Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lots to blog about, but it'll have to wait!

We're having a wonderful time! My laptop decided to go on vacation too though :(

I'm hoping it'll decide to start working when we get home! Lots to share :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun-filled Fabric Wreath making!

Last night I had "moms night in" with some of my girlies. It was a craft night with some wine & chatting & snacks, and we made these fabric wreaths! Cute, huh!?

I once again used fabric from my favorite pair of jammie pants that I had to retire due to the ripped seat of them that we still don't talk about ;) Then I picked up some remnants from Jo Anns... not colors I'd always put together because while they're all green... they kinda clash. Also grabbed a couple of quarters as well. My total spent in fabric was about $2.50. I will admit that I got a little bit of a green eye when seeing some of my friends picked up the fat quarter packs that already have all these cool spunky coordinating fabrics all together (just a little!), but I think my "on the cheap" fabric selection still held it's own!

It's pretty simple. For better instructions I recommend clicking this link ;)

You cut your fabric into 2' x 11' strips, I wasn't even precise and I made some a bit bigger or smaller depending on how much fabric I had. Pictured is 3 of the fabrics, I actually used 6.

Take a wire hanger form into a circle, bending/wrapping the hanger hook back onto itself. Is it wrong that talking about wire hangers always makes me this of this scene from Mommy Dearest???

Tie all your strips (double knotting) on to the wire, somewhat having a pattern/order to the fabrics but no need to completely follow. For awhile you'll think "this looks silly".

Then viola you have a fun fabric wreath! I likey! Can't wait to find a good place to hang it. Oh speaking of hanging it you can just take a ribbon and tie both ends to the wire in between some fabric pieces and there ya go (I still need to add mine!).

Big thanks to our wonderfully crafty & organized friend Ellie! Seriously she's talented, even has her own etsy store!!

This weekend we leave for the H Family 2011 Road Trip to Arizona! Taking the laptop with of course, we'll just see what we have in store for blogging! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I spy with my little eye (Ballard Designs Catalog)

... things I wonder will be the next trends and hacks??

I L-O-V-E getting the Ballard Designs catalog! It's doubtful I'll ever buy anything from it price-wise, but boy do I love diving into the catalog as soon as it arrives!

These are just some thoughts I had while drooling over the latest catalog last night! Might be things that have already been thought/blogged about... just nod your head and smile ;)

Remember these beauts ($35-$49)?
Terra-Cotta Pears

They were being hacked (ie recreated/copied) all over the place! Look at them now...

Twine Pear

I'm shocked I haven't seen these magnetic boards ($69) being hacked, they look great and probably are not hard to DIY...
Magnetic Board
Some sheet metal, modge podged or hot glued fabric, some ribbon... viola a great memo board!

I've seen these demijohns ($39-$129 each) for awhile too, lots of tutorials on how to make the knotted jute over the glass bottle or completely covered in twine to look like these...

Jute Covered Demijohn  Cane Covered Demijohn

But what about these burlap demijohns?

I can just see all the DIY possibilities now! Favorite images, quotes, wedding dates... involving pens or black paint, stencils, and lots of modge podge and/or hot glue ;)

Then I saw this wonderful piece ($899)....

Belgard Cabinet

I like it. It's wood without having to be all matchy with other woods but will coordinate awesome with just about any other type of wood in the room. Can almost be modern, vintage, shabby chic, transitional, and country/farmhouse just depending on how you dress it! It's also has a home in the whole "gray is the new beige" thing that's starting right now.

I haven't seen it in Pottery Barn yet (which is the home design trending monster) but I have seen it at Cost Plus World Market and some other random places. Not saying it's the NEW BIG thing at all... but I do think it's a viable option for something different but not out there.

Grey-Weathered Farmhouse Console Table - Cost Plus World Market Grey-Weathered Farmhouse Coffee Table - Cost Plus World Market

I think the "grey wash" accessories like these candlesticks ($79) kind of goes with it...

Lucerne Candleholder

Everything is taking on a very natural feel/look to it (has it has been for awhile, but seems even more so) yet sorta fancy.... "fancy natural" perhaps??. Lots of burlap, twine, seagrass, rattan, etc... I even saw a burlap bedskirt!
Fringed Burlap Bedskirts

Which isn't my style at all, but I can only imagine someone really making it rock in a room!

Even saw a wood beaded chandy ($119-$349)!

Maddox Beaded Chandelier

That was fun! As always, I love oogling Ballard Designs catalogs... I read them like they're magazines and Greg has to literally pry them out of my hands after I've acquired a season of them to put in the recycling bin! I'm not always best in the whole DIY/hack thing... but these are just some of the things I could envision seeing out there in blogland!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our 2011 Valentines

Happy Valentines Day my friends and family!

I've never been a huge valentines person. It's a fun occassion to get something little and maybe go out to dinner. However, the kids really get into holidays now... so I find us "celebrating" them more and more.

I saw this wonderful birdseed ornament craft idea (via Kimba's Soft Place to Land). I was sold! Last year we made heart crayons made from melted broken old crayons for our valentines. I love the idea of making something, there's more thought in that process as to who/why we're doing so. Plus something that will be actually used and more green in that there's very little waste! And our feathered friends get a snack!

