28 March 2014

A Thank You to my Sponsors!

 I love the people who help keep this blog going. Thanks a bunch guys. <3





DesignPro is a portal of the site DecoraUSA. It is a place for architects, interior designers, bloggers, and other design professionals to share business information and project photos to help get more exposure. Other perks to registering are trade discounts and earning 3% with their rewards program on all purchases at DecoraUSA. 
Oh and the site is free to use. Register here



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They have so, so much good stuff. 
Rugs. Lighting. Pillows. Furniture. Mirrors. Decor. If you missed my post on their Idea Corner yesterday then go check it out. I made a moodboard of a room design and showed how to get a similar look with DecoraUSA products. They've got fab stuff. 


















27 March 2014

Living Room Design: Get the Look

 Sorry for my blogging hiatus this week. It's Spring Break for my oldest and we're heading out on a camping trip so I've been ignoring my computer for the most part. 

I did whip up a quick room design though, and today I'm showing how to get a similar look using products from DecoraUSA




Check it out on their blog

21 March 2014

West Elm Art

 It's here! The West Elm art I talked about the other day...



I got the one called Artichoke. I love it SO much. It's amazing in person. 
I want one more from this photography line to hang above this one. In the mean time this one is looking gorgeous all on it's own here in the breakfast nook. 

Speaking of the breakfast nook, it's still table-less. We've got the legs for the new table and the plans for the top- we just need to go get the rest of our supplies and get to building it. Every weekend has just been super busy lately so the table project keeps getting pushed back every week. But I'm hoping soon it will be done. 

Have a great weekend! 

20 March 2014

My Cleaning List (Updated)



Back when this blog was brand spanking new (like 3 years ago) I posted about my cleaning routine and the list I use to keep track of what days to do things. I've used a cleaning list for years and I can't say enough how much I love it. It makes keeping up with the house so much easier than back when I used to have one day where I tried to do every single thing. I really like how when I do a few things every day (except the weekends- I purposely don't schedule any cleaning for those two days) the house stays consistently tidy. Since I got a few questions about it last time, I don't use this list for the everyday stuff like dishes, wiping counters and sweeping the kitchen floor- that kind of thing doesn't feel necessary to list. 

I've been meaning to update my list for quite a while and the other day I finally did it. I moved some things around to days that work better for me at this point in my life and even though it still covers all the same stuff, I made this new list a little more relaxed and easy to follow than the old one. 


Oh and also it's prettier. 


Here are the new and the old lists side by side- new on the left, old on the right. 


Right now my new list is laminated and has replaced the old one on the refrigerator.


But I'm so in love with it I'm thinking of framing it. 

I made the whole thing, text included, in the photo editor PicMonkey. I don't have their upgraded version; I did everything using their free options. The circular photo I was able to make thanks to a tutorial here on the blog Honey We're Home (so thanks Megan!:)



Cleaning the house is somehow so much more fun now that I get to check my cute new list every day. 



To see more details on how I make my cleaning schedule as far as choosing days to do things and how I pair tasks, go here

*Update: After writing this post I've realized I forgot to add "cleaning the bathrooms" to this list, so I'll be adding it asap. But that happens on Wednesday. :)

19 March 2014

Clinton Friedman Wall Art at West Elm

 This is hands down my favorite art at West Elm right now-
these photographs by Clinton Friedman. 
I love the simplicity of them and at the same time how bold they look because of their large size. I'm wanting all four of them. 








I love the way the four of them look hanging together. This photo also shows their large size- each one is a 28" square. 



Right now I don't have the wall space for all four of these, but I do have a space that would be perfect for two of them (stacked vertically). I've already ordered one and it's on it's way- I'll show you guys which one once it gets here! 


17 March 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day!



My house has got it's green on. Lucky for me I've never had to worry about putting green on myself for St Patrick's Day- I've got green eyes so I'm always covered. 

Have a great day! 

14 March 2014

The Clean Out Continues

 ...and things are looking up. 

Remember those drawers I couldn't open (or close really)? 

Before:




Now they open all the way. And I can actually find what I need from them. 



Amazing what throwing out an entire trash bag's amount of pointless junk from this cabinet has done for my sanity. I'm suddenly in the mood to sew something now that I can find my thread. 

Another upside to this house purge that I'm on right now is that while I've been getting rid of tons of stuff, I've also found things that I actually really like that I'd forgotten about. 



This sweet pink saucer was wrapped in like 10 newspapers in the bottom of a box...It belonged to my great grandmother and she got it in Japan when she and my great grandfather lived there after WWII. 



The little teacup that goes with it is now in my bathroom holding makeup brushes. 

See, I get rid of tons of stuff, but no one can accuse me of not being sentimental. 

Although I hear this Occupied Japan stuff is collectable...so if anyone's dying to have these two pieces I'd totally sell them! I'm not THAT sentimental! ;)

Also- if you want to read about sharing your house with kids and their stuff in a way that doesn't look like a giant mess, you can check out my post on DecoraUSA's Idea Corner today. 

Have a fab weekend! 

12 March 2014

Spring Cleaning

 Spring is on it's way, and it's got me in the mood to whip my house into better shape. Despite this post's title, I'm not technically doing that by actual cleaning. Since I have a daily cleaning routine that helps me stay on top of the house cleaning pretty well, I don't do a specific seasonal cleaning. Although one of the things on my to-do list lately is to update my cleaning schedule since it hasn't been changed in the past few years but my home and the days that work best for me for doing certain things have. So that's something I'll share once I do it. 

