Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Halloween...

my friend and I will be putting a together another little Halloween party for our friends and their little ones.  Last year we had about 50 people including about 20 kids under the age of 5.  We created quite a scene when we would knock on a neighbor's door and 20 kids later, they were done handing out candy.  :)

My friend has graciously offered to host this year as we just have too much going on.  If you're still looking for a few ideas to add to your Halloween festivities here are links to the inspiration for our party for last year and some pictures from the event.

We're doing the photo booth again... (It's so great having friends who are much better photographers than I am and know what they're doing!)  We'll also have a twilight scavenger hunt in the backyard as we've asked everyone to BYOF (bring your own flashlight).  For food... we're keeping it simple this year and having a "Stew Off".  People will be bringing their favorite stew/crockpot dishes and we'll vote and maybe even have a prize for the winner!

I'll be sure to share pictures of the party!  Lastly, here's a link to one fabulous, over the top, Halloween Party.  I was in awe.  Whitney is amazing!

Cheers to a cozy and tasty, Halloween weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Best Thing...

I bought this a few years back and just the love the message!  This one will be going in my daughter's room.  I'm taking a little breather this week from blogging to try to live this out.  :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My World in Pictures

As I've mentioned before, we're in a crazy season of adjustment.  Homeschooling is going well, but man is it a lot of work!  I was telling a friend, "Homeschooling is great, I just need to get a cook, a cleaner, and a personal assistant!"  :)

I still try to squeeze in an hour or so from time to time to write my posts, read blogs, catch up on my Nate's and soak in some interior loveliness.  It's funny... I really wasn't sure how blogging was going to fit into our new routine.  And honestly, most days I'm thinking, I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.  But I keep coming back to it.  For me it's a creative outlet, it's personal and I really relish in doing something just for me at the end of the day.  God clearly has me wired for this and I'm still drawn it no matter how tired I am.

Here are some pictures that helps to sum up my world the last few weeks.

 A field of gorgeous orangeness.  I have to admit, the cold of the fall is not my favorite time of year, but this is beautiful and oh so sweet.

Me and my gang. 

Off on a leaf hunt.  We just discovered these awesome trails by our house.  A few minutes into these trails and you really feel like you're in a forest!  The best part... this was part of our school day!  Science - learning about the changing of the seasons and trying to identify leaves.

One of the gifts of homeschooling... seeing our kids growing closer together.  The olders helping and teaching the youngers

We're usually dressed in Husky purple every Saturday for game day!  Go Dawgs!

And the boys have started soccer.  Our Saturdays are packed.

Have a great weekend!  We've been blessed with a few warm, sunny fall days this week.  Get outside if you can!  There are few things more beautiful than a sea of orange and brown against a clear, blue sky.  Me... well, I have to admit, I've already busted open a can of spray paint before the weekend has officially started.  You know what I'll be doing.  :)

See you Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our *new* Dining Chairs

Hey folks!

Here's part 2 of some change we've made in our dining room.  We're really watching our budget these days and I was looking for a way to get new dining room chairs for cheap.  I found these chairs at Goodwill and made them our kitchen chairs.  So then I gave our old kitchen chairs a makeover and they become our new dining chairs.  All in all, I spent about $100 on the chairs and fabric and now have 4 *new* chairs for the kitchen AND dining room.

Simple IKEA dining chairs that we've had for almost 10 years. 
Not sure of the name, they don't seem to carry these anymore.

An easy project of recovering the seat cushion and making a slipcover for the back.  Nothing too fancy, but a nice inexpensive upgrade.  This will do for awhile.  :)


This is how I always start painting my chairs.  Prime first.

As you can see, I did a shortcut.  I knew I'd be slipcovering the top, so I didn't bother painting the back.  If I wanted to be real thorough, I probably could've and that would've given me the option of taking the slipcover off. 

Recovering the seats

Here they are, 1/2 way done.  I just used left over gray paint from the dining room.  Worked perfect.

I slipped a pillowcase over the chair just to get a feel for the finished product.  This was my inspiration for the slipcover.  I don't really sew, so this is about as much as I can handle.

My humble workspace.  :)

Ta Da!  I like the contrasting fabric of the seat cushion and back. 
It's one of those things that is a bit off, but I think it gives it some interest.

