Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another easy DIY... Lined Curtain Panels

Several years ago I happened to catch Ballard Designs when they were going through their frequent store inventory changes. I got a steal of a deal on an adorable upholstered cube ottoman that has since lived in nearly room in our house for a brief period in time. The fabric on the ottoman has such a great mix of khaki, caramel, and gray that it truly can work anywhere! When we bought it, my mom happened to ask if there was any fabric available to purchase to make pillows, etc with. After a quick check, the sales lady appeared with 2 huge pieces of fabric measuring about 50x108 inches each. It had been used a a fabric backdrop in the store and since there was no price on it and the fabric was being discontinued they sold us both pieces for almost nothing (honestly it has been so long that I can't remember exactly how cheap but I know it was much less than the $38 per yard that I found it listed for at Calico Corners below)

The drape fabric

In typical 'me' fashion, the fabric has sat unused since its purchase! Until one day a few months ago when I had the idea to see if it would work as drapes in the nook area of our kitchen which is open to our family room (and where the ottoman has been living for several months now!) I had an extra set of Ikea drapery clips so I simply ironed the fabric, folded over a quick hem along the top and clipped the drapes onto our curtain rod. The pattern looked great and best of all the drapes were long enough!

Well, we lived with these make shift drapes for a bit and I really loved how they looked but we get a lot of sun thru these doors so I realized pretty quickly that I would need to line them to make them work. I happened upon a white king sized flat sheet on clearance at Target and knew this would be perfect to line them with.

It was actually much easier than I expected.... My sewing machine (and Internet) have been on the fritz so I opted to use Stitch Witchery. I actually think sewing would have been much faster but I was on a roll and really wanted to get these finished.

1. My fabric panels happened to be the same length and width so this made the process pretty easy to start with. Once I measured the fabric, I cut my king size sheet in half to make the lining. Yeah - I did not have a big enough space so I used the floor!

2. Quick iron of both the fabric and the lining.

3. I then ironed down a 1 inch hem on the top and sides of each of the fabric panels. I started out doing the hem with Stitch Witchery to hold the hems but about half way thru I opted to stop and just iron the hem down since I would be actually attaching it in a few steps.

4. Starting on one side of the panel, I laid out the fabric pattern down placed the lining on top so that the lining was just touching the ironed down hem.

5. I then folded over the fabric to make another 1 inch hem that now overlapped the lining and ironed it all down. Then I placed the no sew tape between the lining and newly ironed hem and did another round of ironing. This is where I think that sewing would have been much faster, since my fabric was sort of heavy and adding the lining meant that I had to really work with the iron to make the tape stick and the hem hold.

6. Repeat step 5 on the opposite side of the panel, and them on the top. Once the 3 sides we're completed I laid the almost complete panel on the floor and measured what length I needed. For me, I needed 92 inches since I was using the curtain clips. I marked 92 inches across the bottom of my panels and got started on repeating step 5 at the bottom. I actually ended up with closer to a 2 inch hem on the bottom.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 on the next panel.

All in all, I got the project finished in less than 3 hours and I think that a big chunk of the time was spent ironing and re-ironing to get the stupid no sew tape to stick. The worst part is that I will no doubt need to sew these at some point since we heavily use these curtains. But at least they are up look nice for now!

Final look from a distance and no sun peaking thru!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another productive Saturday!

Lately Saturday's have been wonderful for me! I think that I am slowly realizing that I have less than 10 of them left until our little girl arrives (or 5 if she's anything like her big bro!)

We are still battling little mans early wake times so the alarm was up at 5:45 but he stayed put in the crib waiting for the light on his clock to go off at 6:15. Have I mentioned that the Little Tot Clock is the best invention ever? So we got in a few hours of play time and breakfast before waking daddy up at 8:30. We all stayed in bed for a bit watching Sesame Street and before I knew it.... I was asleep! I got in another hour of sleep and awoke to find my boys getting dressed for the gym. What a great surprise! I would have 2 hours of quiet time today before another 2 at nap time!

So I waved bye to the boys and got started... Spray painting the brass corners for our coffee table. I loved the brass but it was too much for me. I tried the Rub N Buff but it wasn't quite right either. So I turned to the trusty rust oleum hammered spray paints. I chose 2 colors for a more tarnished and worn look. I sprayed both the cornersand the tiny little screws. I actually tapped holes into a box using an ice pick so that I could easily spray the screws and it worked perfect! I let it all dry for an hour and then started attaching them. It was pretty easy and again I used the ice pick to start the holes on the table and then a tiny little screwdriver. I was very happy to find that they included a extra screw because of course I lost one! I also managed to get in a quick vacuuming of the floors and couches before the boys got home.

We had a nice lunch outside enjoying the spring like weather and then it was almost naptime. Luckily I remembered to have the hubby make a quick bed move in our guest room so that I could get some more done while they slept. Way back I made a headboard for our guest room in a somewhat boring linen color and the room really needed something else to make it pop... While visiting with my sis a week ago I stumbled upon an old West Elm duvet that she was. I longer using an snatched it up. It's a beautiful off white with a greenish gray stamped pattern that is the perfect contrast to the quilt and Ikat curtains we already had. Now the room just needs a coat of paint(like every other room in our house) and its good to go!

