Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Home Tour

Chiristmas Wreathe
As this year races quickly into Christmas week,  it is nice to slow down, enjoy every single moment of this glorious season, and invite friends over for a visit.
Welcome to my Christmas Home Tour 2013.Poinsettias

In fact, if my blog White Spray Paint sent out Christmas cards this year to all of my virtual friends with real hearts, its message would be simple:
You are special.
Welcome to my home.
The Living Room
The Nap Room
(also called The Study)
The Kitchen
IMG_1794Christmas Tour
The Den
and Kim’s
Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dear Daughters: Thanksgiving Grocery List


Dear Daughters,

If we were all neighbors, and someday I hope we are,

I would invite you over for coffee one chilly morning in November, and we would work on our

Thanksgiving grocery list.

You could sit on the love seat in the kitchen and laugh and roll your eyes, while I tried my best

to get you to pay attention to all of the important Thanksgiving things I needed to announce.

This partial list below has a history you know.

Great cooking women in our family’s history
still impact this list because they created it.

 Turkey-  Nonnie swore by the Riverside turkey at HEB.  I bought those for years because of her.

I have now become a turkey of least resistance buyer ,and I buy Butterball.

I can’t resist the idea of a 1-800 number hotline.

No one else in the house is awake when I put that 25 pound behemoth in the oven ,so it is nice to

think I could call someone.

Cornbread Dressing- For the bread portion of the dressing, Mamaw (your great

grandmother) always bought hot dog buns and toasted them in the oven. She also made

homemade corn bread.  I buy the herb flavored Pepperidge Farm packages of bread crumbs. I

also prepare 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix.

Cranberry Sauce-
It is at this point on the list that we reveal our blue collar, no nonsense roots.

It is also where we reveal our love of old school, Thanksgiving meals prepared in South Texas public

school cafeterias in small Texas towns. (Examples: Riviera ISD, Ricardo ISD, Falfurrias ISD, Sharyland ISD)

What was part of these wonderfully prepared meals?  Canned, jellied cranberry sauce.

There. I said it.

I have NEVER tasted a fresh cranberry dish at Thanksgiving that I liked or that didn’t make my eyes

squint from tartness.

No thank you.

It is still early.

We have time to plan.

We still need to discuss Katherine’s Sparkle Salad and its origin.  My dear friend Mary Jo made it in

her Home Economics kitchen at Sharyland High School where we taught.

She and her students created wonderful Thanksgiving feasts for all of the teachers for many years.

I love you sweet girls.

Keep a tight rein.

It is getting colder…watch your driving.

I love you,



Joining in at

52 Mantels

Feathered Nest Friday


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Legend of White Spray Paint


Once upon a time,

a retired high school English teacher ,who loved the written word,

discovered an avenue for that word love, and it was called blogging.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I chose blogging because my 3 adult daughters all said,

“Mother, don’t you dare get on Facebook.”)

And so White Spray Paint was born.

Why the name White Spray Paint?

I wrote the answer to that in my very first post.

“My mother was a great proponent of white spray paint and its multiple uses and problem solving qualities in home decor. This has been an important part of our family's home toolbox for as long as I can remember.

She sprayed everything and taught me to do so as well.

White spray paint transformed every piece of old furniture, that my father hauled in a cattle trailer, to the first garage apartment my husband and I had.

As family members arrived with precious treasures to share -my mother cleaned and sprayed, cleaned and sprayed.

White spray paint covered changing tables,baskets,picture frames,mirrors, lamps and wicker screens in the bedrooms of our three daughters- 

her precious, kindred spirited granddaughters.

She made their bedding, their curtains, their pillows and shams- all highlighted by bright, white furniture we had sprayed and redeemed.

White spray paint traveled in the back of my suburban to every dorm room, apartment, and rent house that our daughters lived in while at Texas A&M ( as well as to all other homes thereafter) .

In all of this white spray painting, I know we left random spray marks in alleys and parking lots throughout town.

We have always painted with such great abandon.

She taught us that too.”

And so dear friends, my blog White Spray Paint was born.