But anyways, what I'm working on lately is clearing the house of all the stuff I no longer want. I did this back in December with all the kids' stuff and it felt so great. So now I've turned my attention to myself and all the crap I've been hoarding in the closets that I'm never actually going to want to use anymore. 

It's been kind of hard to part with things over the past three years that we've been renters because I always worried that I might get rid of something only to move to a new house and have the perfect spot for it there and then be kicking myself for getting rid of it. So we've been storing boxes of things in every house we've rented that we haven't been using, and finally I've decided that enough is enough and I'm getting rid of most of it. 

I have allowed myself one box to store things in that I really like but just don't have a place for at the moment. That's mostly because it is nice to have spare decor items to rummage through in a pinch when I rearrange things and realize I've got an empty spot now that needs a vase/bowl/candle stick/etc. But as I've gone through all the spare decor items I'd been storing to decide what to get rid of and what to put in my one box to save, I've asked myself a simple question with each item to determine if it stays or goes: "Would I buy this now?" If the answer is no, I've put it in my ever-growing pile of stuff to get rid of. And I realized as I dug through all my boxes that like 99% of everything in them is stuff that I would not even glance twice at if I were to pass it in a store now. So it was super easy to whittle my stash down to one box. 

I've also been going around the house and removing anything we have that I don't love. This is just one area I was able to revamp by using an item from my "stash box" (the white container that's holding the flowers) so that I could get rid of items I haven't been loving anymore (the candlesticks). 


Before:


This is an example of why I like having spare decor items stashed away- because I can fix problem areas without having to run right out and buy something new. 


My stash just doesn't need to encompass 6 boxes and the area beneath my bed. 

But I'm not just getting rid of decorating stuff. I'm going through my clothes, shoes, beauty products...I'm being ruthless. Everything that I keep I want to organize so things are easier to find. And easier on the eyes since I have to look at them every day. 

Right now my attention is focused on this shameful area:
my craft supplies. 


I don't have the drawers cracked like that because I don't want you to see inside them- I just couldn't open them any farther. 

Nothing cheers me through this process like walking out into the garage and looking at the rapidly growing pile of things to get rid of. I haven't decided yet whether I want to donate it or have a yard sale. Or maybe just pile it all up in the yard, strike a match and then dance around it. 

I think the only thing I like as much as getting new things is getting rid of old ones. 

11 March 2014

Product Review: Cozy Wall Art Vinyl Decals

 Thanks so much to CozyWallArt.com  for providing the following products free of charge for my honest review. 



Not too long ago I made some felt garlands for the big empty wall in our playroom (you can see how I made them here). I've loved how they look but I still had a lot of open space that I wanted to fill in a little more. 


So here is how that wall is looking now thanks to some vinyl wall decals from CozyWallArt.com 


They have tons of different wall art to choose from- quotes, patterns, letters, animals, trees, shapes... even custom name decals. I chose these small circle dots because they went well with the garlands I already had on this wall. When I saw them I got the idea to make it look like circles were falling down the wall from the garlands. So I got most of the circle dots in white and then a few in teal and green since those colors went with the colors in the garlands. Then I just scattered them around on the wall below the garland. To keep with the "falling" look, I didn't put them on any of the lower areas of wall that were "blocked"by something, so none below the magnet board, or the shelf, but I let some trickle down the small wall spaces between the items on that wall. 

The wall stickers were really easy to apply. They are adhesive but still are removable (I checked!) so perfect for a renter like me.

Each color of decals came together on a big sheet so since I wanted to scatter them around kind of haphazardly on the wall, I started by cutting the sheet to separate all the dots from each other. 





To apply them to the wall I just peeled off the backing paper (it's the one that's blue):


Then placed the decal with the thinner transfer paper on top to the wall and used the squeegee that Cozy Wall Art sent to smooth the decal (with the transfer paper still covering it) to the wall:


Then I just peeled off the transfer paper. 




As you can see, my walls are pretty smooth, but do have a small amount of texture. It wasn't an issue though; the wall stickers stuck really well. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have worked in our last house where the texture on the walls was super thick and clumpy, but with the little bit of texture these walls have, the decals stick great. 

Applying them all was a pretty quick process even with having over a hundred of these dots. I started with all the white ones since that was the color I had the most of, then I scattered around the green and the teal. 

I love how fun and playful it looks. 



My kids love them too- the twins woke up from their nap just as I was finishing and they were so excited to see how their playroom looked. They were jumping up and down and kept thanking me. :) 


And like I said earlier, I love that I can remove these when we move. I checked after applying the first few to see how they come off. They stick really well so I couldn't peel them up with my nail, but with the edge of the squeegee that I'd used to smooth them onto the wall, I was able to lift an edge and then it was super easy to peel them off and it didn't leave any damage to the paint. Which is great because I really wouldn't want to have to repaint the whole wall before we leave. It did crumple the edge of the decal a bit when I lifted it with the squeegee, so you definitely want to try to place these right where you want them the first time, because moving them around a lot may damage them. I was able to smooth out the edges though of the ones I removed, so the little bit of damage I did to them isn't obvious. 

CozyWallArt.com was really great to work with. It's obvious that it's a company created by parents, just by the thoughtful touches they added to the packaging. Like these lollipops that my kids were very excited to get. 




There was also a small bonus decal- this cute little flower that I put on the side of the bookcase in my kids' room. 



I'm really happy with these wall stickers! 


Check out all the great options for your walls at Cozy Wall Art- http://cozywallart.com, or visit their Etsy shop.