Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Few Simple Tips for Organizing Christmas Decorations

Every year I decide it is high time to re-organize my Christmas decorations: I plan to buy plastic ornament storage boxes, red and green storage bins, and it will all be organized.  Then, sticker shock sets in when I realize just how many ornament boxes and storage bins I'd have to buy to get my stash under control.  This year, I was determined to make it work with items I already had on hand

Here are a few of my tips:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years Eve Outfit

We are going out for our first New Years Eve without the boys since our oldest son was born!  I'm looking forward to having dinner and hanging out with some of our closets friends!!!

I'm the type of person that, if I don't plan an outfit in advance, I'm guaranteed to show up 45 minutes late, my bedroom will look like a bomb went off, and I will most likely end up in the very first outfit I had on........and I will be unhappy about it all!  (My old roomates, who may be reading this, can attest to this fact as they repeatedly saw it happen in our 5 years of living together.)

That is NOT the way I want to start the evening. 

So, I did a little planning today:


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas around our house....

Hope you are enjoying your holiday's!  With my husband off of work for the week, we've taken the time to hang out as a family and I haven't been that into blogging recently.  I do have some ideas going around in my head - for which I just made a purchase today - that I will share over the next several weeks.  In the meantime, I uploaded some pictures from our Christmas celebration(s) and thought I would share those.

If I'm not back before than, have a wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!!  Thank you to everyone who has found my blog this year and for stopping by to check it out.  I'm excited to have started this adventure and I'm so glad that you are following along with me.

In case you are looking for any last minute inspiration for Christmas, I'd love for you to stop by Pottery Barn's blog today to check out my Christmas Tablescape, that I first posted here, along with tips for setting your holiday table. (Don't forget your silverware like I did! :))

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winter Bedroom

I made a few small updates to our bedroom for more winter-y / Christmas-y look.
I started by changing the bedding to a completely neutral look.

I then swapped out my botanical's in the gold picture frames to this:

Christmas Gifts are wrapped....

...well at least some of them:

I don't enjoy wrapping gifts.  Most years I wrap the gifts the night before or on our way to the Christmas party.  Bows are falling off, two types of paper may or may not be wrapping the gift....ribbons are askew.

I didn't even plan on adding any bows and ribbon to the gifts this year.  I used up ALL of my gift wrap last year and decided in advance this year that I would keep it simple with silver and gold paper. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths....with Grandma

With my husband at the Bears Packers game today, I was left at home with the boys trying to decide what we should do.   I was happy when Grandma called to say she wanted to stop over and "bake" some cookies with my oldest son.   She arrived with all supplies in hand to make some Cornflake Christmas Wreaths:

The recipe is extremely simple, delicious, and fun for a little three year old to make and decorate!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Bathroom (and a before and after)

Before I move on to today's post, I'd like to mention that later next week, my Christmas Tablescape and tips for setting a Christmas table will be featured on Pottery Barn's blog!!!   I would love to have all of you stop by to check it out.   I will post the link on my blog when it's up.

Ok, so are you tired of the Christmas decor posts yet?  Sorry if you are...I have only a few more, I swear.  But, this one is also a little bit of a before and after as well.  Two for one.

We have a teenie tiny bathroom for the boys.  I haven't gone with a theme in this bathroom.  My theme is "try to keep it as clean as possible."  Every Christmas and winter I like to switch out a blue and green shower curtain for this black and white one from Target (Dwell Studio).  This is one of the only rooms in the house that you will find red this Christmas.  And only a tiny bit at that; but I love the way it stands out against all the white and black.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Wedding

My husband and I celebrated our 7th year wedding anniversary this week.

I love to look back and think about the days leading up to our wedding (and of course our wedding day).  I never considered the possibility of several crazy snow storms the week of and the day of our wedding.  That is, until we had several crazy snow storms the week of and the day of our wedding. 

In the end it worked out well because it made for some fun pictures.  Here is a picture the photog took right when snow started coming down the day of the wedding:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Home Tour 2012

We've been busy decorating our house for Christmas and I've posted a lot of my progress for you here.  Today I am linking up to Jennifer Rizzo's House Walk. 

