30 October 2014

Going On Break

This is likely my last post for this year! After almost 4 years of writing this blog, I am taking my first big break. Honestly I'm a little scared to because I'm worried no one will be here when I get back. But if my sporadic posting lately is any indication, a break is really needed. I have a lot going on lately and am feeling a little overwhelmed, but the only thing I can realistically clean from my plate is my blog. So I'm letting my stress levels win this one and stepping away for a couple months. 
This isn't goodbye. It's just, see you in 2015. 
So, Happy Halloween...Happy Thanksgiving...Merry Christmas…Happy New Year……...and see ya in a bit. 

And as always, 

It always is. xo

29 October 2014

Paper Flowers

My kitchen sink area is looking like spring time thanks to these pretty pink flowers, and the best part is they'll never die. 

These are really easy to make. Here are {almost} all the supplies:

-crepe paper streamers
-scissors with scalloped edge
-floral wire
-floral tape
-pen or pencil (for attaching petals)
-cotton ball

The only thing not pictured is the glue. I've used both Elmer's and hot glue and both work great. The little circles with the scalloped edges I cut out of the crepe paper streamers. Those are the petals. 

I glued a cotton ball onto the end of a floral wire and then wrapped the bottom half of it and the wire with floral tape. Then I attached the paper petals to the top half of the cotton ball by sticking each petal over the end of a pen and kind of wrapping it around like this:

Then I put a small amount of glue on the bottom of the petal (which is the part covering the bottom of the pen) and then used the pen to push the petal onto the cotton ball. I repeated this until the whole cotton ball was covered. 

So pretty and I love that I can't kill them! 
That is unless I splash them with water…which I find sort of ironic. 

24 October 2014

Gold Rimmed Succulent Pots

 I did a quick little update to some succulent planters this morning that was inspired by my new Target vase.

The color of the cement vase is really similar to the color of the pot where this little faux succulent is planted. I have another of these little pots on a different shelf on this bookcase: 

I thought it would be pretty to glam up these gray pots a little bit so I used a Krylon gold leafing pen around the rim of both pots. I love how they look now!

23 October 2014

Obsessing: Target's Newest Line

 Target frequently has items in their home decor department that have me scrambling for my wallet, but none have had me wanting to throw my marriage's happiness to the wind and spend like tomorrow doesn't exist quite like the latest line from Threshold.
How did they know that like every single thing would go perfectly in my house?? Here are some of my favorites: 

I saw a bunch of things from this line on clearance the other day so I snatched up one of my favorites- a cement and gold vase. This small one was marked down to only $9. 

I wish I could have bought up the whole collection but at least I got my favorite piece! 

22 October 2014

Halloween Skull Bunting

I took my kids to Joann Fabrics last week to pick out some Halloween decorations and was surprised to find that the Halloween isles had already been cleared out to make way for Christmas and whatever was left of Halloween was at the front of the store and at discounted prices. The kids were bummed that there was less to look at but I was happy to score a few new things for much less money. 

One thing I grabbed was one of those long rolls of printed burlap- it was 50% off so I only paid like $2.50 for it. Once I got it home I tried hanging it in different places but it wouldn't hang right- it kept wanting to hang so the skulls were facing the ceiling. So I laid it out across the dining room table knowing that at some point I'd try altering it so that it would actually work like a banner. 

Yesterday I cut it apart so that it was in squares, each square having a skull in the center. I didn't measure or anything to size them perfectly; I just cut about halfway between each skull. 

My plan was to sew all the way across the top of all of them so they'd be sewn together in a long row. But the only thread I had that matched the burlap color was a heavy nylon upholstery thread and my sewing machine was choking on it. So I gave up and started sewing them together at the corners by hand. Four squares in though I realized this was not going to work because pulling my needle in and out of the loose weave of the burlap was just unraveling the corners so the edges of the squares were falling apart. 
By this time I was cursing burlap, sewing needles, and Halloween, but I was determined to make this work so I got out the hot glue gun and just started gluing them together at the top corners.

 Thankfully that worked. It doesn't look as good as if it had been sewn together and had some space between the squares, but at this point I really don't care. It'll only be up for a couple weeks anyway. 

Something else I did was to spread some Elmer's glue along all the cut edges so that they won't unravel. It was messy work. 

It was about this time that my fourth grader arrived home from school and saw me sitting at the table surrounded by glue, burlap squares, and a partially finished chain. He came over and looked at what I was doing and was like, "Why did you cut them completely apart? All you would have had to do was cut between each skull till you were almost to the top but left a little bit of material still attached- it would have been the same as what you're doing now but way faster. You made a ton of extra work for yourself Mom."

Oh duh.

I felt like a moron as I surveyed my mess and realized he was totally right.
If only I had the common sense of a 9 year old, then this would have been a much easier project.

But at least it's done.

