Saturday, December 18, 2010

Deck the Halls

I wanted to share some of my Christmas decorating, and some tips for low/no cost projects.

As I said before, twinkle lights- so cheap, easy, and instantly make everything more festive. I even used them in the kitchen.

This little tree was something new I tried this year. I simply got some branches from the backyard, spray-painted them white, stuck them in a vase, and decorated.

Wrap stuff up- I'm sure I am not the first to do this, but seriously, this is probably the easiest thing you can do. I used scraps of fabric for this little bundle of packages. It is 2 empty boxes and a book. haha- Rob was concerned about what book, but I assured him he won't be needing it between now and Christmas. And of course, frames on the wall. I tried something a little different this year- brown paper packages...

I took this card display idea from an old Domino issue....ooooh Domino! How I miss you!!

It is an easy, creative way to display Christmas cards. And it is great because every day you can add to it and change it if you need to. This large bulletin board cost under $10 at Target and then you can either use wrapping paper or fabric to cover. I used paper.

Still LOVE this Christmas banner, an Etsy purchase from last year.

Oh Christmas tree...

Sparkle on the dining room buffet

Of course, festive, new pillow covers

Also, don't hesitate to change/put away furniture if you need to accommodate a tree or whatever, especially if you have a small space. Our living room chair is up in the closet (soon to be office) for the time being and we had to move the small dresser from next to the sofa.

Hope you are enjoying this Christmas season and able to take some time to slow down from all the hustle!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An Etsy Holiday

You may or may not know that I love Etsy. Unfortunately my Etsy Fridays have fallen by the wayside, but maybe I will get back into doing them after things quiet down from the holidays.

Anyway, I didn't take the complete "buy only handmade" pledge this Christmas, but I have been really trying to find gifts on Etsy before looking other places. In fact, my goal is to not do a lot of in-store shopping at all. Between Etsy and Amazon, I've been doing pretty well. Although, you do have to weed through things since there is just so much on Etsy. I would much rather be sitting in my warm house in my pjs doing that than out at a store in the freezing cold.

The one thing that I decided to do this year was purchase our Christmas cards on Etsy. I've never been a huge fan of the photo cards (only because they feel impersonal), but they do make mailing out a ton of cards so much easier. Etsy has a lot of great options, but a lot of them are to purchase the design, but you print out. Well, I am not savvy enough for that, so I was able to find a great seller with great designs at a GREAT price. They arrived yesterday and I am so pleased with how they turned out. They are also on a heavier cardstock (instead of photo paper), which I makes them much nicer.

Here are a few of the designs you can choose from- I won't post a picture of ours, only because I don't want those receiving one to see it before it arrives in the mail.

I suppose I can't really blog about any gifts that we have bought incase the recipient happens to read this. So, just one more shop to mention....

The great thing about Etsy is that you can find things that you can't find anywhwere else. One of my favorite things to look at is stationary items. I went a little crazy in this shop. She has SOOO much in her shop, and it's not more than you would spend on cute tags at Target. That's what is so great about buying handmade- it makes you feel like a better person! The money goes directly to the seller, not some huge corporation. Some people are even raising money like things for adoption (like the above store where we got our cards). So, I don't feel guilty even if I do spend a little more money on something (like gift tags!) because it just feels like the right thing to do.

Anyway, love this store, and love that she literally has thousands of tags. I bought a bunch to use on gifts, and to hopefully use in some decor around the house.

Speaking of decor around the house, hopefully I will have a post about what I've done around here soon. I have a couple more things I am working on. But, here is my biggest piece of holiday decor advice- use twinkle lights inside. They make everything more festive. And use the ones on white wires- Target has them seriosuly cheap. Here's a little preview for you...

So, are you buying handmade this year? Let me know if you've found something fabulous.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's been getting pretty chilly around here recently, so a few weeks ago, I cozied things up around here. I've been meaning to share it with you since, but time seems to get away from me.

I realize that I can officially start decorating for Christmas in less than a week and that I just ordered some fabric for Christmas pillow covers, but......I made some different pillow covers for the sofa because I felt like the ones that were on before were a little too summery. I also bought some knitted pillow covers from West Elm because I have been wanting something like these since last winter.

On an Ikea trip last week, I picked up a faux sheepskin for only $12.99 which I draped over the chair in the living room.

Also, I mentioned before that I moved the white chair that used to be in our bedroom up into the spare room. I have always loved how cozy this room feels, and this just adds to it.

