Friday, November 30, 2012

A Month of Merry!

It's here! The official last weekday of November and the kickoff to all things merry and bright. And man am I excited. I know some blogs like to host The 12 Days of Christmas but when I went through the projects I've done and the one's I still plan to do I figured Hey-- why not the whole month? So get ready for four weeks of non-stop Christmas cheer. Oh and please feel free to leave links to your projects in the Comments section, I'd love to see what you guys are up to!

Last Christmas we had only been in our house five months and by December we were still in the midst of a few major projects. Now that another year has gone by and we've accomplished most of our projects I was able to focus my attention on some much needed crafting. I have always loved cone trees used in Holiday decor and it was about time I made some of my own!

After a trip to the dollar store for a few inexpensive Christmas items I set my sights on some sparkly silver garland and boom: glittery wrapped cone trees.

To use as my base I went as cheap as possible: old cereal boxes rolled up and taped. Of course you could always go out and buy cardboard cone forms, or even styrofoam, but since I had the boxes on hand I used em.

To begin I squirted a little dab of hot glue on the inside of the cone's opening and pushed the garland in. Then it was just a matter of adding a little glue here and there and wrapping the garland tightly around the cone.

And there ya have em! Although I liked the three grouped together, I felt like they needed a little something to shake things up...

So I substituted one of the tall guys for this medium sized fluttery paper tree I made on one of the days Sandy trapped us indoors. I actually love the mix of silver and white and I simply moved the other silver tree over to the other bookshelf.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tea Bar

Every Wednesday night we have a group from our church over for a Bible study and undoubtedly everyone winds up in the kitchen for one reason or another. The main reason they wander in is for the freshly brewed coffee and selection of tea. I myself enjoy tea but I don't really drink it much at home but still it's nice to put everything out on display for guests to enjoy.

This past weekend I decided to make things look a little nicer than usual so I collected a bunch of jars I had lying around not being used for anything and set up this little "tea bar."

A pine-scented candle makes the whole thing feel cozy and everything is within arms reach of the tea and coffee.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oh Baby

Now that the cat's officially out of the bag, lets share a few more baby-related details. If you are completely uninterested in this newest endeavor of ours, feel free to skip this post and tune back in when the home-related posts are up. Don't worry, I won't be offended. I don't plan to turn this blog into my personal baby diary but since it's kinda a huge deal, a little bit of it will spill out. Plus the nursery is in our house, right? So decorating that totally counts. 

On to how I told Dan the big news. It was a Tuesday morning back in August when I crept downstairs about 40 minutes before I was supposed to get up for work and took the test. We had been trying but still in less than thirty seconds my whole world changed and I took a little time to let it seep into my still sleepy mind that I was going to be a mom. Woah. After regaining composure I crept into the office to grab my copy of What To Expect When Expecting that a friend of mine gave me years ago and I happily accepted knowing I'd need it one day. I rested it on the edge of the bathroom sink along with a pair of baby booties and the test.

Then I snuck back upstairs and into bed and figured 'I'll just go back to sleep.' Yeah, who was I kidding. My heart was pounding so hard I thought the vibration alone would wake Dan up. But somehow I managed to keep quiet long enough for Dan to wake up before me, go downstairs, and see my surprise waiting for him. He immediately ran back upstairs where I shot right up and we both shared in the feeling of disbelief mixed with immense joy. Since it was a Tuesday morning we couldn't sit around too long and eventually had to go into work with the knowledge that our lives were about to change forever. That very weekend we went off to Cape Cod and enjoyed a whole week of relishing in our precious little gift and we even told a stranger at a farmer's market because we just couldn't hold it in!

At nine weeks we made our announcement to each family since my mother's birthday is only a few days after my father in law. That following weekend we were planning to see each family, Dan's on Friday and mine on Saturday, so it just seemed like the perfect opportunity for most of the siblings to be together. Each parent got their birthday gift with a little something extra tucked into the tissue paper at the bottom of their box: a special onesie that held meaning for each respective parent.

Dan's dad got the "Como Se Llama" onesie since they are Spanish and they got such a kick out of it. We thought it was pretty funny ourselves! Then my mom got the pumpkin pie onesie since it was September and she calls all her grandkids "pumpkins" or "pumpkin pie." It was only fitting. Thank you Etsy for your never ending supply of incredibly adorable baby gear!

Although we aren't finding out the sex of the baby until Christmas, I've still been brainstorming nursery ideas since day one (and even before). Regardless of the gender, I plan to keep the nursery neutral, crisp, and clean. The room is teensy (it's currently my dressing room) but since it's right off our bedroom it only makes sense to turn it into a perfectly functioning nursery for a teensy little baby. The room will fit a crib, changing table/dresser, and hopefully a rocking chair. And that's about it.

This is the best angle I can give for you to get a sense of the room's shape.

The back area will be great for extra storage and a little hanging closet space.

Although not all these photos show it, the trim is indeed done throughout the whole space but there's still tons of other things to complete (like taking down the clothes bar, patching holes, replacing the window, etc...). This room will by far be my biggest decorating challenge in the whole house so I'm both excited and terrified of taking it on! I could have chickened out and made the downstairs office into the nursery which would have been much easier to decorate and simply kept the baby in a bassinet in our room at night but I think I'm up to the challenge. Plus I'd like for the baby to sleep in their crib as soon and as often as possible (I'll of course support/revise that statement when they're actually here but for now that's my leaning). 

As to what's been inspiring me, here are a few examples:

Definite inspiration from Nicole's nursery seeing as the room is so similar to mine. I can only hope my nursery will come out half as lovely.

I've been in love with this soothing nursery ever since I first laid eyes on it.

