Perking Up the Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom is one of the rooms we neglect a little bit because, well, we're the only ones who ever see it. Case in point: We hosted some friends this weekend. I was vacuuming the house before they arrived, but I didn't bother with the master bedroom. Instead I just closed the door so they couldn't see the mess!

Anyway, I've been trying to gradually upgrade our room. I got a HomeGoods gift card back in December (after being named runner up in the Centsational Girl's tablescape contest), and I have been saving it until I found the perfect lamps for our bedside tables. I finally found a great pair this weekend!

I was particularly fond of the lampshade's silver lining. I try to find the silver lining in every situation, even with lampshades. ;)

The new lamps give off such a nice glow. An extra bonus? We get a great view of the shade's silver lining when we're laying on the bed. The husband is a sucker for small details, so he loves that part.

You can see the previous lamps, hand-me-downs from my parents, in the photo below. They were fine, but I was longing for something more glamorous and interesting. I was planning to splurge on snazzy crystal lamps, but the shiny surface of these hammered metal lamps really caught my attention. They were sparkly and fun without the high price tag of a crystal lamp, so I decided to go for it!

I know the wall colors look really different in these photos, but that's just the difference between taking pictures in the day or early evening. It's still the same color.  

You may have noticed that our headboard looks a little different, too. See that blanket on the end of the bed? We decided to drape it across our plain off-white headboard to give the bed a slightly different look.  I'm digging it!

I got a great deal on some West Elm curtains last week that match the blue pillows on our bed perfectly.  The only problem is they were 108" long, and our ceilings aren't that high. What's a girl to do when her curtains are too long? She busts out her sewing machine and hems the curtains, of course. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I SEWED something. Don't look too closely because my handiwork is far from perfect, but I actually operated a sewing machine!

I have to give a sewing shout-out to my husband. First of all, he got me the sewing machine for Christmas. He carefully read the manual, threaded the bobbin and figured out how to use the darn thing. That boy absolutely loves gadgets– even sewing machines. He WILL figure out how they work if it's the last thing he does! When I broke the glass on my iPhone, he spent three hours watching a YouTube video and taught himself how to put on a new glass touchscreen that he had bought for pennies on Amazon. Who does that?! He's my gadget hero.

Anyway, back to the curtains. I chose to layer them with the Ninni Trad curtains from Ikea. My mom had these curtains up when we visited them over the holidays and inspired me to find a place for them in my home. 

Since we didn't want to buy a new two-rod curtain system, we just put all of the panels on one rod that we had laying around in our garage. The blue curtains frame the window and the dot curtains are just fun. I really love how the combo looks together. Neither one would look right without the other, in my opinion. 

With those small changes (and a brown storage bench that we bought a couple months ago at Home Goods), the room has a different look. Oh yeah, and we also added a different bedskirt somewhere along the way– back in October, I think.

Summer 2011:

January 2012:

What do you think of the new changes?

* Where did the weekend go? *

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Jason Wu for Tar-jay

Jason Wu's Target line is debuting Feb. 5, and it looks like it will have some very cute pieces!

Wu is a young American fashion designer who rose to fame by dressing many celebrities, but he really became a household name when First Lady Michelle Obama started wearing his clothes at important events. She wore one of his gowns for her husband's inauguration.


Anyway, here are some of my favorite items from his Target collection. Let's hope it doesn't result in a crazy madhouse like the Missoni collection!
* photos from InStyle.com

Top: $33, Skirt: $30, Clutch: $30

This striped sweater is super cute. Wouldn't it look great with a bright scarf? $35

This is my favorite look from his collection. I really love the scalloped detail poking out from the hem of the skirt. Very versatile and classy dress! $60

Great work bag. $50 

Need more Jason Wu stuff in your life? Check out his collection of faucets and fixtures for Brizo!

Do you have fun weekend plans? Our good friends Amanda and Clayton are in town tonight, so I've been readying the guest room for their arrival. Scott's going to a football clinic with Clayton while Amanda and I shop until we drop!

Have a great weekend!

* Happy Friday *

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Chalkboard Love.

Our home's chalkboards are currently feeling the love!

