Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Entry

Fall is hands-down my favorite season and Halloween is just one of the reasons why. Now that the air has officially cooled down and the days are getting shorter I decided over the weekend to bust out the spooky decor and get things started just a tad early.

To make the bunting I shopped our home and found a pack of fabric napkins I got as a wedding gift six years ago that I think we used once. After cutting out the triangles from just one napkin I simply hot-glued a line of twine to the fronts- easy as pumpkin pie.

Thrift store books and old vintage advertising tiles add a touch of spook...

...as does my dollar store crow hanging out in the fan.

Matches are kept close by to light up my pumpkin candle. Mmm...

Anyone else breaking out the Halloween a little early?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Six Pack Utensil Caddy

Today I have a quick 5-second DIY for you: repurpose a cute six-pack case into a handy utensil caddy. I know my husband probably hates that I refer to this beer case as "cute" but I've always loved the Brooklyn packaging and the Oktoberfest case is perfect for this time of year! 

I did have to reinforce the bottom a bit with some masking tape but since the box is made to hold glass bottles I think we'll be okay.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Unexpected Update: New Kitchen Faucet

A lot of homeownership comes down to trial and error. If you don't want to pay someone to come in and handle every little fix then you need to just learn to do it yourself. Such was the case when it came to our kitchen sink:

The faucet we had in our kitchen was the original faucet from when we moved in. Although we replaced nearly every other item in the room, the faucet seemed to be in good working order so we let it be for over a year. Then about six or so months ago we noticed a drip going on under the sink, seeming to come from the faucet line. Since the drip was so slight we simply padded under the sink with a towel and changed it out whenever it was damp. Yeah, not the best solution but with everything else going on it didn't seem to be too big an issue and we simply turned a blind eye. Then came the smell. Every time I used the sink or even walked into the kitchen you got a slight musty whiff that was starting to drive me crazy. I finally said 'Enough!' and kindly asked Dan if he could replace the offending item under the sink on his day off.

When I came home, this was my view:

While trying to fix the leaky line he accidentally broke the faucet. I didn't ask too many questions really. I know he was trying his hardest and hates to spend money unnecessarily as much as the next guy so we only had one solution: buy a new faucet. That day. See we have a Bible study in our house every Wednesday night and this little faucet snafu happened on Tuesday night meaning Wednesday after work we had to rush to Home Depot, find something we liked enough to live with for the next few years, and replace it as quickly as possible.

We really did like our old faucet with the pull-down sprayer so we set out with one of those in mind. Unfortunately the in-store selection leaves much to be desired so we had to compromise and find something we liked but was still under $200. Enter the Moen Lindley:

Since we only have three holes in our countertop we knew we wouldn't be using the soap dispenser which was okay with us since we keep our soap on the counter anyways. The side sprayer wasn't our ideal but in reality we don't use the sprayer all that much and the guy on the side works just fine.

Now we just need to finish that window once and for all!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Boob Job

One more thrifty item I failed to mention yesterday was more like a thrift score: I found a like new Ikea Aläng in the box for half the price. I had been waffling for a while over what to replace our hallway "boob" light with. I was definitely not feeling the crystal-esque look of the current fixture with its pointy finial but rather wanted something that would coordinate nicely with the Eden pendent in our dining room that is just the next room over.

The Aläng was on my list of things to check out the next time I was at Ikea so when I saw this one in the thrift store I knew it was meant to be! (It's the smaller two-bulb version) Removing the old fixture wasn't too bad but putting the Aläng together took a little bit of "what the heck was Ikea thinking?" thinking. Honestly, who holds a fixture together with a zip tie? Anyways, we finally got the thing up on the ceiling and marveled at its alien-esque look before finally putting the shade in place. Those metal things are actually really strong magnets and the shade simply snaps in place. Strange...

As bizarre as the set-up was, it actually turned out to be pretty awesome looking, in my opinion. Dan's not 100% sold but his hang-up is the color of the light it seems to be emitting, which can easily be remedied with new bulbs. He likes the dining room pendant so I'm sure he'll come around shortly.

