3.30.2011

Nursery Update: Too Much Cuteness!

Remember when I painted this nursery mural for our friends Erin and Charley a few weeks back?

Well, they have put the finishing touches on the room and it looks SO cute! It's full of personal, handmade touches that make it such a happy place. Future big sisters Avery and Emily love showing off the room, and I think the whole family likes to spend time in there. Now all the room needs is baby Reiter! (He should be here any minute now...)

This is a small room, so they made use of every spare inch. Check out the great storage solutions in the closet! The daybed boasts hidden storage, too, filled to the brim with adorable tiny baby clothes.



They scored this crib at a garage sale for $75! Great deal, right? It goes so well with the daybed, too.


This polka dot curtain with the oar curtain rod is one of my favorite things about the room. Charley found that oar a long time ago, and they finally found the perfect place to use it. Erin's mom made the curtain herself. She also took apart the bedding comforter to make the valance above the window. Here's a detail view of the oar:




One of Erin's friends sewed that adorable Reiter pillow on the rocking chair, and it looks perfect in the room. Another friend made this really clever flower arrangement out of baby socks. So cute!



Another one of my favorite details has been hung above the door:


I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the crib bedding that served as the inspiration for the whole room (and the tiny clothes)!


I can't wait for baby Reiter to make his big arrival! (He was kicking so hard that I could see it through her shirt today. As a non-mommy, it totally freaked me out. Haha!)

I'm sharing this over at Thrifty Decor Chick!

Thrifty Decor Chick


*Oh baby!*

Best Blog Tips

3.28.2011

One Room at a Time...

The dining room floor is done! Now we have a seamless floor from the entry, living room, hallway, kitchen and dining room. We still have to finish the office nook, but it turns out that room is a different, more-textured concrete and our floors might not adhere as well.



I totally love this view of the floors leading from the living room all the way to the french doors. Using the same flooring throughout just makes the space feel bigger. It's fantastic! Once again my husband outdid himself, finishing up these floors while I was playing volleyball all day Saturday. He's such a trooper!


Like my new #6 pillow? We had a Steinmart gift card, so we picked that up yesterday. Why 6? It's Scott's former football number. My volleyball number was #10, but they didn't go up to 10 (or else I would have been tempted to get one for myself, too)!

*Spring Fever*
Best Blog Tips

3.25.2011

Painting with Friends

Hooray for Friday!

Last night I visited our local paint-your-own-pottery place, Color Me Mine, with some of my friends. We had a great time! I highly recommend it, if you haven't tried it. Our particular store has ladies night on Thursday nights, so it was half off.

Like my little platter? I took my favorite pattern, chevron, and combined it with our marriage verse at the bottom, 1 Thess. 5:16-18. I've been thinking about that verse a lot this week as the husband and I have been talking about future plans and contemplating big decisions. (No, not related to having kids!!)



The zig zags aren't even close to being evenly proportioned since I had to freehand them, but that's part of the charm of a homemade piece, right? If you can see all of the little dots all over it, those are the outlines I made with marker that supposedly disappear when they fire it in the kiln. I can't wait to see it once it is all shiny and glazed. (Mmm... makes me want a donut.)

*Happy Weekend*

Best Blog Tips

3.23.2011

judging a book by its cover

We have one of those little storage boxes that's supposed to disguise itself as a book. It sits on our sofa table and houses random forms and mail pieces that we want to keep (and end up forgetting about). Someone placed something (I'm not sure what) on top of the book/box, and when that something was removed, it removed part of the cover of the book. It looked like this:


I like this little book box, so I decided to try to salvage it. Enter my lovely Ikea napkins and my favorite product, Mod Podge. (Of course!)




Much better, right?
It was simple. I covered the book box in the napkins using Mod Podge, and I hot-glued that ceramic "LOVE" thingamabob to the front of it to finish it off. I found the LOVE in the West Elm post-holiday sale pile. I think it was an ornament, but it had a really long chain on it, almost like a long necklace. Strange– but anyway, I took the chain away and now the LOVE has a home on our book box.

It's the perfect thing to house our remote control collection!




Speaking of sticky stuff, have you tried the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Color Strips? I tried them out this weekend, and I love them so far! They are holding up really well, and I'm getting a lot of compliments on them. It seems that my 12-year old volleyball players really love my glittery nails– imagine that! 

* 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 *

Best Blog Tips

3.21.2011

Mucho Progress: Flooring & Flowers

Well, spring break is over. Last week, I told you about the things we hoped to get done during Scott's little hiatus from work.

Here's what we actually got done:
  1. Pass PPR test. YES!!! He did it! He nearly aced it! I'm so proud. I know he is relieved to have that done– one less thing to worry about.
  2. Get the sprinkler system fixed! Nope... didn't happen. The estimate came in at $800- EEK.  I don't know about you, but we don't have that kind of money to throw at the sprinklers right now, since we are in full-on savings mode. We're going to try to get some other estimates.
  3. Possibly buy some plants and attempt to have a green thumb? CHECK! Our front door area is looking much happier these days. I had to beg the husband to let me have pink flowers, but even he admitted they looked nice once they were in place!