If you have not seen the 20 house tours she hosted last week, take some time to stop by and take a look.  All the homes are amazing!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter Entry

This is the first year I've attempted to do anything at all in our front entry:

Until last month, I had no table to speak of for the entry.  So I cleaned and moved this side board which was left behind in our basement by the last owners of the home:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Vignette

My fireplace is in a pretty sad state: our large tv is the focal point and cords are everywhere, we painted over dirty old brick, no practical mantel exists, and at the moment it is highly baby proofed.  I have attempted to decorate it and look beyond and it's good enough but really not worth a post.  Therefore, I thought I would share this media console that I've decorated as a Christmas Vignette instead:

Broken Glass Wreath

I didn't realize it while I snapped this picture, but I think it is kind of funny that our puppy's mugshot has been highlighted/framed by the wreath.  Doesn't she look sweet?

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Paperwhite Bloom.....

It has only been two and a half weeks since I planted my Paperwhites, so I was suprised this morning when I woke up to this:

Paperwhite and milkglass
There were no blooms yesterday, while I was taking pictures for my Christmas Tablescape (paperwhites are in the background on our penninsula):
This is my first year planting these bulbs, and I'm kind of surprised at the different pace of growth for each of the bulbs; is this typical?  Here it is today, with its first bloom:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Tablescape

Pottery Barn Chandelier

White Tablescape

Today I was inspired by all of the beautiful Christmas images from around the web and decided to continue our Christmas decorating in other areas of our house.  We have already set up our tree, decorated our living room, and created an advent calendar, so I thought I would turn my focus to our dining room.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Advent Calendar

December is quickly approaching, and this year, I really wanted to create an advent calendar that I could open with my 3 year old son each day leading up to Christmas:  

DIY Advent Calendar

Last year we were given a Christmas Story advent calendar and my son looked forward to reading it each day and adding the daily ornament to the Christmas tree.  I became inspired to create my own calendar this year when I saw this image on Pinterest:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, and Bedroom Progress

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!   We are fortunate to have our family just a few minutes away; we look forward to celebrating all that we have been blessed with today.   This morning, I asked my three year old what he was thankful for.  His first response was food (boy, this is the right holiday for you) and his second response was his brother! 

We aren't hosting Thanksgiving this year so my older son and his dad are taking advantage of this 60 degree weather and they are working on our Christmas lights right now.  While my youngest naps, I thought I would quickly post some progress pics of our master bedroom:

Here is a picture of the room when we moved in:

And here it is now:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

White Tablescape

We are hosting Christmas Eve this year and I've been thinking about what I would like to do for our table.  Based on the images I find myself pinning, I can tell this year I'm leaning towards whites, silver and gold, glass, and greenery.

When thinking through some items that I already have that fit within this theme, I recalled a table I set for my sister's bachelorette party years ago (in early 2008).  I used mostly white, crystal, and silver.

These pictures are not from our current house, rather, our old condo in Chicago.  Looking through these made me miss it just a little bit!  I put a condo tour up on Rate My Space years ago (deleted now since I didn't visit the account for years) and think maybe I will share some pics in another post.

Onto the party...we had an open concept condo and here is a view to the dining area:

To add some drama to the space and the light fixture, I purchased hanging votives from CB2 and tied them up with fishing line.  I would love to use these somewhere in my house this year, but I have images of little ones swinging from the string...and crashing to the floor.  So we'll see!  I purchased two feather boa's in lieu of a veil for that night, so I decided to use them in the decor before we headed out for the evening.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vintage Industrial Big Boy Room

While expecting Baby Boy #2, we knew we would have to transition our first son, Brady, to his "big boy room."  We decided to keep the nursery as the nursery; for various reasons, it's better suited as that. Therefore, we knew that when we switched Brady to a "big boy bed" we would transition rooms as well.  We developed a plan:

Vintage Industrial Big Boy Room

#1 Pottery Barn Cargo Duvet and Madras Quilt (our big splurge for this room)
#3 Ikea NYVOLL Dresser
#4  Accessories Inspiration:  Walmart Soleous 12" fan and Restoration Hardware Baby and Child Lamp (I can't find this exact one anymore, but this one is similar)
#5 Restoration Hardware Vintage Canvas Stripe Panels (I DIY'd using IKEA Merete Panels)