Lights on:

Lights off:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cape Cod Thrifting

As I mentioned yesterday, thrifting and antiquing played a big role in our vacation and you know what the best part is? It was all Dan's idea. I just happened to luck out and wind up with a guy that loves to randomly pull off the road at the sight of a thrift store as much as I do! These photos are only two of the places we stopped but we must've gone to at least ten.

We had lots of fun rummaging around and there were so many items I wanted to take home but in the end this is what made it into our carts:

Two bubbly milk glass bowls

Adorable mushroom salt and pepper shakers, perfect for the impending season.

Some more milk glass...

I saw this identical piece at an antique store about an hour before I saw this one at a thrift store. 
The price difference? $20 compared to $1.50. Gotta love that.

This is probably my favorite find: a brass anchor bell. It just seemed so fitting considering where it came from.

We love all our new purchases and especially all the fun memories they hold.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our Cape Cod Getaway

Last week Dan and I had the extreme pleasure of taking the whole week off and driving up to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Scheduling four posts ahead of time meant I didn't have to worry about the blog going stale while we soaked up some sun and seafood in New England. Dan and I haven't actually been on a week-long vacation together since our honeymoon (six years ago!) so this was a much anticipated and well deserved trip.

Basically we spent the week relaxing, sleeping in, antiquing, whale watching, exploring, and eating.

This was our view out to see the whales...

 And here's a screen shot from a video Dan took of one of the whales RIGHT NEXT TO our boat. It was amazing. He flapped his flipper a bunch of times too as if to say hello
We probably saw about 10-15 whales total...it was incredible.

A little roadside store we passed:

Spelled my same way too!

And here's where we stayed. Through the site HomeAway we found a guest cottage being rented out for much cheaper than a hotel would've been. Plus we had a kitchen so we were able to eat a few meals in which was nice. The house was centrally located and we were able to reach almost all the cities on the cape in no time at all.

Overall it was a fantastic relaxing week and I'm so glad we were finally able to get away together. Have you ever been to Cape Cod?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Soft and Cozy Plaid Throws

Crisp days and cool nights call for one thing: snuggling up with a cup of something warm and delicious under a snuggly blanket with someone you love. Does it get better than that? I submit that it does not.

Something I've been longing for for quite some time is a lovely gushy plaid throw. I've definitely seen my fair share of cheaper versions but what I would really love is a true wool beauty that will be around for a long time. And since it's plaid, it would never go out of style. Cozy cabin chic will always be around, mark my words. Here are a few I've been eyeing:

And who doesn't love a little buffalo check?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DIY Birch Bark Candles

Although Fall isn't technically until the 22nd I'm getting things started early with a little autumnal crafting fun. This was actually more than fun seeing as I'm slightly obsessed with not only how easy these were but how beautifully they turned out. We've all seen birch candles, right? The most popular versions are from Pottery Barn but range from $15-29 dollars and are only painted to look like birch:

That's a little more than I'd like to spend on something that will burn away and be gone forever. I knew I had to come up with a way to get the same look but for much much less. Enter these large toilet paper rolls from my job:

Laugh all you want but whenever I would change a roll I felt bad throwing them out because I knew there had to be a great DIY use for them that I just needed to discover! Since I've always loved birch candles I thought maybe I could buy some birch-looking craft paper and make something similar. Then we went to New Hampshire again a couple weeks ago and something tremendously better revealed itself:

Whole sleeves of birch from fallen limbs! After they die the insides atrophy and you're left with a beautiful hollow sleeve that is the perfect size for a candle. I also peeled some pieces from larger dead trees and hope to use them in some way also.

I had to trim my paper towel roll to get it to fit nice and snug and then it was as easy as sliding it right inside the birch.

And here's how they look now with a trio of flameless candles. I was sure not to use a real open flame because I didn't want to risk them catching on fire and I would be devastated if they were ruined!

I am just in love with the natural variations between them all and how the little cuts and peels simply add to the beauty.

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