Unfortunately our plans changed when I found out one of my former bosses had passed away. Instead of spending the weekend working on the house, I had to fly out to the funeral. (Scott couldn't go because he had to coach some baseball games.)

After endless delays at the airport, I finally got home last night around 1 a.m. I flipped on the light in the kitchen to see this:


And then I kept walking and saw this:


And this...


And this...


Scott had been hard at work while I was away! He tore up the old laminate floors and began laying down our new floor in the dining room and office/studio nook. It looks awesome!

Miracle of all miracles– the floor in the dining room actually matches up perfectly with the floor we already put down in the kitchen. I was worried about what would happen there, so that was the BEST.NEWS.EVER!


Yes, the furniture is squished in all the other rooms so we can get the floors done, but it's so exciting to see them in the space. Having the same floors in all the living space makes everything look bigger and more cohesive. I can't wait to show you the finished product!

We didn't get around to painting the front door, mostly because I am still being indecisive about color. What do you think- should I paint it black? I was also considering painting those big brown planters by the front door. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

PS. I totally nailed my head on that chandelier today, now that there isn't a big dining table to keep me from walking into it. OUCH.

* Monday Funday*

Best Blog Tips

3.17.2011

Spring In Our Stoop

We've been working on our yard this week, trying to spruce it up as spring weather settles in DFW.

We planted some geraniums in our two built-in planters. I planted something! I'm so proud! I'll be even more proud if they are still alive in two weeks...


Then we put the new flowers in the red pots and placed them on our front stoop.


Do you like my new door mat? It's actually two door mats placed next to each other to make a big one. I picked them up at Ikea the other day. I love the geometric pattern.


It's already looking so much better! We also trimmed our hedges and trees and put down new mulch. Scott also spread some TurfBuilder stuff all over the lawn to a) help the grass grow and b)kill the weeds. We'll see how well it works within a couple of weeks. Chances are we will have to invest in some spray weed killer, too. We made some amateur missteps with our lawn this winter (didn't put down winterizer or something else to prevent the weed growth), but we'll just have to learn from our mistakes!




*Grow grass, grow!*

P.S. It's 73 degrees in Coppell today. Beautiful!




Best Blog Tips

3.16.2011

For the First Time Ever, I Bought a Plant.

I bought two plants, actually!

This week has been all about working on our yard, so I went to Home Depot yesterday and bravely went where I have never been before– the plant nursery. I left with a pot of geraniums and a smaller pot of impatiens, both fuschia in color. I also bought two deep red flower pots that I want to put by our front door to liven it up a bit.




 all photos from www.homedepot.com


Scott requested that I purchase some weed killer that he can spread over the yard, so I came home with that as well.




We had a sprinkler repairman come out on Monday to give us an estimate to fix our sprinkler system, and it was way higher than I expected– $800! At that price, I don't think we will be getting those sprinklers fixed anytime soon. It's sad because that was our top priority, but we are all about building our savings right now and don't want to throw $800 at the sprinklers. We'll probably seek second and third opinions to see if that first guy's quote was too high.

Meanwhile, we're doing what we can to spruce up the lawn on a budget. We've trimmed the trees down and manicured the shrubs in front. We're hoping to add new mulch to freshen it up and make the curb appeal look more polished. 

I'll share pictures when we finish. This is all I have so far- a quick snapshot of the bushes we have trimmed and the empty spaces we need to fill. 


The grass is trying to make a comeback, and we're praying that we didn't kill it completely. The honest truth is that we have no idea what we're doing when it comes to lawn work, and we're just winging it. Those random piles in front of the bushes? Those are the trimmings- we hadn't bagged them up yet when I took this picture. 

As for the backyard? OH MAN, it is bad! I'll have to take some pictures. The nuggets have completely demolished that backyard since we moved in, digging holes everywhere and leaving paths of dead grass all along the fence. We also have a major crabgrass problem back there, so it's not looking good. We're hoping to tackle a backyard project during the husband's summer vacation that would incorporate a huge patio instead of a huge expanse of dead grass with large holes, but it will have to wait until we have the funds saved up. We love our puppies, but wow, they have done a number back there.

*It's almost St. Patty's Day!*

Best Blog Tips

3.11.2011

~Happy Weekend & Spring Break~

I don't know about you, but I am SO glad the weekend is here!

 Not only that– this weekend marks the beginning of spring break for some of the Texas schools (including the one employing my husband). I have a regular job and don't get spring break, but I'm excited for him to have some free time to work on projects. Maybe I'll take a personal day and help him with the new floors...

Finally, some time to work on the house! We have some big plans for this week, but we have no idea if they will actually happen:


  1. Pass PPR test. (This one is for my husband. He has to take this test to be a certified teacher, and he is scheduled to take it on Wednesday. Prayers, please!)
  2. Get the sprinkler system fixed! Some wise sprinkler-repair man put his business card on our front door, and now he is coming to give a free estimate on Monday. Hopefully the lawn will be beautiful and green in no time!
  3. Pull up laminate floors in living and dining room, being replacing them with new floors.  YES!
  4.  Paint front door... I'm thinking glossy black.
  5.  Possibly buy some plants and attempt to have a green thumb? (This is really ambitious.)
Do you take walks? We love to take walks around our neighborhood and have recently discovered a few streets with gorgeous homes that are ideal. We walk, we admire, we dream, we try to steal ideas for our own house. 

