Friday, February 26, 2010

$5 Challenge and a Thank You

I'll joining up with Living with Lindsay and the tons of bloggers who read her every day for The Five Dollar Challenge.

Basically you just go to The Dollar Store and buy 5 items for $1.00 each. Then you make something.  Easy peasy.  I know several of you who read my blog (thanks!) and are crafty but don't have blogs of your own (although you should!) might like to do this.  So if you do you can send me pictures of what you make and I'll put you on here and then link to Lindsay's blog on March 25th.  You can also send them directly to her.  Make sure to take lots of pictures all along the way since you'll be doing a tutorial (as in, showing other people how to do it).  Just click here for all the information.

I also want to say thanks to a couple of things that have changed my life this winter. 

Ok...maybe this has not changed my LIFE, but it has definitely changed my hair.  NO STATIC!!!  That's something I get excited about.  Plus it comes in a pump, plus it smells good.  It's a win-win-win.
And no chapped lips.  This stuff works like a charm.  No more dry-lip misery. 
I still need something for my incredibly dry hands...any suggestions?  Are you going to do Lindsay's $5.00 challenge?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Maps

So...I guess you all know I have a thing for maps.  I made a globe bowl back in December and I've started on a map wall project.  I also have maps in a frame along the staircase.

Too much?  Too many maps?  Maybe...but I have another map project in the works.  I thought I was going to finish it last night but I didn't buy enough picture frames.  So I won't show you yet.  But I will show you these two pictures that showed up while I was reading blogs this morning.

This one was featured on Today's Creative Blog and is from Jessica Leigh.
So you see, I can't get away from maps no mater how hard I try! I'm not really trying.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Lisa Leonard Necklace

My necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs came.  And I'm in love.  LOVE.  I added the diamond that Shane gave me for our one year dating anniversary.  It's just perfect. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I love the look of a gathering of plates on a wall.

From here and she even tells you how to do it!


I also love this one found here from the Domino archives.  Adds a little something unexpected in a regular old place.  See the one at the top separated out from the other ones?  That's great.

This one is so how it turns the corner.

Something like this may show up at my house one day...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Tonight we are going on a date.  It's the first we're-not-going-out-just-because-we-have-more-work-to-do-later-but-because-we-actually-like-each-other-and-have-free-time date we've been on in a LONG time!  Between opening a new store two weeks ago and buying a ton of new inventory last week and overhauling the young adult and kids sections at our Warner Robins store we've just been super busy lately. 

We're going to see this movie

Based on this book

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Want Walls of Books? Check out Gottwals

That was the headline for the story Jenny Gordon from The Warner Robins Patriot wrote about our store!

Here's the story:
A community-friendly store that one can be proud of comes to mind for one Warner Robins business owner.

It is a locally-owned bookstore that sells used books, but it's much more than that for Abbey Gottwals, and her husband, Shane, who opened Gottwals Books in 2007.

Located on the corner of Carl Vinson and Russell Parkway in the Parkway Village shopping center, thousands of quality, used paperback and hardback novels can be found inside the 2,700-square-foot location.

In 2006, and with her husband's degree in English and hers in business from Mercer, the idea of opening a bookstore seemed ideal.

"When we hit on that idea, it was just perfect," said the 25-year-old Gottwals.

In the last few years the store has expanded its floor space, and the children's section at the back of the store is currently in an expansion phase.

You can find just about anything to read at Gottwals, including a selection of Melissa and Doug educational items. Its largest sections are adult fiction, young adult, teen and children's books, and a wide selection of science fiction and Christian books.

Having done extensive research on what kind of store they wanted in the community, the Gottwals settled on a formula that has worked well elsewhere: give excellent customer service, have affordable and good quality books, treat everyone like family and as Christians, and in all ways be fair and honest.

"We have a system that people seem to like so we do want to keep serving as many people as possible with it," explained Gottwals.

