Monday, April 30, 2012

What Mommy Wants

Mother's Day is quickly approaching (can you believe that it's almost May already???) and while I'm having trouble coming up with unique but practical gift ideas for my own mother, I'm having no problem compiling a Wish List of things that I would like to receive.

Most of my wanted items are small and inexpensive.  I mean, of course there are things that I want that have a $300+ price tag but I know that I'm not actually going to get any of those items.  We are still on a budget around here after all.  And I tend to feel guilty when large amounts of money are spent on a single item.

So let's get to it - here are some of the things on this mommy's Most Wanted List!

"Born on the Bayou" dress from Spool No. 72
Order it here.

"Sweet Designs" book by Amy Atlas,
the Queen of the Dessert Table.
Available at many retailers.

White denim jacket.
This one is from Nordstrom but I've also seen
cute ones at Old Navy, Gap and American Eagle.

Set of 6 enamel zig-zag rings.
Available here.

Because I am such a party planning freak there are 2 books
on that topic that made my list:)
"celebraTORI" by Tori Spelling
Available at many retailers.

And just for fun - here are a few of the pricier items that have caught my eye recently:

Kendra Scott earrings
available at Layla Grace.

Zanzibar bauble necklace
from Oliphant Design.

Tory Burch "Robinson" backpack
available here.

Wood beaded necklace by Rossana Fani
available here.
You might notice an accessories theme happening in the more expensive category.  I do love jewelry and handbags!  Problem is, I cannot justify spending tons of money on things that can't be worn/used every day or at least a few times a week.  The items on List #1 are much more affordable and practical, and all things that I would get a lot of use out of.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Craft, Decorate, Repeat {The Story of My Life}

It has been 5 months since we moved (wow, has it really been that long already?) and I have literally been crafting and decorating nonstop since November.  Not only is this house slightly larger than our old one in North Carolina, but it has a much different floor plan, which has required a lot of re-working in the decorating department.  We gained one full bathroom and finally transitioned Addyson to her Big Girl Room, so the home decorating projects have been continuous and many of them have been do-it-yourselfers. 

I really enjoy DIY projects, mainly because I'm strange like that and crafting/creating is fun for me, but also because we are on a tight budget and DIY is usually more cost effective.  It may take more time and effort but in the end it's always usually worth it.  I like seeing my own work around the house and I feel some sense of accomplishment when my projects are completed.

Here's a peek at some of the DIY crafting/decorating projects that I have completed over the past 5 months.  Please forgive the randomness - these projects are from various rooms - but I've literally been all over the place while decorating this house!  I'm also really bad at remembering to take "before" photos so these are all "finished product" shots.

Shelf in guest bedroom - spray painted old shelf black
and used vases and live/love letters from old dining room.

Toy room decor - used acrylic paint, $2 photo frames
and FREE printables from internet.  

Clothesline picture frames - made using old Ikea frames w/front
removed.  Added paint and used fishing wire and mini clothespins
to create photo displays.

DIY bulletin boards - made using foam boards
and fabric from Hobby Lobby.

Anthropologie inspired letters made with supplies
from Hobby Lobby.

These are just a few of my smaller completed DIY projects and there are many more to come!

Get the free state/country printables here.
And see the tutorial for the Anthropologie inspired zinc letters here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Addysons Big Girl Room

Mission complete!  For now.  There are still a few very small details that I would like to add to the room, but nothing that is going to make or break it.  All of the big projects are finally complete so I am ready to share this room transformation in it's entirety.

I can't even remember when we officially started working on The Big Girl Room Project, but I do know that it has been ongoing for about 3 months.  It has been a true labor of love and has consisted of several DIY projects (translation -  I did most of the work), but Addyson loves her room so it was all well worth it!

This was my inspiration room found on Pinterest:
Pink and powder blue color scheme.
Here's how our room transformation went down:
The bed came first and is a very basic and inexpensive piece from Target.  I like the platform style, simple lines, drawers underneath for storage and of course - the price!  There was a coordinating bookcase headboard which we opted not to buy for budget reasons, but now I'm wishing that we had.  Of course, it's no longer available!  Instead the plan in to pile pillows of various sizes and fabrics where the headboard would be so that it doesn't look quite so barren there.  The pillow project is on my very short list of things that still need to be done in the room.
White platform "Delano" bed from Target.
There are 3 storage drawers on the front but they are hidden buy the duvet.

Next came the dresser.  This piece was a donation from my sister and required some work but it turned out well!  Click here to read the full post on the dresser makeover.
The dresser AFTER it's makeover!

The tissue poms and pinwheel garland are DIY projects that I made.  Both were simple and inexpensive.  I found several great tutorials online and used bits and pieces from each to come up with my own how-to.  
Pinwheel garland made using scrapbook paper, brads and ribbon.