That's it for Halloween crafts for me this year! :)

17 October 2014

Cleaning Quick Tip: Disinfect Your Purse

I consider myself to be a pretty clean person, but I recently read an article that had me wanting to gag (and maybe throw my purse away). It was about germy areas that we don't even think about (I wish I could remember the name of the article so I could link to it) and one of those areas is our purses. It said a study was done that showed that because of all the nasty places they get set- bathroom counters, grocery carts, floors, etc- horrifying things can be found on the bottom of a purse. Things like, what starts with an f and ends with an -eces. 


The article went on to point out that after we get home we often plop our purse down on the counter (which I ALWAYS do!) then later after we've put the purse away, we make a sandwich on the same countertop, and bingo!- e-coli waiting to happen. 

Even though I don't make a habit of setting my purse in the cart while I'm shopping, my eyes have been opened to just how gross this beloved accessory can be, so I've been taking action. Every time I get home from somewhere I give the bottom of my purse and the handles a quick swipe with a disinfecting wipe. (Double check first in an inconspicuous spot that this won't damage the material of your purse.) I also wipe down the counter with disinfectant if I do set the purse on it before cleaning it, and also after putting the groceries away because if my purse is germy, who knows what's on those grocery bags. This only takes a couple seconds and it's totally worth it! 

16 October 2014

Accessorizing The TV Cabinet

 Lately I've been working on making the tv cabinet look like a prettier spot in our living room by slowly filling in the extra space around the tv with books and accessories. 
This morning I finally got it feeling finished with the addition of two little bowls that I picked up at West Elm last night while Rob and I were out for a date night. 

I've realized I have kind of a thing for bowls because without really meaning to I seem to always gravitate to them in stores and if you look around my house it's full of them. These two super cute ones caught my eye in West Elm last night and I couldn't walk out without them. They were just too pretty and inexpensive. (The gold one was $6 and the tiny mint one was $3.) I love how they look nested together so for now I'm keeping them like this. 

Since accessorizing is my #1 idea of a good time, the addition of these bowls to the tv cabinet sparked a re-accessorizing frenzy that included 4 rooms and an hour and a half of my morning. Stuff got moved. It was so fun. 

I won't bore you with the details of every single switch up, especially since while it was all happening I was totally in the zone and now that it's over I can't really remember what happened. Just that I liked it. I do know hot glue was involved. Twice. 

The tv cabinet got the most attention though, so here it is all styled and finally looking finished. 

Ideally I'd love to have the tv up on the wall so the top of the cabinet could be nothing but pretty stuff. I'd put another stack of books in the center, or maybe even two more stacks, but anyway for now I'm working with the set up we've got and this is satisfactory to me. 

It's nice to have a pretty view from the couch, so that if on the off-chance I'm bored with the plot line of The Blacklist (not likely) I can be entertained by looking at all the stuff below the tv screen. 

By the way, the wall to the right of the tv isn't actually orangish the way it looks in the photo. We have giant, jack-o-lantern window clings on the front two windows, so all the light coming through them is making an orange haze through most of the main rooms in our house. Can't say I'll be too sad to roll those up in a couple weeks. 

But you know what I won't be rolling up? My tv cabinet. 
(I know that wasn't a good segue.)

14 October 2014

Book Review: New York Mid-Century

Not only am I a design and decorating enthusiast, but I am also a major history lover, so the book I just finished- New York Mid-Century -was absolutely perfect for me. It was about creative professions like interior design, architecture, art, and dance, in New York City during the span of two decades known as the mid-century: 1945-1965. It was fascinating to read about the struggle that so many people in these creative fields had trying to figure out what art and design should look like in a post-war America (and specifically in New York City). Mid-Century architecture is so wildly popular now that it was very eye-opening for me to read about how many architects struggled at first to figure out what the new "look" should be once the opulence of the gilded age was over. 

It was also really interesting for me to learn about how the architecture ended up inspiring the more streamlined furniture designs of the period, since the more clean-lined interiors needed more simplified furniture to fill them. And I'd had no idea of the role that the Museum of Modern Art played in making the new furniture designs visible to the public, since this was the time period where for the first time home design was becoming accessible to everyone. Most of us are so obsessed with mid-century modern furniture these days, so I enjoyed learning the background of that style.

One of my favorite things about this book was all the photography- I loved getting to see what Mid-Century New York looked like. 

I loved the photos of all the art. I'm sure I'll never have the money to actually own something from Andy Warhol, but thanks to all the photographs of them in this book, I can feel like I sort of do. Along with tons of other art from several artists from that time. 

Speaking of which, another thing I loved was getting to learn more about people who's names are now so iconic like Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Charles & Ray Eames. 

I learned a lot from reading this, which ultimately is my favorite thing about it. If you like the arts and you enjoy history, this book is the perfect combo of both. 

Oh and bonus- it's a good looking book. I always get super excited to see what's under the book jacket, and this one's cover did not disappoint. 

It might be hard to tell in photos but those triangles are raised so the cover design has a really cool, three dimensional look. 

I always love a book that's just as good for displaying as it is for reading. 

Find a list of booksellers where you can order New York Mid-Century at Vendomepress.com.

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.