That's all for now. We got curtains for the closet in the bedroom, but some tweaking needs to be done before I can share it with you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More in the bedroom

I started this post a week ago...I can't seem to get things in order around here!

So, here's another picture update of the bedroom. This is the wall opposite of where the closet is. We moved both of our dressers onto this wall, which was obviously necessary because of the closet. Sadly,we had to get rid of the chair in the bedroom, but I realized that there might be room for the chair that I have yet to recover in the new "office space" (old closet). We moved the white chair up to the guest bedroom and it fits in perfectly up there.

I explained all the artwork we got for this wall in this previous post. We also included 2 pictures from a photo shoot last spring that my friend Christy did. She's awesome.

I made a new cover for the lampshade to make it fit in more with the overall feel of the room.

I realized once we were putting up the frames, I didn't have room for this favorite Etsy print that I got for my birthday last year, so I put it on the bookshelf where I think it fits in nicely because the green/yellow color in it perfectly matches the ceramic bottle on the top shelf.

I also wanted to mention that this vase on this shelf is made by my sister, and it is one of my favorite things.

Right after this mirror we have hanging in the living room.

So, there is a bedroom update for you. We're hoping to get curtains up around the closet some time next week. This is (obviosuly) a slow moving process, but we're getting there. I had originally thought the office would be done before Christmas, but I can probably guarantee that is not going to happen. But, I'll keep you updated!

If you're still out there- thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The new closet is up and running. Except that we have no curtains around it yet, but, it's up!! Thanks to my wonderful, hard-working husband. He did all of it. I can and will take no credit for it. We were able to make an Ikea trip a couple weeks ago to get everything and then Rob put it together last weekend. So, over the past week we've been moving our clothes over and organizing. I've decided it's good to do projects like this so that you are forced to sort through things and get rid of things you don't need.

Here is the picture of the bare wall. This is the wall to the right as you walk in through the door from the hallway.

And here it is up (and empty)

And now with most of our things moved into it.

We wanted to include a shelf for the TV, which worked out perfectly. We don't watch much TV in the bedroom, in fact, it's not even hooked up to cable. We just use it for dvds when we want to watch the occassional movie in bed, or when we're trying to keep Aiden happy while we get dressed in the morning. So keeping it hidden in the "closet" works well.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and although we may not necessarily have more space by moving the closet into the bedroom, we have at least the same amount, and it is more organized, which is what is most important to me anyway. I am now eager to get curtains up because I feel like the room is really coming together . I'll have more updates to share this week with pictures.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not enough time

Life is busy!! I have a whole list of projects in my head that I want to do around here, and I simply just don't have enough time. I feel like I can barely keep up with the every day to day things like laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. So when I do take time to do a project, then those things get ignored, and then I can't function and poor Rob has to deal with my crazy. Also, we're in Phillies post-season, and if you know us at all, you know that our schedules revolve around the Phillies and we can be somewhat consumed by it all. However, I don't really look at that as a negative- this is one of the most exciting times in the Phillies baseball franchise history, and we are loving every minute of it.

The bedroom project seems to be at a standstill. The picture wall is done, but I would rather finish a few other little things before sharing more pics. I am trying to be really intentional about fabrics, so I am still picking them out. We haven't moved the closet into the bedroom yet and the next step is scheduling an Ikea trip without Aiden to get the closet pieces.

On top of everything I am trying to figure out with the bedroom, I have a whole list of little projects around here that I would like to do:

-repaint dining room table because it was never done properly
-put another coat of spray paint on the dining room chairs from last year
-cover a chair that I bought a year ago on Craigslist
-change pillows/fabric in living room for fall/winter

I'm sure there's more, my mind is just not working well today.

Anyway, the good news is that I did get one project done last week....

If you remember, a long time ago, I talked about how I wanted an IKEA Rast dresser for this space next to the sofa since our end tables didn't work with the sectional. I had one upstairs in the hall which I quickly painted and it has been in the living room since.

A couple months ago, on an Ikea trip I picked up another dresser (which is now reduced to only $30 instead of $40!!). I had seen the idea with the staining and white drawers on this blog, and loved it.

So, after the dresser sat in it's box in the basement for awhile, I finally brought it out, put it together, and over the span of about 2 weeks, got it finished.

I wanted to do it right this time, so I painted every inch of the drawers, and even lined them with leftover wallpaper.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I still would like to get different knobs, as these I had originally bought from Anthro on sale with the idea to use them in our bathroom some day. But, these are fine for now until I find what I want.