"One thing I was very adamant about was if we have a used bookstore, I wanted it to be nice and clean and set up well like a new bookstore would be," she continued. "Even now I really take pride in the fact that a lot of people come in, and they'll look around and ask if these are 'new' books or 'used' books."

"We really work on keeping it maintained nicely," she said of the store.

Much of the inventory comes from buyers the Gottwals work with, and all books are hand-selected for shelving.

One idea that has also worked well is trading or swapping books where no cash changes hands. Rather, customers can receive store credit toward the purchase of other books. You can use that credit to pay for up to half of your next item. And if you have books at home you'd like to bring in, they'll take those too if there's a need for those titles.

"A lot of people like to read, and they don't want to hang on to every single book they've read. This makes things more affordable, especially for those who read a ton or people with kids who are always going through new books and phases," added Gottwals.

The average book price is about $4 and in general, paperbacks sell for around $3 to $4. Last summer the young entrepreneurs opened a second, larger bookstore in Byron at the Peach Shops. A third store opened its doors just over a week ago in north.

Like many small business owners, Gottwals admitted the days can be long and the workload heavy.

"There's always something to be done, always improvements to be made, people to contact and books to price and shelve and organize. I've had to balance work with time off. And finding time to spend with my husband," she noted.

"Another challenge is just the novelty of what we're doing," she said. "We wanted to do something that was our own. The benefits to having this store have far outweighed any problems (other) we've had. Challenges have only made us want to be better and keep doing what we're doing."

She added that since the store opened they've spent very little on advertising, relying, instead, on word of mouth to get the word out.

But it's been the customers and relationships she's built over the years that make it all worthwhile.

"Bookstore people are just great," she said.

(Editor’s Note: Gottwals Books in Warner Robins opens at 9:30 a.m. during the week and on Saturdays. All stores are closed on Sundays. To give them a call, in Byron, call 956-0333, in Macon, 477-9200, and in Warner Robins, 225-1044. Also, visit
 A BIG thanks to Jenny for her great article and making me sound so smart!  

Friday, February 19, 2010

GB Baby Bibs

At the request of my bestie, Angela, I'm working on a couple baby bibs for her cutie-pie daughter.

I'm trying out this iron-on transfer thing. I've never done it before but it seems simple enough...$8.99 at Hobby Lobby and I used a 40% off coupon + $0.99 each bib.

 For those of you who can't read backwards, here are the images:

I think sweet little Ari will look precious in them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crazy Weather

Did we really just have snow in our forecast?  Was it just five days ago that I made the world's ugliest snowman?

'Cause here's our 7 day:

Seriously, it's SO pretty outside.  Still a little cold, but inside by the window it's perfect for short sleeves!  Yes!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Something to Look Forward to...

I LOVE having something to look forward to.  I love looking forward to events like my birthday, Christmas, vacation, etc.  But during some lulls, like now, when there's nothing coming up especially quickly, the little things work just fine.  Weeks like this one, when I feel like we've been especially busy, I grab onto anything as something to look forward to. 

Today I am looking forward to my Lisa Leonard necklace arriving...
It'll say Shane & Abbey, of course.

If you haven't checked out her store or her blog you really should.  She seems like an amazing woman.  She donated a gift card to Hope for Haiti, which is how I'm getting my necklace.  I can't tell you how excited I was to see that I won her gift card! 

Anyway, today is a "blah" kind of day with WAY more to do than I possibly have time for so I thought I'd just focus on something fun coming up.  What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bookcases Refreshed: A Before and After

Notice anything different about my bookcases?

Here's a look at BEFORE (don't worry, I didn't actually still have Christmas decorations up) and here's an even earlier before:

And the AFTER:

All it took was a little wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby:

A little scotch tape:

Left side before and after:

Right side before and after:

These bookcases are in our den which has pretty dim lighting and so the white paper makes a HUGE difference in the room.

