Valentine Buys and Craft Ideas

With Valentine's Day only a week away, I'm setting the mood at home by baking heart cookies, bringing out my Valentine's XO Wreath, and diving head first into Valentine crafts with the girls

On a personal love-note, my husband and I just celebrated the 15 year anniversary of our first date. How did that happen so quickly?! I still feel like we're in college and haven't aged that much. Time flies when you're having fun and in love!


I thought I'd do a quick round up of some fun love-themed gifts and decor to help everyone else get into the mood. They're not your traditional romantic gifts, these are a little more fun and lighthearted. Because after 15 years, that's what love is, right?! Hope these spark a little V-Day love in your worlds!

Craft Ideas

It wouldn't be a holiday if I didn't have some DIY on the menu. I found some new Valentine crafts that would be so fun to do! I'm hoping I have some time this weekend to get one of them done. Find even more ideas from years past here. Cheer's to Crafting Love.

Decorating for Fall

It's October, the temperature is finally dipping below 80 degrees, we actually got rain (wait, what?!) and my Fall decorating is done. I did a fair amount of DIY this time around, and I'm really excited about the results.

The first project I tackled was my Pompom tree. I was able to cut branches off a tree in the backyard and then hot glued pompoms from Beverly's in fall colors. I love it! So does Baby M, she keeps pulling off one particular pompom for some reason, no clue why. I've given up re-gluing it.

My inspiration for a fall pitcher of cotton and wheat is from here. I actually saw this last year but hadn't gotten around to putting something together. But, this year I was on my game. I added pheasant feathers and feel like it exudes the feeling of fall, yeah!

I spray painted for the first time ever - super exciting! I was inspired by this, and was able to snag a bunch of Dollar Store pumpkins to make it an incredibly cheap project. I mixed the white and gold with some Dollar Store paper stuffing. I have a handful of Dollar Store pears that still need to be painted, but I think I'll make those for Xmas.

I've been on a tassel kick (more to come in a future post) and my first practice in tassel making turned into this fall-color-inspired garland. I hope its not too boho looking, but I had fun making it and practicing my tassel skills.

A few small projects were crafts that I did with Toddler G and changing out the scrapbook paper in my kitchen frames. You've gotta love Target's Spritz Crafts. It's so fun to mark the progress that Toddler G has made from last year - she was able to do one all by herself! She knew she could do it, I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised.

And finally, the biggest project I undertook was the Apple Wreath. I cleared out the red apple supply of 3 different Dollar Stores. And thank goodness I did, because it would have been a fortune if I had purchased them all at Michael's. It took almost 40 apples and two bags of miniature apples, which I did have to get at Michael's, along with the straw wreath. But the burlap ribbons wrapped around the wreath and used for hanging all came from the Dollar Store. I am constantly amazed with the variety of products they sell. Crazy awesome for my wallet! I also opted against the moss between the apples, I felt like it just didn't need it.

Since all of these projects have been completed I've been baking up a storm. My family, along with all of the West Coast cousins, made the trip to Gizdich Ranch for a fun-filled apple picking trip. And, as usual, we totally over-picked and ended up with 20-some pounds of apples. It's been my goal this week to bake/make something apple every day. I've made an apple crispapple butter, and apple strudel muffins so far. I somewhat botched the muffin recipe by adding way too much butter to the crumble on top, but I have a feeling they tasted even better because of it. Today, it may be a pie (if Baby M naps long enough).

What are you all doing for fall decorating? Baking? I'd love to hear.

Falling into the Season

Since my last post I've been thinking about all things Fall non-stop, despite the 100+ degree weather we've had. I'm trying not to be caught with blinders on this month!

And to top it off, I'm feeling super crafty again, thank goodness. I don't know what it was about summer, but I wasn't terribly inspired to make anything. Perhaps it was the fact that I had both girls at home and didn't have much time to even think. Anyhow, I've got a whole list of things I want to do around the house for fall. Here are some of my inspirations:

Over the weekend I dragged the whole family to my forgotten favorite store, The Dollar Store. I swear, every time I go there I come out with a treasure trove of goodies that cost, well, a buck. It's an amazing feeling to get so much for so little, especially when I had priced out very similar things at Michael's and it was going to cost an arm and a leg.

Going to the park is yet another great thing about having kids! A few of the leaves are starting to fall and I picked up some beautiful yellow ones to start my Fall Tablescape decorating. The girls got a little annoyed when I started piling up leaves and things that they couldn't play with. Sacrifices for decorating!

Do It Yourself - Plastic Spoon Laurel Wreath

To get my craft-inspiration on the right track, I tackled a wreath that I saw a year ago - the Plastic Spoon Laurel Wreath

  1. It was cheap to buy - two Dollar Store bags of spoons,
  2. Easy to make - put dabs of hot glue on the front of the neck and bottom of the spoon and press another one on top,
  3. And relatively quick to put together, a little over an hour.