Oh yes, there will be air balloons.

Neutral chic, that's what I like.

A planked wall may be in my future and can help bring some interest to the tiny little space.

So that's where I'm at! After we find out the gender and the bustle of Christmas is over things will certainly kick into gear in the space. I can't wait! 

To see more of my Nursery inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cleaning Out the Coat Closet...Again

Thank you so much for all your well wishes on our little BIG announcement. I'll be sure to post again soon on how I told Dan and what we're thinking nursery-wise so stay tuned!

Now there are just some spots in one's house that can never stay clean. I for one have a couple of them but we're gonna focus in on just one of them today: our coat closet. Since it is the only space on our main floor where I can stash things at a moment's notice to make the rest of the rooms look put-together, it inevitably fills up and needs to be purged every so often. With the impending Christmas season hot on our tails I figured now was as good a time as any to clear out the clutter and make a little room for guests' coats.

This closet has no light source so it's difficult to photograph at night but I did my best. One day we'd love to wire in its own lighting but it's on the long list of projects.

Here's how it looked before with every hanger in use and bags piled up on top of each other:

With everything out I could evaluate what needed to go, which was namely everything. The vacuum belongs in the trash because it actually doesn't work anymore, overheats, and then shuts itself off after about two minutes of use (a new one is on my Christmas list). A lot of the rest just needed to go down to the basement since they are not needed for any projects at the moment. Tons of trim, paint, and other various tools were relocated to the tool room and freed up tons of space.

After about eight minutes or so the closet was swept clean and looking a thousand times better.

All the essentials are easily accessible and out of the way.

Now there are even a couple free hangers for guests and plenty of floor space (for hiding presents).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful: Our Best DIY Yet

It's true! Baby D is set to arrive May 5th and we (including Cash and Penny) couldn't be more excited. Right now I am 16 1/2 weeks and feeling great. So far this has been a cake walk and for that I am truly thankful! Aside from being pretty tired once I sit down at the end of the day (which may have something to do with my lack of posting the past month) I have felt totally normal, ie: no morning sickness or weird cravings/aversions. We will definitely be finding out the baby's gender and our anatomy scan/20 week ultrasound is scheduled for December 17th, however we don't want to find out that day. We are planning to have the tech write down the gender in a sealed envelope and then we can do a special surprise on Christmas day where we, along with my family, will find out if it's a boy or girl. Dan's family will be in Florida for Christmas this year so we will send them off with a card of their own to open with the extended family down there on Christmas Eve-- so they'll know before us! Basically the timing just works out perfectly and assuming the babe cooperates for the ultrasound tech we should have a very special surprise to share this Christmas. 

And we couldn't be more thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mossy Monogram

You've seen em once, you've seen em a thousand times. Take one part craft store initial, add generous parts faux moss.

Need I say more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Dining Room

Thursday is the big day so before we stuff our faces and put on our stretchy pants I wanted to show you our simple take on this Thanksgiving Holiday. I showed you a couple weeks ago how I would set our table if we were hosting:

But since we're not, this is how the room actually looks:

I just love how perfectly our wingback chair lends itself to this Fall color scheme. Summer and Winter? Not so much. But that bad boy was made for Fall... kinda like me.

The centerpiece is just a collection of items we already owned. A faux pumpkin, a few sparkly orbs, a brass pheasant, and my DIY'ed birch bark candles all look great together.

If these pilgrim silhouettes look familiar it's because they're from here. I simply looked at the picture online and freehanded my own version, cut em out, and used a little double sided tape to add them to my plate wall.

The wreath I adore-- so simple, easy, and cheap. All it took was to buy a bunch of picks (50% off) and bend their wire "stems" into a grapevine wreath. I used just a few dabs of hot glue to hold some in place that weren't holding on as well and voila. A little jute string to hang it and we were all set.

So much to be thankful for. 

I hope you enjoy the day with those you love before the madness excitement of Christmas hits us full force! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

"New" Living Room Side Table

Our internet is officially up and running- woot! As of Friday night the internet man came and fixed our fallen wire and now I am making up for lost time. I mentioned that when I had a week off of work due to the hurricane I got quite a few projects done, well here I am to tell you about em.

Our living room is kinda lacking in surfaces, ie: somewhere to place a cup or a book when you're sitting on the couch. Since the room is on the cozy side I didn't want to have a big coffee table taking up prime floor space so we've just made due with our little Craigslist table for the past year and a half. Thing is though that we have people over pretty frequently and I wanted to give them another place to set down their cups. After doing a little rearranging of our slipper chairs I was able to reuse one of our old side tables from our last apartment right next to our couch.

Ugh unfinished crown will be the death of me...

If you don't remember the before, let me remind you how I painted them a bright peacock blue:

And before that, they were hideous 70s laminate:

In this new house however I'm definitely doing for a softer color palate so white seemed the best choice, plus I already had plenty of paint on hand making this project completely free. To add some interest I painted the front with a little bit of our wall color (Behr Wheat Bread) to make the details stand out but also coordinate with the rest of the room.

I brought down one of the lamps from our bedroom because 1. We needed a little couch-side mood lighting and 2. I wanna fill it with stuff! Eventually I want to replace it with a new lamp and move it back upstairs but for the Holiday season I think it'll be fun to fill it with seasonal goodies. Our blanket basket fit perfectly right underneath the table and helps save just a little more floor space in the rest of the room. To add some interest to the top I used a tiny craft brush to paint inside the crevice the same Wheat Bread.

To keep this project in the Free category I reused the same original brass knobs but simply wiped a little black paint over the fronts to give em an oil rubbed bronze appearance. I think it worked out quite nicely.

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