Chalkboard: DIY 
L-O-V-E vase: Pier 1
Three-tiered bowls: Target
Curtains: major West Elm bargain
Rug: Pier 1
Shelves: Pottery Barn outlet
Snakeskin purse: Fossil (a lovely Christmas gift from my mother-in-law) 
Dog: Humane Society :)

It was time to wipe the snowflakes off our chalkboard door and draw something new. Heart explosion!!

I knew it was a bit of a risk when I painted the inside of our front door with chalkboard paint, but it has been a really great feature of the house. I think the doodles add a lot of personality to our home, and it's fun to change them with the seasons. The flexibility of chalkboard paint allows me to perk up the entryway and living room with new drawings that give the room a slightly different vibe without costing me a penny. LOVE that!

* Ace of Hearts *

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West Elm: Curtain Bargain

I went on a little shopping trip to West Elm this weekend with my best friend, Kelsey. They were having a super sale! I scooped up two Luxe Window Panels (48x108) for only $20/each, originally priced at $70/each.

It brought back memories of the awesome bargain I got on the West Elm ikat curtains last year. Those were an even better deal– only $18/each!

I got the really pretty blue/green/grey color shown below.  

These beauties are the color of our master bedroom walls and match the pillows on our bed perfectly! I plan to layer them with the existing basic white Ikea curtains to create a more luxurious look.

Kelsey came home with a little treasure for herself, too. She recently moved into the cutest little cottage and was looking for extra seating for her living room. She needed a chair with a smaller scale to fit inside her small living room.  West Elm had a bunch of furniture on sale (floor samples, I think), so she scored this really cute leather occasional chair for only $200 (down from $600). Hers is chocolate brown leather. Pretty great deal for a solid piece of furniture!

You may want to cruise by your local West Elm to see if they have any great deals.  One of the workers told us they have to do inventory soon and are trying to push out a lot of stuff. It may be your lucky day!

* Shop 'til you drop! *

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Cute Valentine Art

Can you believe Valentine's Day is coming up?

Didn't we just celebrate Christmas a couple days ago?

Anyway, I brought out my good ol' Prismacolor colored pencils this weekend and started doodling. (If you're in the market for quality colored pencils, Prismacolor is definitely the way to go.) I came up with a cute little Valentines sketch to start the pink-and-red holiday in our house.

Colored pencils are a tough medium to work with. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the blending capabilities and limited color palette. My only tip? Use the white colored pencil to color over the blended areas (like the girl's hair in my drawing). It really helps blend the two colors together.

I needed a frame for this little doodle, so I found one of the old empty frames from our wedding faux-to booth props. We picked up four or five of them from the rejected section at Hobby Lobby before the wedding, and they've been floating around our house ever since. 
I used one to make this DIY burlap art...

For this piece, I followed a similar process as the burlap art. I hot-glued this strange, quirky burlap paper (purchased in the wrapping paper section at Anthropologie) to the back of the frame to provide a backdrop for my sketch. 

Then I grabbed one of the tiny photo clips from Ikea and poked it through the paper. Clipped my artwork to it and voƮla, it was framed!

I've got this cute little piece leaning up against our fireplace for now until I find a home for it.

What about you- do you decorate for Valentine's Day?

* Sunday Night Football *

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Word of the Year: Thankful

Layla over at The Lettered Cottage is hosting the "This Little Word of Mine" linky party. The idea is to choose a word of the year each January, instead of a formal resolution. I think it's a fantastic idea, so I decided to join in and pick a word that embodies my hopes for 2012. 

It honestly didn't take me long to think of my word. I've already had conversations with myself, my husband and God about this word and this principle, so this word is already on my heart:

For me, 2012 is all about being thankful. In this world we live in, it's so easy to want more, more, more. If we're not careful, we'll only focus on what we want and forget to give thanks for what we have.

The husband and I have tried to live our young marriage based on this principle. We actually picked a bible verse about gratitude as our marriage verse:

The idea of thankfulness applies to so many aspects in life, even those beyond the obvious. It can truly permeate everything you do if you really believe in it. I want to embrace this word with all my heart and never let it go!

