My Rustoleum Trip to the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, NC!


I hope you had a great weekend!

I have been dying to show you the pictures from my trip to North Carolina.

It was a super quick trip but jam-packed full of fun.

Rustoleum was the wonderful sponsors of this blog event, and they sure did spoil us.

We stayed at the phenominally gorgeous Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina.


This house was built in 1915, and it’s most famous owner was James Buchanan Duke after which it is named.

Now it is a gorgeous inn and meeting place that is used for many special occasions, including weddings.

We were greeted in the lobby with a chalkboard sign and flowers in Rustoleum painted bottles.


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Simple and Beautiful!

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Here is a peek of our schedule…

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Rustoleum also had the lobby decorated with chevron signs showcasing their different colors of stain.

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When I entered my room {with a REAL lock and key, not the plastic card kind}, I was floored!  It was absolutely gorgeous, all decked out in antique furniture.


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I couldn’t believe I had the room all to myself.  No sharing.  No boys.  No hubby. No noise.  No dirty underwear.  No juice boxes on the floor.

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Seriously?!  I was like a kid in a candy store!

Look at this beautiful dresser and mirror…

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I had chocolates on my bed!

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And Rustoleum provided a great swag bag full of goodies including our very own copy of Young House Love’s book!

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The bathroom was so quaint with slanted ceilings and honeycomb tiled floors.

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It was like stepping back in time.  I was hoping Carson, the butler, would show up at my door, but alas, he did not.  Sad smile

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I went down to my friend, Sarah’s room, and snapped a picture of her pretty bed.  {I don’t know if you can tell, but her bed was smaller than mine.  I didn’t want to rub it in or make her feel less important, so I didn’t tell her how HUGE mine was.  Poor girl.}

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We had a little time before dinner so Sarah {Thrifty Décor Chick}, Roeshel {The DIY Show Off}, Rhoda {Southern Hospitality}, and I hung out in the beautiful court yard out back.

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It was so fun just hanging with these girls I love and catching up on life with them.

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Here’s Rhoda lounging in the gorgeous NC sun talking to Roeshel…

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Then it was time to head in and freshen up for dinner.

I snapped a picture on my phone as I was heading downstairs to the lobby for the Welcome Reception.


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We chatted for a while in the lobby enjoying some delicious hors d’oeurves.  I knew most of the bloggers there, but it was the first time that I got to meet Kristi from Addicted2Decorating, and Ethan and Jocie, from One Project Closer in real life.




Here I am trying to explain something to Beth, Sarah, and Roeshel.  I have no idea what it was about, but I am SURE it was riveting.  Smile


Here is a picture of the beautiful couch that they are sitting on in that picture…

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After mingling for a while, we were transported to the delicious Bonterra restaurant to eat dinner.  It was a former church that was turned into a restaurant.

We had the whole upstairs room to ourselves.

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The food was amazing!  Seriously, y’all!  This Kentucky girl doesn’t eat food this good all the time.  I had an amazing filet that melted in my mouth.

And for dessert I had this delicious crème brulee.

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I was blessed to sit near John and Sherry from Young House Love at our table and talk to them throughout the night.

They informally shared with us after dinner the differences between writing for their blog and writing their first book.

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They had some great points which confirmed for me why I never want to write a book. Smile

Writing my blog is good enough for me.

So after dinner, they drove us back to the Duke Mansion.  Let’s just say that I could hardly move because my belly was so full.

But when I walked in my room to change into my yoga pants, what did my tired little eyes see?

A cold glass of milk and homemade cookies waiting for me!

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I may or may not have jumped up and down like a 3 year old at the sight of cookies and milk.  Just sayin’…

I felt so special.

And though I was full to the point of sickness, I had to eat a little bit of cookies and drink the ice cold milk with that cute little straw.

It would have been wrong not to, ya know?

After changing into my comfy clothes, I headed down to the second floor to hang out with the other bloggers and talk blog talk.  It’s so much fun to bounce ideas off of each other and share blog info with each other.  It’s such a great, encouraging community to be a part of!

The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast buffet at the Duke Mansion, and then we headed to one of the large gathering rooms to listen to some great information about some Rustoleum products we would be working with that day.


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We went into a different room to “get busy”, and we each found our own little personalized apron at our work station.  Fun!