Jake helped for a little while...

Then once we added all the stuff together, it has a smell, not bad, just a smell... so he checked out and I finished it up!

Cut up drinking straws are to make the hole in the ornament

Used some playdoh accessories to get decorative

As always in my crafty world, about half didn't turn out so great... but the other half really did! I had the most luck with the fat little hearts from my wilton "pan". The rest I made too thin or put the straw hole too close to the edge and it therefore crumbled. I also used whole wheat flour, I think it made it less "sticky" and more crumbly... note to self: just follow a recipe for once ;)

I used this bird template and cut out "tags" to add when tying the ribbon onto the birdseed ornament.

Evan while waiting for me to get these done...

Today we had a vday cookie decorating party, yay for frosting & sprinkles!! We left early and dropped off a few to some friends that couldn't make it due to the sickies or appointments.
Evan is figuring out in the picture that they're NOT granola bars and that he can NOT eat them!

It was fun! It's a beautiful day out today (didn't even need the jackets)! All the better!

If you want to make these yourself, check out above where I linked to Saltwater Kid's post on it. She explains it much better and in less words than I could!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

French Toast Casserole Recipe!

This week we rushed around getting ready for company. Greg's parents have been here and the boys have been in grandma & grandpa heaven!

Today we went to the zoo, it was a lot of fun as always! Grilled out this evening and even ate dinner in the dining room! Tomorrow we're going to go to the park then make our birdseed valentines.

So in payment for my lack of blogging... I give you one of my favorite recipes. I made it for breakfast this morning! Big time YUM!

French Toast Casserole
6 1/2 cups of bread cubed
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tblspn butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Lightly butter 9 x 13 casserole dish

Line dish with bread cubes

Mix everything else together except butter in a bowl, then pour over bread cubes in dish

Dot the top of mixture with the butter

Let stand 5-10 min

Bake @ 350 for about 30 min

Drizzle syrup over top and serve (or eat out of pan, lol!)

Random ideas that I've done for this dish at times...
** I like to throw in a few slices of raisin cinnamon bread to cube up for an extra something**
** I also save and freeze the bread "butts" and about every month can make a casserole using them so they're not wasted!**

** I like to sprinkle some powder sugar over the top**

** I've also taken it out half way through cooking, dotted mixture with cream cheese, then put back in to finish baking - makes for some yummy bites**

Seriously, it's a big time fave and super easy! I have a friend that upgraded my recipe and turned into more of a bread pudding. (hi Shell!)

In the meantime, back to visiting! Oh and they gave me this last night:

So yah... see ya when I see ya ;) Nah, just kidding (a little bit) I love blogging too much!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Master Bedroom Tour

Got to see some snippets of the room yesterday when I talked about my new bookcase and lovely curtains.

Thought I'd take you on a full tour today! I'm not thrilled with the pictures at all. I've tried taking them at various times of the day but I've decided that it's the angle of the winter light that's throwing it all off. So you'll just have to suffer through ;) Oh and don't forget we're hoping to paint the walls Sherwin Williams Tony Taupe in a month or so (it's a wonderful cozy yet refined taupey gray).

I don't consider this room done by any means... but it's got some good bones to work with. Don't knock me for it being too matchy-matchy. I can only do so much with an engineer that "wants to make decisions too" (hahaha). We did purchase our furniture completely new when we first moved in... our previous furniture was a set Greg got when he was in the 8th GRADE! We were movin' on up ;)

Our bedroom, like a lot in Texas, is on the first floor. We have a little hallway off the living room that is where we have our photo gallery wall (you can read about it here). Then into our room...

Along the wall is a picture of 3 drawings we purchased at a little shop on Pier 39 when we were there for our Wedding/Honeymoon (you can read about it and our story here).

When you walk in you see my dresser and also my new little reading nook (just needs some light!) complete with two sacks of fur that you can meet here ;) The chair is a handmedown and it's technically the wrong color blue... but we're rolling with it for now.

On top of dresser are some $.25 goodwill candlesticks, a pottery barn lantern bought with wedding gift cards we've held onto for 6 years AND one of my favorite pictures of us on our wedding day...

Then it's our wall of windows now dressed that we saw yesterday

Our bed... my side is the shelves his is the night stand.

You can see the pocketwatch clock I talked about last month and wow that lampshade needs some jazz does it not?

I'm really trying to figure out what to do over our bed... it needs something for sure though! Just haven't found anything that speaks to me or our budget! Taking ideas though :)

Enters into our bathroom (a tour for another day!)

His dresser with pics of our cute babes

That concludes our tour!

In looking at these pics, I realize I'm not a very good "stager" the pillows aren't straight, the cover is crumply, and yep - missing good decorative accents! But there you have it! Kinda simple with hopefully a little class :)

See anything you like? Anything give you any ideas? Do you have any ideas for me?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bland Sad Corner, no more... with a sneak peek!

