Friday, August 31, 2012

To DIY: Fall

So many things to DIY, so little time. Fall is just weeks away but there are so many projects swimming around my head I'd love to try my hand at! Here's what I've been pinning:

Gourd votive holders

Cinnamon candles

Velvety acorns

Candles rolled in Mod Podge and Epsom salt

Natural cotton used, well, anywhere

Acorns and/or nuts as vase filler

So do you have any DIY ideas up your cozy sweater sleeve?
Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Updated House Tour: Hallway

This part of the house Tour is actually all new! I've shown you pics of our hallway here and there but it never made it onto the Tour, until now. Most recently we made some important changes like adding a basement door, framing out the pass-through to the kitchen, and hanging artwork.

Far door guest room, middle door bathroom

Basement door

This is the wall I want to add the photo ledge to (on the left). Either one row or maybe two, depending on the size of the ledges and the frames. The wall is slightly bigger than it appears in this photo so when we get around to installing the ledges you'll get a better shot. Dealing with the thermostat and the light switch should be fun.

The wall with the frame is where we want to add a linen closet. Directly behind the frame is the closet for the guest room and we can easily steal a foot of space without really infringing on the other closet. Figuring out how the linen closet door will open will also be important when laying out the ledge wall so this may take some time. I'm really looking forward to that project but since it's something I can't do myself and it involves maneuvering around ductwork, I'm not sure when exactly it will be completed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hallway Fixes

Remember when we had a friend come and install the coat closet door? Well that's not the only door he worked on. The second door was added in our hallway and leads down to the basement.

When we moved in this opening was set up for a bi-fold door which was never actually installed since we moved in but rather was hidden in a closet. We knew we wanted a "real" door anyways so we never re-installed it but rather looked down to the basement every time we walked by.

After the door was installed we had to scrape off all the excess spackle and bits of drywall left over from the bi-fold door frame, leaving this lovely view behind:

There were also gaps left behind when the frame was removed so those still need to be dealt with.

After scraping, painting (Behr's Perfect Taupe), and installing moldings, the area now looks like this:

The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in unfortunate locations but hey, what can ya do. Since the cats need access to the basement, we installed a cute little door just their size. Everyone thinks it's so adorable. We just think it was necessary to be able to keep the door closed but still give the cats access. And I guess it's pretty cute.

We still need to add some sort of trim around the whole door to bridge the slight gap between the door frame and the wall. That will happen in time but I'm just happy we don't have to look down those stairs anymore!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Updated House Tour: Dining Room

The dining room has come a long way for sure. When we bought the house it was sporting the same old orange-y hardwoods as the living room. Although they were in better shape than the rest of the house, and we were hoping to maybe be able to refinish them, in the end we needed to go ahead and lay new woods floors over everything. 

The new floors made a world of difference, as did new chairs and new curtains. Adding the plate wall was my step towards abolishing indecision and I'm still loving them so I guess it was a good choice. Will they stay there forever? Only time will tell...

The chandelier stopped working just months after moving in, hence the floor lamp by the window. We replaced the chandelier with the Eden pendent lamp and now things are feeling much more "us." I'm sad my updated photo can't include my white azaleas but I'm looking forward to enjoying them again next Spring. Some basil from my parent's garden will have to due.

The door on the left is a coat closet and beyond it is the kitchen.

I'm debating whether or not we should thrown down a rug under the table. Dan says why cover up the new floors we love so much and I see his point. I just want to protect them and we've already had two overnight spills to wake up to (thanks to a vase of flowers and two curious cats). I'm definitely thinking something neutral and light like a jute or hemp. We'll see where we end up on that one. We still plan to do crown molding in here and have already started in the living room (the two rooms are open to one another). Hopefully by Christmas that will all be finished. I say that sarcastically but in reality, that may just be a realistic deadline.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Updated House Tour: Living Room

Hey there! So, it's finally here. The last week of August and the winding down of Summer. I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave! Although I will miss the longer days, the warm (not hot) weather, and taking a refreshing dip in the water, it's been a good Summer and I'm ready to move on. 

Speaking of moving on, it was about time that I updated some of our house Tour pictures. First up is the living room. Although we've come a long way from this scene (shortly after we moved in and finished the floors):

The current photo just wasn't gonna cut it any longer. Although my floating ribbon shelves were great we knew the built-ins would be the more permanent solution for display space and storage.

So here's what we really come home to every day:

Moving the TV down to the basement really helped make the room feel bigger and brighter, don't ya think? And yes, we need to finish that crown molding!