And last but certainly least - The Gallery Wall.  This was the last phase of the room to be completed and took the most time and effort, but I LOVE it!  Click here to read the full post on the gallery wall.
The completed gallery wall.
And there you have it - Addyson's Big Girl Room!  
View from hallway

Overall I am beyond happy with the way that everything turned out.  I do wish that we could have painted the entire room to maximize the effect of the pink/blue color scheme, but since this home is a rental there are limitations.  I'm actually not sure that we are supposed to paint at all, so at least this way we only have 1 wall to "unpaint" if necessary.

Full view of gallery wall w/dresser.
This has been such a fun project for me, and Addyson was all smiles each time I showed her something new for her room, so that made it even more special and worth my time and efforts.  Next up will be Cooper's Big Boy Room but we have a few months to prep for that one!

Random Details:
Duvet cover - The Land of Nod
Pink storage baskets - The Land of Nod
House pillow - The Land of Nod (no longer available)
White flower pillow - Target 
Rug - Target
Pink jewelry form (on dresser) - Hobby Lobby
Elephant piggy bank - Pottery Barn Kids (used again from nursery)
Pink tray (on dresser) - Target "Dollar Spot"
Crystal perfume bottles (on tray) - Target
Blue watering can (on tray) - JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts
Paint color - "Bewitching Blue" by Sherwin-Williams

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Addyson's Grueling Gallery Wall

Don't let the title fool you, I LOVE the way that the gallery wall in Addyson's room turned out, but grueling was the best adjective that I could come up with to the describe the process of pulling it all together.  It took over 2 months to collect all of the pieces for the wall and I spent countless hours looking at artwork on Etsy, spray painting (and sometimes re-painting) items, and making it all work together.

This was my 1st time doing a full-on gallery wall with so many pieces but I'm very happy with the result.  My biggest tidbits of advice when doing a gallery wall are:

1.  Take your time and be patient in finding all of the "right" pieces.
2.  Use a mix of items to add interest and depth.  I used mirrors, photos, artwork, etc.
3.  Look around your house for items that you can repurpose.  Don't be afraid to make changes to existing items to make them fit with your theme.  Spray paint was my best friend during this project.
4.  Have a plan before you start hammering and poking holes in the wall.  Lay everything out on the floor in front of the wall that you will be using.  Take pictures of different layouts so that you can see your options and remember where you positioned each item.
5.  Know when to say when.  There were several other pieces that I wanted for this space but I didn't want to overtake the entire wall so I stopped when I felt that I had reached a good balance.

Mission Complete!

Full view of wall.
Details/Product Info:
Starburst mirrors - purchased from Pottery Barn Kids on clearance over 3 years ago and spray painted to match (they were an off-white color).
Photo plaques - wood plaques from Hobby Lobby ranging in price from $0.99-1.99, painted with acrylic paints.  Photos are Mod Podged on to plaques.  Super easy project!
Knob decor - purchased from Hobby Lobby.  They still sell this item but I bought these over 2 years ago and used them in Addyson's room at our old house.
Good Morning Beautiful and ABC prints - Etsy 
I Believe in Pink print - Etsy
Custom silhouette - Etsy
Tissue poms (shown in full view photo) - DIY project.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Entryway Makeover

We have been living in our current home for about 6 months now and while I feel that I've accomplished a lot in the way of decorating, I still have TONS to do.  My taste and plan for the house continues to evolve, so even after a certain area or project is "finished" I find myself going back to tweak a bit.  Such is the case with our entryway.

We have a console/sofa table that I have owned for years upon years.  I'm pretty sure that I had it before Matt and I ever even met, so for at least 9 years.  It is an inexpensive piece from Target and thankfully a pretty classic style, so it has sort of fit in wherever we have lived.  Actually, it has fit into the entryway of each of our homes over the past 9 years.  Always the same table with a few picture frames and other knick knacks on it and a mirror of some sort hanging above it.  Until now!

It started off as the same old table - a few picture frames, a bowl from Ikea and a set of candlesticks.  Everything gray and white.  Nothing hanging above this time.  I racked my brains trying to think of ways to incorporate yellow since the color scheme of the great room is yellow/gray/white, but the table is only so big and we're stuck with the walls as they are since we are renting.

BORING!!!  Beige, gray and white!
But then I saw this photo on Pinterest:
Console table with wallpaper backdrop.  
Ah-ha!  There's my yellow!  And sort of in a big way but without being too much.  Now, where to find yellow wallpaper?  Ugh, wallpaper is expensive and then there's the whole process of hanging it, and since this is a rental home we can't do anything permanent or something that will damage the walls.  So maybe wallpaper is not the best choice for our home.  So then what?  I'll tell you what!  I decided that if I could get a piece of fabric large enough that I could turn it into faux wallpaper and hang it behind my table.  And thanks to and the sewing talents of my aunt (I needed her to cut it down to the correct size and finish the edges for me) I was able to do just that and for less than $25!  Much less expensive than buying wallpaper and much less labor intensive!