The fabric was Waverly Bedazzle Silver Lining.  Found it Joann's for 50% off, $24.99/yd.  Love the slight ikat pattern and the yellow/gray was just right for the room.  Sorry, couldn't find the name of the seat fabric.  It was in the same section, all coordinating fabric with the Bedazzle. 

Lastly... a quick painting tip.  It was SUPER easy to paint my IKEA laminate chairs.  The primer went on smooth and so did the paint.  If you've considered painting your IKEA laminate furniture... do it, it's so easy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dining Room Progress

Well before the craziness of preschool and homeschool started in September, I spent some extra time doing projects around the house.  Thank goodness I did, because clearly, I don't have ANY time for it now.  I worked on my dining room in August, the same time I painted our kitchen chairs.  The inspiration for all the chair makeovers was actually getting our dining room to look like a dining room, and not an extra storage room.  As with many things, we're *almost* there. :)

Our dining table is piled up with stuff, again.  Let me tell you, it sure takes some discipline not to have that nice clear dining table as a catch all spot!  I'm almost tempted to set the table.  We'd definitely think twice before throwing stuff on there.  I hope to be able to share pics of our table soon.  :) In the meantime...

Here's our dining room buffet...

And here it is...

It was fun styling the buffet top.  The only things that are new are the 2 buffet lamps that I got on clearance at Pier One for about $20 for the pair.  It was a steal!  I had fun shopping our home and seeing what we could use.  I fiddled around with different arrangements and nothing felt right until I added the woven tray.  Once I placed that, everything fell into place.  The tabletop needed some warmth and texture and the tray was just right.

Leftover dining chair fabric helps to bring some more warmth and softness.

I got this frame at Goodwill for $5.  Then I just had foamcore cut at Michael's for about $10 and got chalkboard spraypaint there too.  Voila.  I've always wanted to do this project and it was so easy.  If you've ever thought about, go for it!  So easy and gratifying!

I love maidenhair ferns and this was the perfect spot for this little guy.  Again he adds more softness to an area with alot of sleek, hard surfaces, but more importantly, he also hides the cords from the lamp.  :)

This buffet table will probably change with the sesasons.  I think this will be the perfect place to put my little Christmas village that I got on sale last year.  :)

Tomorrow... pics of our "new" dining chairs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Weekend Project *almost*

So this weekend, I tackled another project in Evie's room.  I was finally going to make some window treatments for the 2 small windows in her room.  I wanted to make something that coordinated this wildflower pillow I got on sale from PBTeen.  This pillow was the inspiration for the whole room. 

(image via pbteen.com)

So I bought a fitted crib sheet from Pottery Barn Kids.  It was the only way for me to get additional fabric in that print to work with.

(image via potterybarnkids.com)

I was holding up the sheet trying to get a feel for how I could make a simple valance with it.  When I had an epiphany!  I thought the billowy shape at the bottom (from the elastic) made for a perfect balloon valance.  I had something like this in mind.

(image via target.com)

What I got was this:

(ACK!  Don't do this!)

Nooo!  Clearly not what I had envisioned.  I even tried to make it work by adding 2 bands of ribbon, but I think the problem is that it's just too small.. The way it comes in on each side just does NOT work!

To be honest, I really wanted it to work.  My husband was the first to say... "ummm honey... I'm not sure this looks right."  And defensively and jokingly, I said something like... "who's the designer here?"  However, I quickly realized this really was not going to be ok.  Then I thought, "There is no way I'm going to post this project on Monday!"  But..."maybe I should." 

I decided to humbly write this post because I want you all to know that even people who dive head first into DIYs, have their share of mistakes.  This shouldn't prevent you from trying them.  As with most things in life, there's only one way to get better .. do it and learn from your mistakes.  My guess is that for every beautifully decorated room or home that you see on a blog or wherever, there's a story of something didn't  go exactly right.  At least I can speak for myself!  :)

So, here's my Plan B.  I just order this fabric from fabric.com.

(via fabric.com)

I plan to do something simple like add some ribbon trim like this:

(via potterybarnkids.com)

 OK... regrouping and getting ready to have another go at this.  I'll keep you posted.  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

IKEA Fridays - Meet ISALA

This has to be one of my favorite items that IKEA has launched this year.  I'm in love with its classic lines, the charming details of the legs, versatility of the pieces and its interesting pale gray/lavender finish. 