One more time for old time's sake:

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Yes it's true. My droid is now compatible with Instragram and I gleefully hopped on board. Here are a couple of my first shots:

Hydrangeas from our backyard that are bursting off the bush to be picked!

Bounty from my parent's garden- mm mm mmm.

Fun with my Federal mirror.

In other fun news, the lovely Amy over at Beloved&Co graciously awarded me the 
One Lovely Blog Award-- thanks Amy! 

Since it was received so close to the Liebster let's just allow those facts and nominations to suffice. Click here to read 22 random facts about me and peruse 8 time-worthy blogs!

One more random fun tid bit? Apartment Therapy has their own Pinterest boards!

All the best of AT rounded up in one place and easily pin-able? Yespleaseandthankyou.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Liebster, Part II

Hey guys I'm back with the second half of the Liebster Award requirements: sharing the love! To read my 11 facts (actually more like 22 with the answered questions) check them out here.

Once again, here are the rules:

1. Post 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asks and then create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
3. Choose 11 people with under 200 followers to nominate and link to them.
4. Go to their pages and let them know. (no tag backs)

I couldn't come up with 11 bloggers under 200 Followers but I did find eight that are definitely worth your time so check them out and make their numbers grow! They are, in no particular order:

And here are your Questions:
1.  If you could only shop at one of these stores which would you choose: Pottery Barn, West Elm, or Crate & Barrel?
2. What kind of camera do you have and do you use editing software?
3. Favorite ice cream?
4. Favorite season? And why.
5. Favorite thrifted/Craigslist-ed item?
6. How many siblings do you have and do they live close?
7. Country or city? Or other?
8. Do you have a great pair of boots for the Fall? If so, where are they from? (I may or may not be asking this because I am in desperate need of a new pair myself)
9. Upcoming project you are most looking forward to. Project you are dreading but know needs to be done?
10. What are you asking Santa for this year?
11. Are you in your Forever home?

Thanks again to Beth from designPOST for kicking this off and thanks in advance to all the girls receiving the Award and answering the questions- I'm looking forward to your answers!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eleven Things About Me

The lovely Beth over at designPOST recently honored me with the Liebster Award. I've done these before so I'm gonna have to come up with 11 things I've never told you. Well to start off, here are her questions to me and my answers:

1.  How did you decide on your blog's name?

It's no coincidence that he name of my blog is closely related to the 90s teen drama My So-Called Life which sadly ended after only one season. I myself am a child of the 90s and love 90s television like Boy Meets World, Home Improvement, and Clarissa Explains It All. It just seemed fitting to use a 90s TV reference as a pun for my new blog showcasing our home. Also, as the title suggests, our home is truly a "so-called" establishment for this present time. I know my true home is in Heaven and I should always live each day with an eternal mindset.

2.  Where do you live?

We live in central New Jersey approximately equidistant from the beach, the mountains, rivers, and the city. It doesn't get any better than that.

3.  If you could move anywhere, where would you want to go?

My husband and I talk about this all the time actually. After two years of marriage we took the plunge and moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We loved it and part of me will always love the crazy city life but the itch to own a house soon took over and we moved back. When the buziness of Jersey life (and taxes) seems too crazy sometimes we daydream about living in a little bungalow with charming built-ins, crown molding, and cozy nooks in some small town where everyone knows your name. 

4.  If you won the lottery tomorrow what would be your first big splurge?

An amazing vacation to Europe. We want to go to France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England...or all of the above! Then when we got back we'd buy the house of our dreams with loads of character (as described above).

5.  Who do you talk to on a daily basis?

My husband, Dan. And my coworkers. My immediate family members aren't big phone talkers we just prefer to see each other in person, which happens weekly. If not more often.

6.  Sweet or salty snacks?

Hmm.. I really am divided on this one. I don't eat a lot of "snacks" per se but if I had to choose I'd say sweet.

7.  What is your favorite thing about interior design?

I just love seeing people's personalities come to life in their homes and I hope my house properly reflects me, or at least will one day. I love mixing styles and not feeling confined to what's "in style" right now. I'm quite traditional when it comes to the basics (navy blue, white, warm wood) but I do love mixing in unexpected pieces that keep people guessing. 

8.  What was the first concert you attended?

I believe that was Creed when I was in middle school. Oh man I was obsessed. Still know every song.