Because of its name, I may have accidentally ended up in the world of DIY blogs,

but that is not the story I have to tell.

That would have tickled my mother. 

I can hear her now…   ”DIY? Well who else is going to do it? Of course I do it myself.”

I have likened my blog to that funky, dusty thrift shop on the edge of town-

sometimes open, sometimes closed- with treasures hidden in its depths.

Just know how grateful I am to those of you that are part of the wonderful motley crew who has joined me here.

You’re “doing it yourself” everyday too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dear Daughters: Halloween Confession


Dear Daughters,

I confess…

When you were little, I may have searched through your Halloween candy under

the guise of looking for razor blades or other

threats to your safety

(hallucinogenic tattoos or LSD laced suckers)

so I could

pick out my favorite chocolate candy (Snickers) or other candy (Reese’s Peanut Butter cups).

I confess…

that Halloween costumes were not in my wheel house,

especially after a long hard day of teaching English,

so with great dramatic encouragement

and the lure of all of my jewelry and makeup,

I talked you into being a gypsy or a witch

year after year.


I feel better.

Trick or Treat!

I love you,



Time Travel Thursday

Thursday's Favorite Things



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Fall Tablescape Using Purple


(a favorite fall tablescape from the past)

This fall tablescape was a pleasure to create because of two things:

the use of a new color (purple)


this is one of my favorite times of the year.


I wanted to use purple, and I wanted to fill the table.

I used everything I could find.

I LOVE doing that.

More really is more.


It may seem like too much, but that is the way I like it.


I used my Royal Stafford bird dishes and my Nyssa garage sale soup tureens.



And even though they are not my favorite (as my grandson says), I am so glad I kept my 12

mercurochrome colored goblets.

I have 12- and for several years I have tried to sell them at a local antique mall.

They just wouldn’t leave (sell), because alone they are pretty startling, but mixed in with everything on the table, they become wonderful.

I love THAT too.



My Reed and Barton Francis 1st still makes my heart flutter – and it  has since I chose it many, many years ago.

I only had one place setting for years.

I didn’t tend to it, I didn’t make it a priority, and rightly so I guess.

And then one day I woke up, years had gone by, and I thought,

‘I better get this show on the road.’

And so I turned to Ebay.


I am just so grateful today-

which is not to say that perfection lives in my house,

because it does not.

But the irregular does-

*my purple tablecloth from DD’s Discount- which is a retail phenomenon in and of itself.

That is where things from Ross are sent out to pasture.

Can you imagine?

*my ceramic pumpkins from Walgreen’s- I love multi-task shopping, don’t you?

You can even buy Blue Bell there.

*my copper colored, mercury glass candlesticks (from a garage sale), that I found stuck and forgotten in a cabinet in the little house

*my goblets that wouldn’t leave


a simple life today.


I am linking to these wonderful parties:

No Minimalist Here Open House 

Rooted in Thyme Simple and Sweet Fridays

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blue and White in the Kitchen


(my kitchen sitting area)

Earlier this summer, when the yellow and beige walls of our beloved home started closing in,

and I couldn’t breathe,

I decided to go back to my favorite décor roots .

All of the yellow and beige walls were painted white , and I brought out my blue and white

in abundance.



What did I learn is this process?

*The frame above, previously white (see navigation bar above), was floating like an eye chart.

I set out on the quest to find just the right gold paint.

I wanted it to be Hobby Lobby gold.

More on that later.


The second thing I learned?

How my house feels determines how I feel, and I like that very much.

Plus- I can breathe.


Amaze Me Monday

Make It Pretty Monday

Tuesdays at Our Home
Inspire Me Tuesday

Knick of Time Tuesday

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Mantel 2013

Fall Mantel 2013

Isn’t the ease of fall the best part of it’s charm?

I assembled everything on this mantel in about 20 minutes,

including hammering the swag on top of my monogram burlap canvas.

Does the easy way call to anyone else- aside from me?

I know you’re out there.

We are all traveling through different seasons in life, and simpler calls to me right now.

Fall Mantel 2013 (2)

To see previous fall mantels from year’s past, click here.