Isala Coffee Table $199

Isala Sideboard $199
Isala Cabinet $199

The sideboard and cabinets are especially versatile.  They could easily work in a kitchen, living room, dining room, AND bedroom.  The pieces are wonderful as is, but can you imagine them with updated hardware, painting the trim a contrasting white or black or even applying wallpaper to the door or cabinet fronts? 

We have a full weekend ahead of us filled with soccer games, birthday parties and I might even be able to check out the new West Elm store that just opened in Seattle!

See you Monday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Martha Stewart Hardware - A Good Thing

You've heard changing out the hardware on your cabinets is one of the quickest ways for an update right?  Well, I was so excited when I saw the new Martha Stewart Hardware Collection at The Home Depot.  They look gorgeous! 

When we did our kitchen, we went all out and bought all our hardware at Restoration Hardware.  Gorgeous stuff, but not cheap.  I looked everywhere for similiar hardware for cheaper, but couldn't find it.  This Martha Stewart line looks great!  It has all of the classic styles similiar to Restoration Hardware for $3 - $4 cheaper each.  This certainly will add up.  I haven't personally tried these yet, but they are definitely work looking at if you're considering updating your pulls and knobs!

Here's the Restoration Hardware Utility Latch for $11.50

(via restorationhardware.com)

And here's the Martha Stewart Matchbox Catch for $6.97

(via thehomedepot.com)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pinhole Press

(via pinholepress.com)

Do you know about Pinhole Press?  They recently appeared on the Martha Stewart Show creating all sorts of party favors, decorations and gifts for Martha's birthday party.  (If you missed it there are alot of great party ideas.  I loved the scrabble letter banner!)

(image via marthastewart.com)

I just love their fresh take on making beautiful mementos out of ALL of those digital pictures we have sitting in our camera or computer.  Their look is clean, classic and brings the focus on your beautiful images. 

(all images via pinholepress.com)

Can you believe it's actually not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts?  These sweet, but simple gifts would bring a smile to anyone's face.  Especially grandma and grandpa!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Weekend & Another Project - Decals!

Goood Morning!  Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Seems like weekend are the only times we can rally and do anything around the house the days, so yup... we did another small update.  Remember when I did WHY IT WORKS Mondays?  Maybe I should start a new column called PROJECT Mondays?

Hmm... 2nd thought... nah, too much pressure!  I don't think I could keep it up.  :)  I'll stick to spontaneous inspiration.  :)

This time, we did a little work in my daughter's room.  This room has been an going project for several months now.  Remember this inspiration board I posted in July?  I started on it with the scalloped painting treatment on the ceiling and my IKEA Maskros Painting Project in the beginning of the summer!  I'm feeling like I want to give it one last push and get it done... before January!  :)

Ok... here's what we did.  The bed we have in their is oh so comfy, but it's very low and doesn't have a headboard.  It's my husband's old platform bed from his parents' house.  So, it's a perfectly good bed, but it definitely needed something.  To save money and not buy a headboard, I've been looking at decals for awhile.  Althought this option was a very close second!  Gorgeous end product, just too much work for me right now. 

I happened to find this decal on clearance this weekend and I had a coupon I had to use too!  Divine!  :)  It was meant to be!

(notice the shadows on the wall?  from the Maskros light)


A few more touches to go.  But a huge improvement!
(notice the light and ceiling from before)

Decals are fabulous!  What a great invention!  There so many awesome ones out there, I plan on posting a round up of my favorites later this week.  Love those things!  :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IKEA Fridays - Meet JULES

In putting together our homeschooling classroom, we tried to use pieces we already had.  For our work table we're using our IKEA Docksta table.  But we definitely need some chairs.  My boys don't mind sitting on their knees, but it's definitley not promoting a good work posture. 

(image via ikea.com)

I love the Junior JULES chairs.  They are the perfect combination of function and fashion.  They look fabulous, can easily grow with your child into their teen years and so practical with the swivel base and adjustable height.

I've been scouring Craigslist for one of the these beauties or I may just bite the bullet and pay the $34.99 for it.  :)  Still a great deal. 

All for now.  Have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Kid Craft Round Up

We are full into the fall season with shorter days, a chill in the air and regularly falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof.  I love doing crafts with my kids.  It's so much fun and teaches many great skills:  listening, following directions, patience, perseverance, imagination...etc..  I'm always on the look out for EASY projects where I can use things I already have.  Few of us have the time or budget to be running around for exotic supplies.  Here's a round-up of some of my favorites for October.  These are all from Family Fun.com

(all images from familyfun.com)

 1.  Spirit Jugs
2.  Personalized Nature Pals
3.  Leaf Mobile
4.  Bat O Lanterns
5.  Squash Softies
6.  Jar O Lanterns

Nicole, over at MeOhMy, also posted some adorable and easy Halloween craft ideas.  I think I'll be making the cute banner and wreath!