9.  Do you prefer thrift store re-dos or big store splurges when it comes to your home?

Which do I prefer or which is necessary? Hah. It's no surprise to any homeowner that the decorating budget can be pretty tight sometimes so I love being able to get something second hand that is not only well made and affordable but can be transformed with just some simple touches. Plus older pieces are just so much more interesting and tell a story that cannot be bought in a big box store. If I had unlimited funds, however, I would have a fully upholstered Crate and Barrel bed frame in a heart beat... and a maid to clean up all the cat hair that would inevitably get all over.

10.  What can be found on your nightstand?

My Bible, a framed photo of Dan from our honeymoon, an Ikea lamp, a bowl for bobby pins and jewelry, a potted plant, and a book I'm in the middle of (currently Catching Fire).

11.  If someone walks through your house what will they immediately know about you?

I like "interesting" things like a huge framed matador, a vintage microphone, and vintage fans. They'll also see I don't use tons of color but stick to a more classic, neutral palate.

Okay now 11 more random things...

1. My middle name is Hope and I used to dislike it when I was a kid. I'd tell people my middle name was Beth (which is my sister's middle name). When I got older I realized I actually love my middle name.
2. I was obsessed with the Spice Girls when I was in 5th/6th grade and got a little emotional seeing them perform at the Olympics because they were ahmazing. I actually had a long black velvet dress and would pretend I was Posh.
3. My favorite neutral nail polish is Essie's Ballet Slippers.
4. I just discovered Kendie Everyday. Seriously, where have I been? That girl is kind of my fashion idol right now.
5. I am so excited (SO excited) for Christmas this year since we are much more settled than last year. I have been pinning ideas since June and am really gonna try to accomplish a lot of them!
6. I am only marginally less excited for Fall than I am for Christmas. It actually might be a tie. I love Fall weather, the smell of dead leaves and fireplaces, sweaters, boots, apple cider, decorating with pumpkins, and fuzzy socks. 
7. My favorite breakfast food is french toast with real maple syrup. Every time we go out for breakfast I want to try something else but almost always default to french toast.
8. I pretty much hate everything on the radio and prefer Slacker Radio (kinda like Pandora but much more customizable). A few of my stations include The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford, and The Decemberists. I'm basically par for anything that falls into the "Alternative" category. 
9. I read a lot of fiction and I want to get into some nonfiction. First on my list is Killing Lincoln.
10. I loved back-to-school time growing up and whenever I go into a Staples or Office Max the smell of binders and paper just brings me back.
11. I liked Je T'aime Paris so much better than I Love You New York. No comparison really.

Whew! I made it. And I ran out of time to post the 11 Questions so I'll be back with that along with my list of recipients!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yet Another Thrifted Kitchen Item

I know I mentioned just a couple weeks ago two new thrifted items for our kitchen (here and here). I guess these things just keep popping out at me because I just picked up another little accessory for about 50¢ this past week. This little guy however needed some love which I was happy to provide.

When I spotted this little oil dish I wasn't positive my olive oil bottle was gonna fit but for five dimes I took a shot. And whaddaya know, when I got home the bottle fit perfectly! Before, the dish was orange which is perfectly fine if that's your thing but it just wasn't gonna jive on my neutral counters.

A quick once-over with some glossy white spray paint and he looks like he just stepped out of a Crate & Barrel catalogue.

Now he's right at home with his other black and white buddies. Well that's it friends. I'm off to enjoy one the last weekends of the summer (craziness!) and count down the days to fall (woohoo!).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cute As A Button Baby Shower

My friend Liz Ann and I had the joy and pleasure of surprising our good friend Julie with a "sprinkle" for her baby boy this past weekend. We called it a sprinkle because she has a two year old little girl already and only needed a few more necessities to prepare for the little guy. However, that didn't stop us from filling her shower with as many cute touches as we could! Liz came up with the "cute as a button" theme right away and with lots of help from Pinterest as well as the Home Depot paint chip aisle we tackled as many projects as possible to make the day extra special. 

Paint chip buttons simply added to my pre-existing wreath.

Paint chip button garland.

Amazing sock monkey riding a diaper motorcycle.

To make the chalkboard I simply turned the mirror around that was already on the desk and spray painted the back with chalkboard paint. It's safe to say I'm officially on the chalkboard train.

Button vase and cloche base-turned large button!
The hydrangeas are from my back yard and I'm so happy they finally bloomed before summer ended.

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

Knitting hoop clock-- it's fully functional!

Paint chip button "runner"


We all signed our well-wishes for mommy and baby Griff

3 different baby foods mixed with 3 different non-baby foods made for a fun guessing game.

Mini blueberry yogurt parfaits. The granola is in a separate cup stacked underneath. Simply pour, stack, mix, and enjoy!

Overall, it was a smashing success.
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