I ended up putting my spoons much closer together than my inspiration, which I think is the reason it started to warp a bit. Hopefully you can't really tell. To top things off, it was fairly heavy with all those spoons and started splitting by the next morning. I ended up getting an extra bag of spoons, so I may attempt to make it again with fewer spoons. But all in all, its not too shabby for a plastic spoon wreath!

Enjoy the beginning of fall, wherever you are and however hot it may still be.

Tray Chic!

When One Kings Lane asked me to be a part of their Tray Chic blogger campaign series, I was beyond excited!

Not only because I've let my "dry spell" go on for over two months - I can't believe it's been that long since my last official post - but because I actually use trays all the time. I have a few acrylic trays, faux leather, rattan, ceramic, marble, the list goes on. They are infinitely useful around the bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom...

And the styling options are endless! Use a tray to display make-up, perfume, trinkets, books and flowers, even my husband's "stuff" has a stylish tray on his dresser - of course his had to be super manly (dark brown marble) or else it would have been shoved in the bottom of his closet.

Back to the Tray Chic series, One Kings Lane challenged bloggers to show off their Tray Chic Moment - a beautifully styled tray at home. I started styling up a storm - talk about getting excited about designing at home again. I think my husband was starting to get annoyed with my tunnel vision (there were trays laying around the house for days as I put different ones together to see how I could make our things look that much better by using a tray).

Here's a gallery of a few tray-scapes that I spruced up or created anew. So fun to see how things around the house can get new life when put together in a fresh way.

One Kings Lane has some really great tray and accessory items here to get your own Tray Chic Moment started. Check out a few of my personal favorites:

I even got a chance to do easy Tray DIY that I've been dying to get done for a long time - creating your own tray out of a cutting board and some cabinet pulls. This is the tutorial I used - as always, thank you A Beautiful Mess. So quick and easy!

Here's another I've been meaning to do, from Homey Oh My! Looks super easy and affordable, just haven't had the time to do it.

DIY Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray at Homey Oh My!

DIY Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray at Homey Oh My!

I had the best time doing this post! Thanks to One Kings Lane for getting me inspired again.
And to my readers, I'd love to see your Tray Chic moments, too. Share, share, share!


Picture This

Baby M's First Year Baby Album, no longer available at  Red Envelope

Baby M's First Year Baby Album, no longer available at Red Envelope

I'm in the throws of updating Baby M's First Year photo album. I've already had all the pictures printed out (love Snapfish), put months 1-3 in the book, but I hit a wall a few months ago and haven't gone back to it since - she's 15 months old already!! I have to get it done before I start forgetting what all the pictures are. The album I have for Baby M is a set of 4 mini-albums from Red Envelope, sadly no longer available. I tried my hardest to find a similar alternative for you all, but I'm coming up with nothing - how is that possible?!

Nevertheless, the idea of photographs and documenting our ever-busier lives got me thinking about how many frames I have around the house. I LOVE pictures of my family and display them everywhere, probably too many! But I just can't help myself. Every little smile, every moment of happiness (even the not-so-happy ones), deserves a frame in my book.

I've been slowly accumulating quite a collection of frames. Between Ikea, Pottery Barn, and a handful of other brands, I feel like I have at least 50 frames out and about through the house. Kind of crazy for a house that isn't insanely large, I know. I may need to start editing.

There are so many ways to make your pictures perfectly "you" - as if the content wasn't enough! The frame itself is a reflection of your style, the matting, the display. It all helps tell the story of you and your family.

Here are some great frame finds that you may enjoy - some I even have in my own house.

Sources (from Top Left to Right):

  1. Pottery Barn Rope Silver-plated Frame - I have this one in my own house. I love silver-plated frames and have a number of different "textured" frames, from rope, to basket weave, to branches.
  2. Zara Home Wicker-Effect Metal Frame - I love the nod to a more Southern-type of style
  3. Zara Home Bamboo Frame - You can't not love bamboo
  4. ZGallerie Anguilla Frame - I'll take a chevron print any day, especially in these very current neutral tones
  5. Pottery Barn Kinsey Enamel Frames - A great way to add a color splash
  6. ZGallerie Plexus Frame - A glitzy almost stone look
  7. ZGallerie Stella Frame - The combination of brass and silver adds a great historical touch
  8. Ikea Ribba Frame - I have various sizes and colors of this frame all around the house
  9. Ikea Virserum Frame - I also have a bunch of sizes and colors of this one!

A Beautiful Mess recently posted a great how-to on making your own patterned photo mats. Such a great idea and looks pretty easy. What a wonderfully creative way to personalize frames and make your photos look even better! And it makes me want to incorporate black and white photos in my own display!

I've also been fantasizing about putting together a gallery wall. I've seen so many how-to's and really like this one by Emily Henderson. How awesome to have something like this in my own house, I'd feel so grown up!

Source:  Emily Henderson

Do you have an obsession with photos/frames? How do you have them displayed? I'd love to hear how you've personalized your space.

Spring Fling

It's officially here! 

Spring break is this week (as much as a preschooler who goes only two mornings a week can even understand what spring break is), Easter is over, and my spring updates have begun. I've retired my winter-white bedding for the season, fallen in love with touches of pink and copper, and I'm imagining all sorts of updates I can do in the house on-the-cheap.

I don't know if it's cabin fever, but I've been feeling so restless lately! Not only do I feel like my home decor is getting stale, but I'm cleaning up a storm - I was even dreaming of cleaning the entire refrigerator last night, not a good sign. They do say "Spring Cleaning", clearly for a reason and maybe its not just because things are dirty.

In the hopes of putting my craziness behind me, I've brought out my spring bedding, an ancient Anthropologie duvet cover and shams that I fell in love with years ago and just can't shake my love for. It screams spring to me, serene and calm.

My very-much-loved Anthropologie duvet cover

My very-much-loved Anthropologie duvet cover

It's amazing how a quick trip to the linen closet can make my bedroom feel fresh and ready for great weather. Gotta love shopping my home!

I did make a small investment to update the family room with pink accented pillows from World Market. They have such a fun selection of pillows that aren't crazy expensive. On my pillow trip I even found a copper accented mirror for the family room. I'm not sure what has sparked my sudden desire to decorate with pink, but it feels much more fun than the browns I previously had and puts a smile on my face.

My trio of frames in the kitchen have also gotten their seasonal update. They are the Ikea Ribba frame in walnut (unfortunately a discontinued color). The 12"x12" opening is perfect for scrapbook paper that I can change out whenever the mood strikes. They are red patterned Ikat, stripes and Chevron stripes right now.

Another way I'm looking to freshen up the house it to search for wall art/decor for the master bedroom. I stumbled upon a great Elle Decor post about downloading free prints and framing them inexpensively. I hadn't thought to do this, LOVE IT!

I'm also still hoping to get my paper towel roll art put together for above one of the dressers in our master bedroom; hopefully before my towel roll stash explodes out of the bag - I'm great at saving them, just not so great at getting my act together to use them! So, I have two good projects ahead of me. I'll keep you posted! 

Check out my Pinterest board for more spring updates that may just inspire you, too!

Easter Round-Up

Maybe it was residual winter clouding my brain, but I feel like I've been living under a rock the past few weeks - uninspired to do much of anything crafty or design-worthy. I had at least three projects I wanted to do for Easter, but didn't even break them out of the bag! So sad.

I did grab two craft projects at Target that I could do with Toddler G. Thank goodness, otherwise my funk would have put a cloud on her Easter!

My everyday moss wreath dressed up with left-over pink ribbon and some of the Target rabbit crafts I did with Toddler G

My everyday moss wreath dressed up with left-over pink ribbon and some of the Target rabbit crafts I did with Toddler G

Here's to being more inspired now that I feel like spring has arrived!

And the Winner Is...

Stephanie CD

Congratulations, you've won the Anthropologie Monogram Mug and a box of Nespresso capsules! Thanks so much to everyone who commented and made it even more fun to check my email every day.

In the spirit of the Monogram Mug, I thought I'd write about the classic and timeless MONOGRAM - in all its initialed glory.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of a monogram - I think I've gifted a monogram of some sort to almost everyone I know. I'm not sure when the addiction started, but its been years and years. The girls each have monogrammed pillows on their beds - thanks to their fabulous Mimi - initials on their walls, blankets, you name it. For their Princess birthday party I even had to Mod Podge letters with gold glitter - a royal mess, but they're still up in the family room!

There are a plethora of sites that detail the rules of monogramming, I like this one. It's amazing how many "rules" there are, but if you're a monogram traditionalist, like me, you stick with what works.

The monogram doesn't have to be traditional looking! Anthropologie always has a great selection of decidedly more modern monogrammed products, from coat hooks to journals to jewelry. Love it! Check out the full selection here.

Personally, I would be lost without a set of monogrammed note cardsThese from Crane have been my go-to for such a long time. They are simple, elegant and personal. I think it was a great friend in Atlanta, PH, that first gave me a set and I've loved them ever since. Crane has such an extensive monogrammed card selection, its almost overwhelming! Pretty much a different one for every day of the year.

Crane Hand Engraved Script Note Cards

Crane Hand Engraved Script Note Cards

My sister-in-law gave me a monogram address stamp this past Christmas - I can't believe I didn't have one before - best gift ever!

And Etsy has a never-ending assortment of monogrammed products: wall decals, pillows, hats, shirts, cups, even finger nail decals! OMG there is more than I could ever list here!

Love this!  Metallic Gold Pillow  on Etsy

Love this! Metallic Gold Pillow on Etsy

I hope you've enjoyed all the monograms! I could keep searching for my initials (or the girls' or my husband's) all day long and probably not get tired of it. There are so many awesome ways to celebrate the letters that are you!