(image via meohmymama.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rhythm & Routine - Family Schedules

(A little rhythm from my #2 )

Well, we're almost 1 month into homeschooling and overall, its going well.  I'm tweaking things every week, moving things around and following the classic teacher mantra of "monitor and adjust".  What I'm enjoying most is the structure and rhythm our new schedule has given our family.  Generally speaking, I tend to shy away from schedules only because if I make one, I make myself crazy trying to stick to it to a tee.  But for now, a schedule is a necessity and it has worked out really well. 

It is completely true what they say about kids... that they crave structure and routine.  And so do grown ups I'll add!  :)  My kids like knowing that there's a predictabiliy to each day and week.  We have preschool days, library days, bible study and coop days, soccer practice...  We're so much more intentional and productive with our time.  Before this, I felt like somedays we were all wandering the house (a house full of toys mind you) trying to find something to do.  Now, we have so many projects and things that need to be done, that idle tv time decreased dramatically.  When we do watch tv or want some downtime, we can do it guilt-free.

So... if a schedule sounds like something that might help your family, I rounded up a few resources with templates that you can download and customize (some for free).   

  • iheartorganizing is a fabulous blog!  Tons of practical posts and many great lists, schedules, and templates for free and for purchase through Jen's etsy shop.  I'm sure you'll find something that will make your life easier here! 

  • jonesdesigncompany.  I've written a lot about the beautiful work that Emily does through JDC.  She now has a monthly subscription program with new schedules, lists and templates every month.  How great it is to be organized and do it so beautifully! 

  • lisawhelchel.com.  If the name sounds familiar, yes she was the 80s star in Facts of Life, but since then has been a great advocate for homeschooling moms and Christian families.

  • familieswithapurpose.  I just discovered this site and it seems to have a large selection of templates and schedules that you can download for free. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Weekend ... Paint and Shelves

Ok... I'm realizing I have a serious problem and I'm going to call it "projectitis".  :)  This condition causes me to have an insatiable desire to paint, move, reorganize or redo spaces in my house. When I look around my house, I'm usually thinking...

"hmm... I wonder what that would look like in a different color?  hmmm... I wonder how that would look if I moved it over there..."  "hmm... how about wallpaper... window treatments?... hmmm..." 

The prognosis... I will live in a very well-loved home, pouring myself into every nook and cranny... but, I will probably never see my home as finished and be able to put the paint brush or tape measure down!  Do any of you suffer from this same condition?  :)  Oy!  It's both a blessing and curse I tell ya.

Last week I wrote about adding some more contrast to my all white kitchen... I've been thinking about it ever since.  I didn't paint my cabinets black yet, but this afternoon while the kids napped... I decided to paint one wall.  Carpe Diem right?  What used to look like this:

Our kitchen walls are a soft, light green. 
Grecian Green by Benjamin Moore

Now looks like this:

IKEA EKBY shelves
Paint:  Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore

A few thoughts on this project:

  • This truly was so easy and didn't cost a thing.  I just used paint left over from the dining room.  I LOVE this gray.  It's Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore.  It's a wonderful, cool-gray.  Using left over paint in different areas of your home is not only economical, but it allows your rooms to flow nicely from one to another. 

  • I really didn't mind the children artwork on the wall.  This is a designated kid zone.  But I wanted to add shelves because I don't have a place to put the kid projects that need to sit somewhere rather than being taped up. I have a whole wall where I tape things up.    

  • While at IKEA picking up the brackets, I was really debating whether or not to go for white or black.  I decided to go with black.  So glad I did.  White would've worked and would've been the safe choice.  I LOVE the contrast of the black, against the gray wall in my all white kitchen.  The risk paid off.

Sorry for the grainy, un-styled pictures.  But at this point, if I wait to style each photo and try to get the perfect shot, I may never get to posting a single project.  Hope you get the idea.  Trust me... I'll be styling away in the days ahead.  :) 

Last Friday, I wrote about doing something over the weekend that made your heart sing.  This is what did it for me.  A mini-makeover that breathed new life into a tired corner.  What about you?


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