I'll go ahead and admit my greedy, not thankful moment I had this past weekend. Ever since Christmas, we've been talking about buying a new car. We hadn't gotten too deep into the process, but Scott went to a local dealership and did some test drives while I was busy coaching at a volleyball tournament. He told me all about it when he got home, and we started talking about payments and interest and all that stuff. Once we started crunching the numbers, we quickly realized that the car payment was going to be really expensive. Way beyond what we cheapos were interested in forking over each month, you know? We both agreed that it would be best to put off buying a car for another year until we had saved up more money and were more prepared for that type of payment. That should be the end of it, right? Nope, not for me. I let myself fall into a little pity party because I was disappointed that we couldn't afford a new car. 

It's embarrassing to admit my poor behavior, but I want this blog to be authentic and honest. I really sat there and felt sorry for myself! UGH. That is not the person I want to be. My husband helped me to put the situation into the right perspective– the HELLO! You are blessed beyond measure! perspective. God has given me everything I could ever need. How could I lose sight of that and forget to be thankful?

It's a lovely word, isn't it?

For 2012, I am grabbing this word and sticking it to the front of my brain.

When I'm impatient about life, I have to remember to be thankful for this moment– to quit looking ahead to the future and to remember to be thankful for the now.

When I want to tear down walls and go crazy with home projects ($$$$), I have to take a step back and think how far we've come since we bought the place– blocking out the flaws of the home and instead focusing on the love we have inside these walls. A happy home is better than a perfect-looking home!

When my job makes me want to tear my hair out, I have to remember the economic situation and think about all of the people who would love to have my job. For goodness sake, stop complaining!

When I'm criticizing my body and having "fat days," I have to snap out of it! God gave me a healthy body that has enabled me to do so many things. It's hard to gripe about a couple of extra pounds when some people would do anything to have four limbs that work properly. Thankful, not critical.

When situations arise that make me (or my job, my home, my car, my clothes, my hair...) feel inadequate, it's time to remind myself that I'm not supposed to be living my life by earthly standards. We must be thankful for our blessings and not waste our time comparing what we have to others. That is a slippery, slippery slope.

This word is a wonderful goal for me, a word that can help shape me into the woman, wife, friend and Christian that I want to be.  Pretty great value for eight little letters!

What about you– is there a word you've chosen for 2012? I'd love to hear about it. You can link up at the blog party to share it with everyone, if you'd like!

The Lettered Cottage

* thankful *
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Red Carpet to Real Home #2: Tina Fey @ GG

Yesterday we turned Claire Danes' dress into a glamorous black and white dining room; today, let's convert Tina Fey's outfit into a cozy living room.

Here's the funny lady on the red carpet at the 2012 Golden Globes. I honestly don't think this is the best style for her, but I do love that deep raspberry color with the touches of navy. At least she didn't wear black like she normally does, right?


And now, Tina Fey: The Living Room:

Tina Fey: The Living Room

How great do the deep pink and blue look together? I would do this in my own home, but I'm not sure I could convince my husband to let me have that much pink in the main room of the house.

What was your favorite dress from the Golden Globes? Let the countdown begin for the Oscars!

* Happy Tuesday *
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Red Carpet to Real Home #1: Golden Globes

So, I was scanning through red carpet pictures from the Golden Globes and thought it would be fun to try out a little "Dress My Nest" idea. What would that beautiful couture gown look like if it were translated to home decor? Could be fun, right?

One of my favorite dresses belonged to Claire Danes. It was so interesting, but not wacky enough to be overwhelming her– you know what I mean? From the front it looks pretty simple, but the back is full of interesting details. It's the classic black and white dress with edgy touches that make it very cool, in my opinion. I love how her natural, soft hairstyle sort of softens the lines of the dress.


If Claire Danes' dress were a dining room, this is what I think it would look like:

Claire Danes to Dining Room


The tailored lines of the dress are represented by the chandelier and sleek black and white chairs, and the woven details of the gown come in with the woven leather dining chairs for the end of the table. Her jewelry comes in through the blinged-out salt and pepper shakers and the awesome silver dinnerware.

I felt like we needed to soften it up a little, so I found that brilliant table at West Elm to make the dining room more organic. That painting was too lovely to resist, so I had to add that. It's modern and feminine, just like the dress.

What do you think– does that dress translate well to a dining room?

* I love awards show season! *
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