

Sheba

Sheba around Easter time

Sheba around Easter time

Aggie spends her days at our accounting office with her dad, Joseph.  She may look like a tiny pup, but she’s full of muscle and spunk.  She attends most of our corporate meetings and loves munching on pecans.

Aggie at Christmas

Aggie at Christmas

Aggie

Aggie

Aggie

Aggie

Quite a few people ask how all of our dogs and pups get along.  They are all incredibly friendly and often spend their time playing chase or tug of war together.  They take turns sharing food and love cuddling for naps.  They have even banned together before to help us pack Ecommerce orders.

Cypress and Melba

Cypress and Melba

Sometimes they forget how to nap together, but it results in adorable pictures like this one.

Cypress and Melba

Cypress and Melba

Cypress and Melba

Cypress and Melba

Cypress and Sheba

Cypress and Sheba

Some studies have shown that having pets in the work place makes for a more productive work day.  We can certainly say, it sure does make things more entertaining!

And because we love our furry friends so much, we always keep them in mind when making our market purchases.  Click here to shop our pets section.

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

Inside the homes of Paul Michael Company employees: Christmas edition

Tree_Napkin

After seeing the displays we have in our stores, we hear a lot of, “What do your houses look like?”  by curious customers.  Understandably so, we sure do think we have a lot of great stuff!  With Christmas coming up, we think it’s the perfect time to give you a peek inside some of our employees’ homes while they’re decorated for the holidays.  Enjoy!

Jenny, Monroe

Jenny, Monroe

Another from Jenny

Jenny, Monroe

Our Canton designer, Jared, has more than 20 trees decorated in his home!  That’s right, we said 20.  And they’re all beautiful!

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Jared, Canton

Lake Village manager, Dominique, turned her kids loose designing their tree this year, and we are all impressed with the result!

Dominique, Lake Village

Dominique, Lake Village

Bailey, Lafayette

Bailey, Lafayette

Charaye, Lake Village

Charaye, Lake Village

Charaye, Lake Village

Charaye, Lake Village

Charaye, Lake Village

Charaye, Lake Village

Joanna, Tara and Jordan G. from our Lafayette location designed this whimsical tree for Amy and her daughter.  It’s hard to look away from that precious grin, though.

Amy, Lafayette

Amy, Lafayette

This is mine and my husband’s first Christmas in our house together, so we still have some decoration acquiring to do.  Considering he’s one of our woodshop managers and I’m a neat freak, I think our wooden trees are perfect for us!

Ainslea, Lake Village

Ainslea, Lake Village

Ainslea, Lake Village

Ainslea, Lake Village

Ainslea, Lake Village

Ainslea, Lake Village

Have a Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Christmas Tree Napkin

Tree_Napkin

Only 15 days until Christmas!  The kids are hyped up for Santa Claus, holiday parties are in full swing, radio stations have switched to everyone’s facorite carols 24/7, and Christmas decorations on par with the Griswold household are on full display.  If you’re having holiday parties or hosting Christmas lunch or dinner at your home, use these quick steps to make your own Christmas tree napkin.  Show that mother-in-law of your’s just how crafty you can be.

Step 1

Step 1

Start with a square napkin.  Fold your napkin into a rectangle, then again into a square.

Step 2

Step 2

With your loose corners facing you, start folding each piece up, leaving about a half of an inch space inbetween each fold.

Step 2.5

Step 2.5

Step 3

Step 3

Very carefully, turn your napkin over so that your folds are face down.

Step 4

Step 4

Now fold one of your corners in to make a triangle at the top.

Step 5

Step 5

Repeat with the other side.

Step 6

Step 6

Flip your napkin back over and rotate it 180 degrees so that your smallest fold is at the top.

Step 7

Step 7

Now, flip your top fold up to make the top of your tree.  Be careful not to flip your fold too much; you don’t want the whole thing to come undone!

Step 8

Step 8

After your first fold, continue flipping all of your folds up.  Tuck the corner point into the pocket of your previous fold.

All done!

All done!