Boy Bedroom

(We used Container Store Elfa drawers for extra storage under the IKEA Malm Bed.  The bed is really low to the ground and these were the only containers low enough to squeeze under there.  We use them for extra blankets, sheets, and stuffed animals.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finds

Today I walked away with just a few things from the thrift store:

Below is an instagram picture of the lanterns in their new home - my older son's bedroom.  We have an industrial / all things transportion theme going on in the room

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Nursery Bedding and Window Panels


Baby Boy #2's nursery was all about keeping to a budget and to do so, I:

(1) Re-purposed and reused items from around my house
(2) DIY'd several projects (including the map nursery wall letters, Restoration Hardware inspired drapes, bedding, and sailboat mobile)
(3) and relied heavily on thrift store finds for finishing touches

For me, the most challenging project, by far, was the bedding:

I started the nursery by searching for inspiration around the web, and finally settled on a yellow and grey color scheme. 

I searched and searched, and kept coming up short for bedding that matched my vision.  Sure, Serena and Lily and other semi-custom sites had some great options.  However, I was not ready to spend $300 plus on a crib bedding set!  It proved more difficult than I had imagined finding mix and match bedding at a reasonable price point. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Master Bedroom Inspiration

Inspiration Board

As I near completion on the boys' rooms, I've begun to think about "finishing" other areas of our house.  I love spending time in my bedroom at the end of the day to unwind and relax.   For that reason, I've focused in on our master bedroom next.  I took the following pic with my new iPhone (yes! and why did I wait so long?) this morning, so the quality is kind of eh:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cool Weather Inspired Ideas

The crisp and cool air gets me excited for winter nights in front of the fire, playing board games, and drinking a little vino.  These images give me the urge to hit up my husbands closet, or maybe the local Goodwill, to look for some sweaters to do a little of this:

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Big Boy Room

Just a few detaiL pics of my older sons Big Boy Room:

 I will be back with more later!

Friday, October 26, 2012

And I was happy.

A few weeks back I was at one of my local thrift shop stops picking up a few accessories for the nursery.  While perusing the store, I spied a glass punch bowl and cocktail glasses sitting, unassumingly, amongst the everyday kitchenware.  The sleek lines beckoned me to come a little closer.  Upon further inspection, I noted several things:

#1 - This nicely shaped punch bowl came with 12 matching glasses.  Hmmm...not bad. 
#2 - What?  The bowl and glass rims have a silver plated band?  I'm a sucker for silver.  I can't help it.  I just am.
#3 - What's that you say?  The punch bowl and 12 silver plated glasses are how much?  They are $10?  For all of it?

I picked it up and put it down.  I walked to the back of the store to browse the books and magazines.  I peeked back to the kitchenware section; the bowl was still there.  What's wrong with it?  Something must be wrong with this bowl.  My gut is wrong.  It's a has-been.  I should leave now while I'm still ahead.  I was satisfied with my finds: a Norman Rockwell "Man in Boat" lithograph, a picture frame the perfect size for the print, as well as a globe that was going to make itself right at home in the nursery

Just check out now.  You will certainly leave this store ahead.

So I left.

Three hours later, while at home, I was still thinking about this punch bowl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Small Things: Fresh Herbs, Inside

While I was ready to say goodbye to the summer heat this year and was highly anticipating fall - I love the crisp weather and all the fun activities, clothes, and decoration that fall has to offer - I was just not ready to say goodbye to fresh herbs just a few footsteps outside my door.

This year, I decided to try and grow two of my favorites inside:

The fresh thyme I moved inside from outdoors, I purchased fresh basil from a local nursery, and the third plant is a little random.  It's just a succulent that grabbed my eye while at Home Depot. 

I was so happy to see a lot of new growth on the basil and thyme when I came home from our weekend road trip. We used both tonight on our green beans - delicious!

via Simply Recipes

This is my favorite recipe for dressing up green beans with fresh herbs.  Except I add garlic (to pretty much everything), use basil instead of tarragon, and substitute shallots for red onion when I have them on hand............

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nursery Wall Letters


I'm adding the finishing touches to Baby Boy #2's nursery:

Map Wall Letters

Map Wall Letters

I knew I wanted to use wall letters in his nursery and found many great ideas: