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!

Buys

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.

Is It Halloween Already?

Halloween is a big holiday in this house. We decorate everything - every picture with webs, almost every shelf with pumpkins, skulls, snakes, rats, you name it! G keeps asking to make our house look like a Haunted House, but I keep the decorations confined to inside and the porch. Maybe next year I'll venture out and decorate the lawn with skeletons. 

This year, I found two super easy crafts that we can put outside, much to G's excitement! Cue the Spider Wreath and Tombstones. When Pottery Barn came out with their Halloween decor a few months ago, I was inspired to make knock-offs of some of their pieces. PB always has the best Halloween stuff, there's just no end to the possible inspiration from their catalog!

Spider Wreath

This wreath is incredibly easy and cheap! All you need is a grapevine wreath from Michael's, some faux spiders and ribbon from the Dollar Store, a bag of spider web, low gauge wire for hanging, a hot glue gun and about 5 minutes.

  1. Tie the wire around a sturdy piece of the wreath, in a shape that will go over your wreath hanger.
  2.  Place the spiders on the wreath wherever you like. Make sure to leave a space wide enough for the ribbon to wrap around without hiding any of your spiders
  3. Glue your spiders in place.
  4. Drape the ribbon around wreath, then over/under the hanger. Make sure there are a few inches of ribbon on the inside of the door to pin together. This will prevent the top flap of ribbon from falling down when you open the door.
  5. Stretch as much spider web around the wreath as you like.

Viola, your Spider Wreath is complete! We'll see how thrilled my husband is when he gets home today to find tarantulas crawling on the front door - he detests spiders more than anyone I've ever known. 

Tombstones

This one is a bit more time consuming than the wreath, but in the grande scheme of difficulty, they're easy, too. You'll need a few sheets of black poster board (one tombstone per sheet), 2 white paint pens (one thin for writing, one thick for the outline), a ruler/yardstick and scissors.

  1. Measure and cut out the shape you want for your tombstone. I'm OCD when it comes to making things symmetrical, so I had to measure each side very precisely. But if you're comfortable free-handing, go for it!
  2. Write the letters - I penciled two lines for each row of letters, 5 inches apart, and penciled in the letters for spacing before committing to the paint pens
  3. Use the thick paint pen to draw out the thick boarder pattern you prefer
  4. Place the tombstones outside - I used a white thumb tack to make sure they didn't fall over in the wind.

So cute and fun!

If you're looking for easy Halloween crafts, these are definitely winners. Try them out and let me know how you did!

Happy Belated New Year Trends

January is already half over and here I am with a New Year, New Trends post. Better late than never!

The first half of the month has been such a blur with both girls having their birthday, the Frozen-themed party to end all Frozen parties that I threw, and then the party recovery (for me!). I'll share more on that in the next week or so as I polish up my photos, etc. Needless to say, 2016 hasn't felt much different than 2015. There hasn't been a chance to breathe since Christmas!

Nonetheless, I've been trying to catch up on some of my design reading and have seen so many wonderful things to start off the new year. Everyone always has a myriad of predictions and trends that will take hold, so I've filtered through them and am giving you the ones I'm seeing/loving/hoping will stick.

Color of the Year

Each year Pantone comes out with a fabulous color that they see taking the world by storm. But this year is even better, they have TWO: Rose Quartz and Serenity

So calm and peaceful. A nod to how the year will play out, hopefully.  I found some fabulous interiors that are already incorporating this color trend.

Benjamin Moore even has a Color of the Year, Simply White. I love white and have been dreaming of a white kitchen forever. I guess B.M. figured you can't go wrong with a neutral that can be used any time anywhere.

Colored Stainless Steel Appliances

I remember first seeing an ad for black stainless KitchenAid appliances back in June. Not only is stainless steel now black, but its also in a lighter Sunset Bronze finish. Apparently its trending and will be in even more kitchens in the year to come. No matter what your thoughts on stainless, the new shades add a sleekness that has been missing from appliances for a while. For me, I like the crispness of stainless, but feel that it's in absolutely every kitchen and there's little to be excited about, until now! 

Statement Bathroom-Mirrors

Ever since my mom ditched her builder-basic clip mirror in the bathroom for an over-sized framed Ikea mirror this summer, I've wanted to do it in every bathroom in my house! Flip it on the horizontal and voila, you've got a great statement piece to dress up the bathroom. You can even DIY your plain old mirror into something fabulous here.

Patterned Kitchen Tile

The days of neutral kitchen tile are over. Its time to spice up the kitchen, permanently!

World-Wide Treasures

You can't flip through a magazine or catalog without seeing wonderful handcrafted objects from around the globe. From Guatemalan fabrics, to Indian boxes, linework shoulder vases made in the Phillipines, it's all about the one-of-a-kind look to make your home stand out of the crowd.


Enjoy your start to 2016. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year full of fun and creative things!

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.

Setting the Table for a Thanksgiving Feast

It feels odd, but I'm not going all out on Thanksgiving decor. 

I've already got my centerpiece of pumpkins and corn that I re-imagined from Halloween, and last week's baby shower finished it off with the acorns, woodland decorations, etc. And I'm not hosting Thanksgiving dinner - the entire family is packing up and going down to the Monterey area for dinner at my mom's. 

Despite all this, I do love a fabulous tablescape. Here are some that really struck a chord with me and I would love to recreate at some point:

In order to put the perfect table together, I've compiled a list of items that would make your own tablescape. From dishes, to serving pieces, to accessories, I would love to have any of these!

Dish sets

Dishes are the foundation of your table setting. I'm typically partial to white-based dishes so you aren't stuck with one color scheme for the rest of your dining life, but the Juliska and Zara Home dishes felt very Thanksgiving appropriate.

Serving Pieces

Great serving pieces are like statement necklaces for an outfit, they can finish the look of a table and take it to another level that dishes and centerpieces just can't. I adore the Anthropologie pieces below with their feather motif.

Accessories and Decor

No table is complete without a centerpiece or a little something special that just screams your theme. These are some fun additions to any Thanksgiving or Fall tablescape.

Thanksgiving is all about being together with family and friends. Make your tablescape as beautiful and unique as possible to make the togetherness all that more special and wonderful.

Check out my Thanksgiving Pinterest board and my Fall Is in the Air blog post for even more great ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let the Walls Do the Talking

I must be preoccupied with the blank walls in my home, because all I think about is paint, art work, mirrors, anything related to dressing my walls. 
I recently bought a set of sea urchins from Target and am loving them on the wall!

IMG_20141021_145309.jpg

Since hanging them up and being absolutely pleased with how they look, I've been all about 3D art.
I've spent hours searching high and low to come up with a few collections of items that would be fun to hang on the wall that isn't the traditional piece of framed art. Here are some that really struck a chord with me:

Wall Discs of all Sorts

Collections of Objects

Animal Sculptures

These are so much better than the taxidermy sort, at least in my opinion.

Wall Plates

I've never been one to collect plates, but in my wall decor search I found that One Kings Lane has a ridiculous amount, all styles and shapes! It got me thinking, when I was growing up my mother had a tremendous Scandinavian plate collection on the kitchen wall. I had to throw one into my Wall Plate gallery as a nod to her, love you mom!

From Circles to Squares and Other Shapes

I know there's a lot, but I couldn't resist. There are so many options that its mind boggling. Which are your favorites? I'd love to know!

Fall is in the Air (Finally!)

As the almost 100 degree temperatures begin to subside, I am so excited!

Fall is my favorite time of year. Maybe it's because of my almost 15 years on the East Coast, but there's something about the leaves changing, the feeling of crispness in the air, apple picking, the smell of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), the need to wear pants and a sweater (I am so tired of wearing shorts and skirts!)...

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