Next up?

Simple Fall Food.


Joining in at

The Dedicated House

Tweak it Tuesday

The Scoop

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dear Daughters: Just a Little Advice

Dear Daughters,
* Beware of ‘trends in décor’.  YOU are the trend- your heart, your soul, your creativity. Knock your own socks off. That is what matters.

* If you are dancing with someone to Brooks and Dunn's Neon Moon, and he just doesn't have the beat, take note. Neon Moon dances for you for goodness sake.

* Watch out for high blood pressure carriers. Remember Nonnie's (my mother's) famous line when asked if Papa (my father) had high blood pressure?

"No... he's a carrier."

* While you are young, value all of your friends- even if you are not particularly close or you do not always agree. Life has a way of coming full circle.

* Keep your love of old things- build your collections, and then start another one.  Don't listen to the naysayers who chastise those of us who like old things or things in general. Until they've been bent over with their head in a box of junk at the flea market, they just don't know.

* There is nothing out in the world of busyness, or calendars, or having to be there, or I need to do this, or social obligations that can substitute for a day at home .

I hope you have your head in a box this weekend.
I will, and I will be thinking of YOU.
Love, Mom

Friday, August 16, 2013

Good Morning Students



(First published on my blog in 2009, I wrote this brief post because I was yearning for teaching and my students.

In 2009 I was one year into retirement after 32 years in teaching,and I was having withdrawal.

I know. I know. 

If any of my former English department colleagues read this, I can hear them now:

”Well, you didn’t appear to be ‘yearning’ for teaching during faculty meetings when we were all rolling our eyes.”

Again, I know. 

But this is my fantasy, right?)



My classroom, AP American literature class, March 2008


”Good morning students.” 

(walk toward them, smiling- show them by your body language that you are prepared and you have been waiting for them to arrive and you can’t wait to begin- these first minutes of class are critical)

“Please take out paper and pen for notes.”

(this simple , old school directive sends a message of hope- everyone can take out paper and pen- everyone has a fighting chance for success)

“Our focus this morning is an introduction to the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson-“

(pause… )

“One of the coolest guys you will ever meet.”


“I know, I know.”

( if groaning begins, let them sink into teenager-dom for about 3 seconds and then say)

“Work with me here.”

“Emerson’s on your side.  Today you are going to meet the gift that keeps giving.  Once Emerson hits your memory bank, you will be amazed at the reference points he provides.”

“Turn to page 288 in your American literature book.”

(Note to teaching self: ask someone to read the quotation, but do not call on anyone in particular.

Wait…wait… wait for it -as my grandson would say-

Someone inevitably begins to read- without being called upon to read. I love that. It puts students on edge, which is a really good place for students to be. It’s like saying, “Snap out of it, now let’s get after it.”)

”Let’s look at the quotation ‘whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist’.”

“So Christopher…

(now start calling on them by name- they’re ready)

where are you in this?”

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Have been studying you this summer


I have been studying you this short, hot summer.

Yes, you.

You of

the blogging DIY makeovers,

the makeup videos on YouTube,

the other people who frequent Ross Dress for Less at 8:00 am in the morning,

whoever the guest is on Darryl’s House (Darryl Hall, Palladia channel),

Gary Clark, Jr, (Texas blues guitarist)


Pretty Woman

how to bake bread with 4 ingredients,
and some of the best television I have seen in years.

(Newsroom, The Killing, The Bridge, Ray Donovan- even if I do hide my eyes)

I have spent time reflecting on my introverted personality,

NCAA  college football violations,

how smart my grandsons are,


how much I enjoy brewing Sun tea.


What did you study this summer?


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dear Daughters: My IPod


Dear Daughters:
An important part of your genetic history
is archived,
not in scrapbooks or photo albums but
on my
You have proven a million times over
that you are smart enough and cool enough
to not
place music into generational categories,
thereby ignoring it,
if it is not a product of your generation.

That makes me very proud.
So here is a starter list 
of award winners,
not of the experts,
but from me,
from my IPod.