On Saturday I showed you our little sad little bland corner in our master bedroom

Sunday I put a little fire under the hubs (which I think he caught the tail end of what we all suffered through last week - so that's saying a lot) and he put the bookcase together for me that we got at IKEA on our most recent trip.

Oh my! What a difference! It was amazing how much it changed things just by it's presence! The height really helps things and the storage it offers is wonderful. I loved putting all my favorite books in there to display... I did find a few accessories to put in there as well. Not sure if those are permanent or not, and perhaps I should put something on top. Accessories are still "in progress".

We weren't done after that. There's also another project you can see when looking at the bookcase... curtains! We finally added curtains and wow, we're kicking ourselves for waiting so long to do so! If (hopefully when) we paint our room Sherwin Williams Tony Taupe those curtians will pop even more!
(Nevermind the glow-eyed-kitty)

We got the curtains at IKEA, called Ritva. They're super long (118" and comes with iron-on strip to cut & hem - that I still need to do as you'll see) and not too expensive at $24.99 for a 2 pack, 100% cotton. We didn't use the tie backs and we used clips instead of putting the rod through the tabs.

The curtain rod we got from Lowe's, it's made of wood (you can't tell until you're up close or holding it, seems like wrought iron) and was $16.99 per 6' rod and then the brackets were $5.99 per 2. We did spend some money, around $102. Which isn't bad at all considering it's to cover a 12 ft stretch of windows, 4 curtain panels, and hangs almost 100" down.

Since the camera died right when starting to put them up, I did take pic with the IPhone while Jake wasn't playing Angry Birds (how we kept them out of our hair for those 20 mins - that's okay to admit right??).

This morning...

We weren't sure what to expect. While my background is interior design, I never got into textiles, I was into space planning/budgeting/floor plans. So textiles still make me nervous, it was my worse class in school too!

We are very happy with the results! It totally makes the room, it feel luxurious (to me!). Totally kicking myself for not have a "before" shot. I could of sworn amongst our many pictures of our home that there would be that shot saved somewhere, so I didn't worry about taking one. There is not one, and it's too late now! Just imagine a very non descript wall that appears to be not as tall.

Now in these pics you've seen some little sneak peeks of the master bedroom. How about a full tour of the master bedroom tomorrow??

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh where oh where is my camera charger?

Oh where oh where can it be??

We were getting some projects done last night and BAM the camera is out of juice. If I can get the kids behaving and the hubs to do somethings I need for these projects I'm not gonna stop the "project train" then. Just figured I'd take some pictures later!

The results are fabulous!

However, I can NOT find the camera charger! Oh no! I checked in the two places Greg likes to shove things (like the camera charger) and still can't find it. I even texted him on is work cell (bad, I know) and all he suggests are those two places I've already looked!

Now the sun is changing in that room and makes for not as good of pictures. Let's hope I can find the charger soon... I can wait to show you what we did in our bedroom!

Also thinking that in showing what we did will also lead into a tour of the master bedroom this week. How does that sound?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What's in store this month?

It's been hard to get going this month as the sickies plagued us this week. First the 4 yr old, then the 2 yr old, and then ME... ugh! No fun!

But the bright spot of this week? Followers! Lately I've had an influx of new followers, woo-hoo! How fun! I've enjoyed chatting with some of you so far. Thank you SO much for joining me!

Finally feeling better, getting as rested up as much as a mom of 2 nonstop boys can be, and I think I'm ready to tackle some things! A good way to do so is to look ahead and plan accordingly. So, what's in store for us this month?

I wanted to make some valentines for our playgroup friends, inspired by this....

Then the inlaws are coming to visit (maybe while they're here Greg & I can sneak off for a lunch alone?). Hoping that will spur us to work on the foyer entryway, bookcase in the bedroom and also the curtains hung in there.

This is the bookcase we got from IKEA last Sunday. Hope to have it put in this super bland corner soon, filled with all my wonderful books :)

And hopefully curtains will help that sad corner out too! Google was not my friend when looking for this pic, but I kind of have this look in mind w/o the sheers.

Towards mid-end February we'll be doing another H Family Road Trip, first one for 2011! This time our destination is Phoenix, AZ! We'll be visiting my dad and his side of the family (some haven't met the boys yet!) and staying in a beautiful rental home my Aunt J found! So excited, it looks just gorgeous in the pictures. Can't wait!

First we'll stop here (Davy Crockett is a 8 times Great Uncle of mine!)

Then we'll drive through a lot of this...

To get to this...

Arizona Desert View in Phoenix, AZ, United States, photo by jjarama

Back home to finish the short month up with unpacking. Usually when avoiding unpacking (seriously it takes me what feels like forever) I like to get wild hairs and do projects as an avoidance technique ;)

Oh and one last thing we definitely HAVE to do when we get back... convert Evan from the crib to a toddler bed. Oh.My. I wasn't ready for this milestone and of course he starts climbing out of his crib the week we're all sick to make for extra fun! This will probably lead to a mini revamp of his room as well! My baby has always been determined to NOT be a baby, at least not for very long!

That's what's up with us! Hope that whatever you have in store for February goes off without a hitch!