Now you have yourself a Christmas tree napkin.  Decorate them with small ornaments or your favorite candies to add the perfect finishing touches.

Now go forth and craft!

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

 

 

 

PMC Cooks: Quick, Easy and Delicious Mushroom Chicken

Now that we’re happily married, my husband (it’s super exciting that I get to call him husband now) likes to remind me that I promised him I would start cooking again after the wedding festivities were over and I wasn’t so concerned with my “wedding diet.”

This is one of the easiest meals to prepare and it will not disappoint.  It takes about 10 minutes to prep and 35 minutes to cook.  Quick, painless and tasty!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz.)  cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain and wild rice mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few sprinkles of your favorite seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash)
Ingredients

Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375.  Spray a 2-quart shallow baking dish with non-stick spray.  Stir the soup, water, rice, paprika, black pepper, and salt in your dish.  Top with the chicken.

Step 1

Step 1

Scoop some of your soup and rice mixture over your chicken and sprinkle additional seasonings on top to add more flavor.

Step 2

Step 2

Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.  Let stand for 10 minutes and enjoy!

YUM

YUM

-Ainslea Hooton-Snellenberger

‘Tis the Season for Pig Skin

Yesterday marked the first official game day of the 2014 NFL season.  With college and NFL football in full swing, life will revolve around tailgating, game parties, fantasy teams, and carefully planning special events around the big games.  Being from Louisiana and an LSU alum, I had to carefully plan my fall wedding around LSU’s schedule.  Whether you’re a die hard fan or just use football as an excuse to drink and eat entirely too much finger food, we’ve got some decorating tips to show your team spirit.

Door decor is usually the go-to for any holiday season and this is no exception for football season.  Here are just a few examples of what our Creation Station team has done for our local team favorites, as well as some very appropriate ribbon styles.

Team Spirit Wreaths

Team Spirit Wreaths

Find Arkansas ribbon here.

Find Louisiana ribbon here.

Find Fleur de Lis ribbon here.

If you really want to go all out this football season, maybe a table setting is more your style.  Who says you can’t have a classy football sit down dinner?

Saints Table Setting

Saints Table Setting

Maybe a table setting is a little much for you.  Football themed centerpieces will still get the job done, and will allow you to use actual football equipment in a refreshingly dainty way.  Take it a step further and use flowers the same colors as your favorite team.

Football Vase

Football Vase

Helmet Vase

Helmet Vase

Okay, so maybe you’re into more subtle touches of fandom.  Try understated decor pieces using your favorite team’s mascot or symbol.

Subtle Touches of Fandom

Subtle Touches of Fandom

All items above available here.

It’s all in good fun and no matter how you choose to show your team spirit, it’s sure to be a good game time!

-Ainslea Hooton

Coke Crate Decorating

Vintage drink crates have been a part of the Paul Michael Company decorating repetoire for three seasons in a row now.  Paul has always had a passion for antique picking;  his true loves are his wife, Debbie, building one of a kind pieces in his woodshop, and finding antique pieces at a bargain.  Needless to say, Paul has a soft spot for the vintage drink crates.  We’ve explored all kinds of ways to use these in our displays and got a little curious how other folks were using them.  So we took to the nerve center of all DIY decorating ideas:  Pinterest.  Of course this little investigation opened up a whole new world of ideas for reclaiming vintage crates.

crate_advent_calendar

Reclaimed Crate Advent Calendar

crate_calendar

Reclaimed Crate Advent Calendar

crate_baby

Crate Photo Prop

crate_chandelier

Reclaimed Crate Chandelier

crate_coffee_table

Reclaimed Crate Coffee Table

crate_dog_feeder

Reclaimed Crate Pet Feeder

crate_dresser

Reclaimed Crate Drawers

crate_planter

Reclaimed Crate Planter

crate_spice_rack

Reclaimed Crate Spice Rack

crate_wedding

Crate Wedding Decor

crate_wedding2

Crate Wedding Decor

Get started on your own reclaimed crate project with our vintage drink crates for only $16.99!

-Ainslea Hooton

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