Anyway, I snapped a shot of someone's tree on my walk– isn't it pretty? Five points to the first person who tells me what kind of tree that is! Really, I would love to know. It's beautiful!



* TGIF, TGIF, TGIF *
Best Blog Tips

3.09.2011

Herringbone Paper Collage Table

I wanted to make something.
I didn't want to spend any money.
I had this random side table/stool that I wasn't using.
I had recently jumped on the herringbone pattern bandwagon, spotting it in the wood floors and back splashes on some recent HGTV shows.

These forces combined to create..... CAPTAIN PLANET!!
(Just kidding. Hee hee. I loved that show.)

Really, I figured out what I had in mind, and an hour later I had the "Herringbone Paper Collage Table."



If you have followed my past projects, you know I love Mod Podge. I also love covering things in vintage book pages. Past evidence can be found here, here and here. I wanted to translate those things in a new way, so I came up with this idea for the top of our spare table/stool.

Here is what I started with:


The first thing I did was cut my book pages into strips. No, I didn't measure it (SO not my style). I just cut them in semi-straight strips around the same width.


Then I laid the strips out on top of the table to see if the pattern would work:


I decided I liked it, so I went ahead and starting adhering the strips to the surface with Mod Podge.



Once I was done, I trimmed the overhanging pieces.


I took the leftover strips and adhered them to the sides to give it a cleaner look.


I was very liberal with the Mod Podge once I had everything in place. I wanted there to be a really thick coat on top of the paper to make sure it would stay. Oh, and I used the glossy Mod Podge formula.

Then I just cleaned up the legs to get the random paint splatters removed, and it looked good as new!

I really liked how the pattern looked from above, even though my strips aren't perfectly straight. I think it adds to the charm of the piece, but maybe that's just me trying to justify my dislike for measurement and exact cuts. :)



I placed at the end of our hallway, in a random nook by our full-length mirror. It looked lonely, so I topped it with a $1 bucket from Target filled with tissue flowers from our wedding decor. I'm happy with this quick little project, and my creative urge is fulfilled for the day!



*Have a great Wednesday...*


Best Blog Tips

3.06.2011

Laughable DIY Effort

Deep announcer voice: "Do YOU have a spare flat sheet and two safety pins?"
(short pause)
"Then YOU, too, can create this fabulous slipcover!!!!"
(oohs, ahhs, applause)

Seriously, I created this monstrosity with a full bed sheet (flat) and two safety pins. What can I say, I was desperate to cover the blue and green chair that clashes terribly with our new brown/red rug.

I know, this picture is literally a *LOL* moment...




Quick, someone teach me how to sew! (And buy me a sewing machine, while you're at it.)

Better yet, donate some money so I can pay a professional to recover this chair!

At least Shiner still likes the chair...

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! 
Best Blog Tips

3.02.2011

I'm obsessed with our new rug!

I went to Target to buy baby diapers so I could make a diaper cake. Of course, I left with a full cart of items completely unrelated to the diaper cake (except for one small box of diapers)!

Do you have a Target shopping routine? I definitely do. Once I figured out where my local Target likes to place its clearance items, I made those areas regular stops on my Target shopping trips. At my store, they place clearance items on the ends of the racks, in the least-traveled areas. I found some great stuff on clearance in the past, so I always make a point to look at the end of the racks in the Home section whenever I'm in the store.

The diaper trip was no exception. I picked up the diapers (fleeing from the baby section as soon as I could because I felt woefully out of my element over there) and proceeded on my normal route. I was SUPER excited to spot a bunch of rugs in the clearance section at the end of the aisle! They almost never have the rugs on clearance– usually it's shower curtains, vases, tablecloths, etc.

To make a long story short (or maybe not so short), I bought two fabulous rugs for more than 50% off! Our new living room rug is totally awesome. It's bold, modern, graphic– and super soft underfoot. I paid $165 for the 6.5x 10 size, which was just over 50% off the normal $350 purchase price. YES!


(That white vase? Also picked up in the Target clearance aisle for $12!)







Isn't it fun? I feel like the bold pattern and rich colors totally woke up the entire room! 

This is what it looked like with the previous rug, a hand-me-down from my parents:


The browns and reds in the rug really compliment the painting above the fireplace and make the whole room feel much more put together. I love the look, and my husband loves how cushy the carpet is when you walk on it. 

We are training the nuggets not to lie down on the rug because light-colored dog hair + dark colored rug = bad combo! (We moved a dog bed into the living room so they would sleep there instead of on the rug, and it seems to be working.)

I also took home this beautiful runner for our hallway for only $22 (down from $90). It's awesome, too!



It's crazy how a rug can change the whole look and feel of a room, isn't it?

*Happy Wednesday* 


Best Blog Tips