Things I liked about this project:
Cost - $5.00 for the wrapping paper
Time - Took me one evening, while I was watching the Olympics and doing laundry
Effort - Super easy--just needed a little tape and my xacto knife
Commitment - Will come down easily when I get tired of it

Things I didn't like:
My birdie bookend turned invisible again (see it on the top left shelf?)
I can't decide if I should do the middle piece in between the bookcases.  I think it'll drive me crazy until I do.

I have one more little project to do and then I'm going to get back to my map wall.  I know you're all on the edge of your seats waiting for a big reveal!

Linked up at Pure Style Home, A Soft Place to Land, Today's Creative BlogMy Frugal Family, A Silly Little Sparrow

Monday, February 15, 2010

Place Mat Pillow

I was SO excited to show you what I got done in our den this weekend.  But...I forgot my camera at home.  Sorry!

I do, however, have another little project to share.  I made a pillow out of a place mat...I first saw this project here.

I found a place mat at Ross on clearance for $0.49...I think the first time I made a pillow out of a place mat I paid a whopping $1.29 for it.

This is SO easy to do...just rip out a bit of the seam (I made a fist-sized hole) and stuff, stuff, stuff.  I used the filling out of a pillow I didn't like so I didn't buy and stuffing, but you can usually get it pretty cheap at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

Then you just sew it back up (I did a TERRIBLE job of sewing back because my thread didn't match and the fabric was so thick it was hard to stitch but guess what--nobody will EVER notice!) and get your husband to take a picture of you (this may take a while if he's GLUED to the Olympics but just keep pestering him and he'll eventually do it). 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010


Here's the 13WMAZ forcast:

That's snow, people, and they're saying we can expect 3"-5" of it TODAY. 

UPDATE 3:30pm--SNOW!


I threw on a coat and gloves and ran outside to catch a picture

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Birdie Bookend

A few weeks ago I picked up this birdie bookend at TJ Maxx for $5.00 on clearance.  It was a pretty dark brown/bronze/gold color and I liked it just as it was.  Too bad it turned invisible on my dark wood bookcases.

But don't worry, nothing a little Heirloom Whiting couldn't take care of.  I'm pretty sure it's happy in it's new home in it's new color.

(I thought I got a before picture, but I can't find it--you'll just have to trust me on the "invisible" part.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Projects Coming Soon!

I know the past couple weeks have been full of bookstore news and my life, but I promise I have several projects up my sleeve.  I have to finish the map wall.  I have plans for the back of my bookcases in the den and plans for curtains in the kitchen.

In other news, I had a great time last night with two of my favorite girls and baby Ari.a

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Girlfriends and Jammies

It's raining today (again)...Tonight I'm wearing my jammies (that's pajamas) to Chick-Fil-A to get me one of these for free:
That's a chicken burrito, people, and the yummiest thing ever.  Maybe not EVER, but definitely the best fast food breakfast item EVER.

So...good food and good quality time with two of my favorite girls.  Can't wait.

Monday, February 8, 2010

We Made It: The Macon Store Opens

Friday was a late night for us.  Shane started looking a little happy/crazy around midnight.

Meanwhile, the Papyrus spinner was looking a little sad...

Books were still waiting to be shelved and boxes moved and giraffes were looking longingly out the window.

Mom was wondering why  she had vacuum duty and her daughter was taking pictures...

But some books were ready--they had their act in order and were waiting patiently on the shelves for the next morning to arrive...

In the wee hours of the morning (actually around 9:00) Shane put the store hours on the door...

Forget something?

Finally 9:30 rolled around and we were ready for business!

And then THE BEST THING happened--PEOPLE CAME!!!

Including one of my very best friends from college.  She works in Atlanta now and I hardly ever see her.  It was magic!  Actually, it was conference a few blocks down the road.  But still magical!

I also got to see these two girls--two of my favorites ever!

Shane and I got home to a feast my parents had fixed for us (did I mention they're AMAZING?!?!?!)

Complete with these guys:
Why, it's a red pepper stuffed with avocado and cauliflower...what did you think it was?