Well, hopefully I will feel more inspired/mostivated in the upcoming weeks and I will have much more to share with you. Until then, GO PHILS!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Slowly but Surely

The bedroom project has not been moving as quickly as I had hoped. But, whatchya gonna do? I feel like I should explain how busy things are around here, but you're probably sick of hearing that and I need to stop making excuses!

So, instead, I'll just give you some updates. First of all, the room is painted, we have a new rug, and I rearranged the bookcase.

We love how the paint color turned out- it's a very pale gray- close to the kitchen, but a little bit lighter. The rug, we got from Urban Outfitters on sale for $40. We went there on a whim and it was the only one they had in the white color, so I took it as a sign. And I love it- it's exactly what I wanted.

As I mentioned before, I didn't like how the bookshelf looked before. Much better now! Of course you're probably wondering what happened to all our books- more to come on that later.

I also ordered some Etsy prints for the bedroom. On one of the walls, we have both my dresser and Rob's dresser, side by side, so I decided to do a frame wall above the dressers. On an IKEA trip, we picked up some Ribba frames. The plan was to get the frames forist and then order prints to go in them. I find that it is hard to do it the other way around and then not be able to find frames that fit the art. Especially because I wanted all the frames to be the same.

So, here is what Rob and I came up with. We are also going to order a couple family photos too to add to these.

And, sorry, I couldn't resist this one...

I also have this print that my sister in law got me as a birthday gift from one of my favorite Etsy stores

Sometimes Etsy orders can take awhile to get here, but hopefully I will be able to get everything up soon since I already have the frames.

Hoping to make more progress soon- I'll kee you posted!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye summer- you've been good to us

It's hard saying goodbye. It's been a fabulous summer. Probably the busiest we've had since being married. Rob and I got away by ourselves to Florida in June to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary, Maine in July, and Ocean City NJ a few weeks ago in August. With lots going on in between- play dates, weddings, parties. It really has been great, and we feel blessed to be able to have taken the time to go away and spend time with each other and family.

However, I am looking forward to things getting back to "normal", whatever that is. We have already started to adjust to Rob's new weekend work schedule, which so far hasn't been too bad. In fact, in some ways, it's been nicer. But there are some difficult things about it that we are figuring out. Rob is also going to start taking classes this fall to work towards his Masters in Nursing. Even though these are really big changes for Rob, and our family, I'm so proud of my husband and his motivation to provide for our family and his desire to challenge himself in his career. I also know that I will need to learn some new ways to support him in these changes.

The one nice thing about Rob's new schedule is it gives us more time to work on house projects. Last week we started on the bedroom project by getting the bedroom painted. I also found the perfect rug for the bedroom, that only cost $40. Rob and I are heading out to Ikea later this week to pick up some things and to do some planning for moving the closet into the bedroom. I don't want to post any bedroom pictures yet because there is still a lot to do. But, it is coming along, and I already love it so much more than before.

I'm starting to work on the details in the bedroom that will really make the space. I've decided that I want to use some vintage fabric in the space to soften the modern lines and tone down all the white. Etsy has been a great source to find things like this. I've been trying to find inspiration through blogs and other online sources.

Also, this book, which I got for my birthday, has some great ideas too.

I hope everyone has had a great summer, and hopefully you are doing something really fun this labor day weekend as a last hurrah.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with some bedroom progress and some Etsy Fridays again too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

home again, but not for too long

We got home from a great vacation in Maine on Monday. It was lovely! We had beautiful weather and Aiden was so good on the long drive, which was one thing I was really worried about. But, it is always nice to come back home.

I've been doing lots of thinking and planning about our bedroom and closet projects, but I'm not going to be able to start anything real soon. We leave for the shore in another 2 and a half weeks, which are already filling up with busyness. I am hoping after our shore vacation that things will slow down. Aiden is going to be starting pre-school 2 mornings a week in September, which will open up more time during the week to get some things done.

So, here's something a little random, since I have made no progress on my project. In this month's "House Beautiful", I was immediately drawn to this article about this little beach bungalo...

I love the beach, and I always dream about having a little bungalo to decorate. I always feel that in a vacation home, you can do something that maybe you wouldn't necessarily do in your own home.

Which is why I love this space. All the pattern and color, I find it so charming.

I love how everything else is white, the walls, the cabinets, so that she could do whatever she wanted with everything else.

I love this wallpaper in the kids' room

You can read more about the house here.

I'm not sure that I will ever have a little beach bungalo of our own, but my wishful thinking makes me think maybe some day, someone will want me to help decorate theirs