Best Male Voice……..Michael McDonald
originally of the Doobie Brothers, and to date as a single artist.
I know his hair is white, which may not fit your esthetic, but aside from that,
his covers of Motown are some of my favorites.
And his voice.  Oh my.

Best Intro to a Soul Song…….. Shotgun, Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
I can’t tell you how many times I hit replay on this one.
Even in my 45 record days,
in my lavender bedroom,
in front of the mirror.

Best Male Lead Singer of a Band……..Steve Perry, Journey
His second award should be
Most Recognized Voice.
Don’t Stop Believin makes me want to drive fast.

Best Soul Group/Best Album…….. The Four Tops
The Four Tops Greatest Hits
This album was the soundtrack to
my freshman year at boarding school.

Best British Soul Voice Period…….. Steve Winwood
Do not play Roll With It while driving.
Texting has nothing over dancing while driving.

Best Creative Band……..Fleetwood Mac
Favorite Song……..You Make Lovin Fun

Best Marvin Gaye Dance Song……. Got to Give it Up
Best Marvin Gaye Friendship/ Family Song……..Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Best Song to Get Your Dad to Dance………Taking Care of Business, Randy Bachman
It works every time.
Best Driving to Work Song…….. Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones

Best Soul Sounding Female Country Singer……..Bonnie Raitt
plus from Bonnie Raitt
Best Female Heartbreak Song……..I Can’t Make You Love Me
Best Easy Listening Song……..Nick of Time

Best All -Time Album for The Time It Was Created…….. Tapestry, Carole King

Best 70’s Band…….. Creedence Clearwater Revival

CCR was all about country and soul and protest.
When I hear them now, I think of James Lee Burke novels.
Favorites:  Born on the Bayou, Green River, Fortunate Son.
Proud Mary is just a little too stereotypical CCR for me.
Fortunate Son makes me think of Viet Nam and
the draft.

Ask Dad about his memories of the draft.


Tomorrow I am posting Summer hits 2013.

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Corelle Dinnerware Again


I know many people think Corelle dinnerware’s dish has sailed,

and I know it doesn’t have Pottery Barn’s cool factor.


I am in love.

I recently discovered my newest obsession

with the purchase of 6 dinner plates and the most amazing cereal, Blue Bell ice cream, side salad bowls known to man.



For those of you that had/have these ,

remember how thin and lightweight they are?

I am so tired of heavy dinnerware, aren’t you?

Remember how white they are?

They are the perfect white.

Remember how easy to clean they are?

And the cereal bowls…oh my…

Some pieces are on sale at Target right now friends.

Everything old really is new again, right?


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ranch Recipes #14: Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos 2
Last night I prepared my version of a delicious summer favorite- fish tacos.
You will not find a simpler version.

*fresh corn tortillas
Tip:  When selecting a package of commercially prepared corn tortillas, gently flip flop the package in your hand-
if the tortillas move easily, they are fresh.

*tilapia filets

*1 1/2 Tbs. real butter

*1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil

*flour for dusting

*package of shredded cole slaw cabbage 

*your favorite cole slaw dressing
*your favorite pico de gallo



In a bowl, add the cole slaw dressing to the shredded cabbage and chill it in the refrigerator.

Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat.

When melted, add the olive oil.

Season the tilapia filets with your favorite seasoning.  I prefer TexJoy.

Dust each filet lightly with flour.

Cook the filets on medium high heat in the butter/olive oil mixture.

Tip:  Using a butter/olive oil mixture and lightly dusting the filets is a tip given to me by my dear friend and neighbor Karen .

When flaky remove the cooked filets from the skillet.

In another skillet, heat vegetable oil.

Using a fork or tongs, gently dip the corn tortillas-
one at a time-
into the heated oil to soften them.

Drain on a paper towel.

I like layering the prepared ingredients in this order.

cole slaw
pico de gallo
a dollop of guacamole.

Tip: All of my ingredients are ‘store bought’.

Living in South Texas we have access to freshly made pico de gallo and guacamole at our local

The cole slaw adds the perfect sweetness.

Linking to
It’s Overflowing’s Share Your Creativity.

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