Premier Prints suzani corn yellow fabric.
But something still wasn't quite right.  Still not enough color.  I started adding pops of turquoise in other areas of the upstairs (we have an open floor plan where the living/dining areas and kitchen are all one large room) so I decided to add some here too.  And just my luck - Target was having their Buy 1, Get 1 50% off home decor sale so I was able to score 2 lamp bases and 2 shades for around $50 total.

So now I have my yellow backdrop and my pops of turquoise!  And we are ready to revamp the entryway!

Ta-Da!  I still need to work on pinning down
the sides and bottom of the fabric but it's close!

And with the lights off.

Next I want to ditch the runner rug underneath the table and purchase a nice big rug for the entryway, and ideally the walls would be painted gray, but since this is a rental we are somewhat limited with what we can do.  For now though I'm happy with this!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dressing Up the Dresser

Remember awhile back when I wrote this post and this one about my adventures (or lack thereof) in thrift shopping?  While I had no luck, my sister always seems to and she has some great finds to show for it.  And wouldn't you know - she just happened to have a spare dresser that she scored for only $20 at an antique store just sitting around, so she offered it to me.

We needed a dresser of some sort for Addyson's Big Girl Room Makeover so I took my sister up on her offer.  I thought that it would be a fun DIY project that would add a little character to the room.  Little did I know that the condition of the dresser was questionable (to say the least).  Cell phone photos can be deceiving!  Nonetheless I wanted to give it a chance and see what we could make of it.

Upon it's arrival at our house there were several places where the paint was peeling off, the drawers contained mouse droppings (when I said that the dresser was sitting around I meant in storage in my parents' unfinished basement where mice sometimes tend to hangout during the winter months), the top wood layer was peeling off, it was covered in cobwebs and the drawer liners were stained and coming out (the coming out part was a blessing because said liners were stained and ripped).  As my sister said, I should have known that for $20 the dresser wasn't in great condition, but I wasn't expecting quite so much wear and tear.  Still, it was a cute piece and I just knew that with some TLC it would be just fine for Addyson's room.

Thankfully my dad is somewhat handy (please note that I said somewhat) and was willing to spend 3 hours of his time sanding and priming the dresser so that I could then "fix it up".  So my part in the makeover turned out to be quite simple after all of my dad's hard work.  I simply spray painted the drawer fronts a light shade of pink and replaced the old knobs with new ones from Hobby Lobby.  And viola!  Just like new!  Sort of.  The drawers don't slide in and out very smoothly and there are still some knicks and dents here and there, but overall it turned out pretty well.  And Addyson loves it!

Check out the before, during and after photos:

Before any work was done.

After my dad finished sanding and priming.

After I spray painted drawers and added new knobs.

Here's a breakdown of cost on this makeover:
Dresser - free from my sister (although I did buy her lunch for her donation).
Labor (sanding and priming) - free work from my Dad and he paid for the primer too:)
Spray paint for drawer fronts - $3.49 from Wal-Mart
Drawer knobs - $5.99/knob at Hobby Lobby but were 50% off.  Total for 6 knobs = $17.97
Drawer liners - $0.97 cents/roll at Wal-Mart (I used 2 rolls) = $1.94
Grand Total = $23.40 (plus lunch for my sister)

Not too bad for my first attempt at a furniture project!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Designer Spotlight

So I think it's safe to say that I've been a slacker in the blogging department lately, but especially with regards to the Designer Spotlight "series" that I started a little over 1 year ago when I first began blogging.  It was my intention to feature a different designer (mostly children's clothing) each month but that didn't really happen.  In fact, it has only happened for 6 of the past 14.5 months.  Ooops!  

Shame on me!  While I can't promise to write a Designer Spotlight post every single month, I will say that I am going to try to do a better job of being more consistent - starting now!

And I'm going to start off with something for the little men out there.  It sure is hard to find cool boy stuff, isn't it?  Stuff that I would actually want my own little guy to wear, stuff that is affordable and just as trendy as the stuff I want my girls to wear.  I mean no offense to anyone, and I have certainly put my child in a shirt which featured a quite large and prominent dump truck on it once or twice, but I have to say that I am really not a fan of the typical boy themes for clothing - construction equipment, athletic gear, choo-choo trains, etc.  I want trendy and unique pieces that aren't too preppy or conservative but that still allow my boy to be a boy.

So here's my newest fave for my fave little man -

Fore!! Axel and Hudson

As stated on their website - "Fore!! Axel and Hudson draws upon the history of golf and its signature flair for fashion, innovating and reinventing the classic looks with hip, modern style".

For more info and to view the full lookbook check out the official Fore!! Axel and Hudson page here