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And like all real great bloggers do, we started snapping pictures!


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Here I am with the ever so sweet Shanty2Chic sisters, Ashley and Whitney.

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Love these girls!

And here I am with Kristi from Addicted2Decorating.  I was so excited to meet her.  It was wonderful getting to know her during the trip.  She got quite a kick out of our breakfast conversation where I shared my boys’ peeing habits and adventures. Smile


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Sarah photo bombed my picture of Cassity with her iphone.  See us in her phone?!  I love that shot!


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Here’s Sarah and Ashley tweeting or instagramming, or facebooking, or something.

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We were each given a board to stain with the color of our choice.


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I got right to work prepping my board to stain.  Check out how fast I am!  My hand is  blurred I was working so fast, and I was barely breaking a sweat.  Amazing!



I chose the Weathered Gray stain for my board.

The cool thing about this stain is that you can achieve the color in one coat and it dries in an hour!

Of course, you can always apply more coats if you want a deeper color, but it is  not necessary.



Here’s Rhoda staining her board, and I’m in the background still working away!

We all squealed like little school girls when Mark from Rustoleum told us that they had created a polyurethane in a matte finish.  YAY!  I used the matte finish on my board and loved it!


I don’t know what was so funny in this picture.  We were watching Mark demonstrate how to apply the poly.  We DIY bloggers find so much joy in the craziest things!



Here is a picture of the whole fabulous crew…


From left to right, back row:  Kate, Rhoda, Roeshel, Sarah, Beth, Ashley (who blogs with her sister, Whitney), me, Ethan, Kristi

Kneeling: Cassity, Whitney, Jocie (married to Ethan)


Are here is another group shot of my DIY buddies…


By their blog names, left to right:

Centsational Girl, Southern Hospitality, Remodelaholic, DIY Show Off, Thrifty Décor Chick, Beneath My Heart, Home Stories A2Z


Rustoleum also shared with us four possible new colors in their spray paint line.  They asked us to vote for our favorite color.  What is yours?

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Rustoleum did an amazing job planning this event.

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I was also thrilled that there were some representatives from Lowe’s there as well {my second home.} Smile

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I was sad to leave my blog buddies so soon, but we had a wonderful time, and I was ready to see my boys!

Thanks again, Rustoleum, for allowing me to be a part of this amazing experience!






  1. Ouaou! What an amazing experience eh? I hope one day to have also the opportunity to meet some of the bloggers who I admire! I like your community and the relationship that you have between each other! Congrats!!!!!!!!

  2. Looked soo fun, Traci! :) Thx for posting soo many pics! Just a quick question… did u ever receive an email from me about flooring (hardwood/laminate)? Just curious if I sent it to correct email… I am in NO rush for a reply, as I know u r a busy woman! Just hoping it went to you!! Have a wonderful week, Traci :)

  3. I am curious about the board y’all were staining and painting. Did you make something or was it just to “show” you their products?? :)

    1. Hey Vickie!
      Good question! :)
      They said we could make whatever we wanted out of it, but they provided a choice of four different hooks for us to create a coat rack if we wanted to. They are mailing the board and hooks to our home this week.
      I might use mine in my laundry room.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thanks for sharing. The only thing I’ve been sharing is a cold between my husband and I. By the way what did you do with the board you stained?

    1. Oh Shirley,
      I am sorry you haven’t been feeling well. I hope you get better soon!
      They are mailing our boards to us along with some nice coat hooks to make a coat rack/towel holder if we want to.

  5. That looks like SO much fun. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve seen bottles “painted” before on the inside, but are these done with spray paint, or regular pouring paint?

    1. Those bottles were spray painted on the outside, and they looked so beautiful! I think it would be fun to do a whole mantle of those with bottles one color of spray paint.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. The only thing that would have made the chocolates better would have been a large McDonalds coke! So impressed with your website.

  7. How exciting! I’m torn between the Creme Brulee and the presentation of the cookies and milk! How cool is your job?! Stepping out in courage and faith has brought you many well deserved blessings. I enjoy all of you projects and your great eye for the details! You are funny too! From one “Boy mom” to another – Kuddos!

  8. What a fun read! I couldn’t help but notice that all of you girls are pro’s when it comes to getting your pictures taken. Beautifully done!

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