Fingers crossed for one. Ore project this evening.... And for improved Internet service to make chronicling the project possible!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Super Easy Lack Hack

When we moved into our new house after getting married (almost 3 years ago!!!) we took our time buying furniture but the first thing that we bought was an amazing down stuffed sectional couch. It is from Ballard Designs and it is the Baldwin style. The best part is that that it is slipcovered which a must with kids, pets, and husbands! Well, we carefully measured the room and made sure that the couch would fit... But wouldn't you know we forgot to measure if our coffee table would fit the sectional? And of course it didn't! So we had a wonderful new couch we loved and a beautiful almost new Pottery Barn coffee table and we had no clue what to do.because our sectional has a chaise on one end, we moved the coffee table to the side of that and used it likean end table for a while. We brought in a circular rattan ottoman to use as a coffee table and this worked for about a year.

But on a visit to Ikea, we stumbled upon a perfectly sized and priced option that allowed us remedy our coffee table situation. Enter the coffee table size square Ikea Lack table for $29.99 in the black/brown color! It's just the right size to hold 2 large baskets on the underneath shelf that easily hides a ton of kiddo toys and books.

The table has held up surprisingly well over the last year that we've had it but it is lacking (pun intended) in decorative appeal. So when I stumbled upon on this great Campaign DIY idea at Little Green Notebook, I knew it would be the perfect addition!

DIY Campaign

For less than $3 at our local Home Depot, I found the brass corners in a pack of 4 (they come with all of the needed hardware) and rushed home to see how they look. What a change! I opted to not add the corners on the feet of the table because with our carpeting you cant really see them anyways! I am wavering on using some good old Rub N Buff to tone down the brass a little bit. The corners are getting put on this afternoon so I need to make a decision!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sugar and Spice and everything nice!

I spent the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy focusing on the plan for little man's big boy room.i am loving how it turned out and after a successful nap yesterday in the big bed we are well on our way to transitioning him out of the crib so we can move it over to baby sissys room.

I must say that when it came time to have our 16 week ultrasound that I was floored to hear that we are having a girl! I was very excited but just really shocked! I know boys and the idea of having a little girl was just so foreign to me! Needless to say once the I itial shock wore off,I jumped head first into nursery planning mode.

I grew up in a super pink Strawberry Shortcake room that I adored but somehow pink hasn't felt right to me since then. So I set off to find something girly and not pink. Of course, my ideal bedding would be Serena and Lily but the price just wasn't right. However, I still checked out their website and happened to stumble onto the perfect bedding, the Delphine Collection. A couple of problems though... It was not a crib bedding set, it was made for a girls room. And obviously the price! I happened to luck into finding the Heather Peacock fabric that made the bedding in their fabric section. Still pricey, but I had a plan to use it as an accent so I would not need much yardage. And luckily the Mocha Trellis pattern used in the bedding is made in a crib size sheet from their Nurser Basics group. Of course, this still left the bumpers and crib skirt but luckily my mom again volunteered to sew these for me if I could not find anything I liked. So I ordered samples of the 2 fabrics and kept working...

In November, we took a family trip up to the husbands parents mountain house in North Georgia and I planned a potty break for the Atlanta outlets which has a HUGE Restoration Hardware outlet store with a great baby section. Armed with my S&L swatches, I had high hopes of finding the perfect bumper and crib skirt for cheap! The prices were great but nothing seemed to match. So I veered slightly off course and started checking out the sheets and other bedding pieces when a beautiful pattern in a toddler duvet kept catching my eye. It is called silver sage scroll and it's a beautiful pale aqua silver color with the scrolls in the exact same color as the Mocha trellis sheet. The scroll pattern mimics a pattern on the peacock fabric but in a larger scale and it somehow works! Two toddler duvets and a solid silver sage duvet in sateen for only $12 each would become my bumpers and crib skirt! Success at last!

All of the fabric is ready to go to grandmas house to be sewed into a beautiful one of a kind bedding set for our little girl. Lucky for me, I only have one project to complete fabric wise for the room and that is the window covering. Originally, I was planning on a fabric covered black out shade but there are so many options that I can't commit!

Below are the S&L Mocha Trellis Crib Sheet, and RH Scroll (shown in Moses basket), and S&LDelphine Bedding

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Too good to be true?

This last week I have really got the meaning of 'too good to be true' and 'you get what you pay for'.... I was so excited to finally be rid of Comcast and try out the much cheaper and convenient Clear service. Unfortunately for me, consistent Internet service through out our house is not happening. We also have no cable (streaming NetFlix doesn't work with a spotty Internet connection) and only have the antenna plugged into one tv so needless to say lots has been accomplished this week on the home front! While I love the progress, I just can't add any of it now! So until we reach a resolution limited posts and really limited pics :(

Right around when we cut the technology was also when I got hit with excruciating lower back pain (maybe its not so coincidental!) Thankfully, I went to the doc and everything looks okay. No signs of pre term labor so it's just pregnancy pain that I have to deal with. I am looking forward to trying out a chiro or pt session to see if ican get some relief so I can make it thru the next 11 weeks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Big Room Inspirations

As I started thinking about moving little man from his crib to a big boy bed in preparation for the new baby's arrival, I knew that I wanted to do something really fun! I literally spent months searching for just the right style of bed, theme, and bedding. Unfortunately, my taste and bank account never seem to agree! So I realized that a slight compromise was needed...

The Big Bed: growing up, my sis and I dreamed of sharing a room and having bunk beds. I am sure that any sibling that actually had to share a room would quickly disagree with me but what the heck! A bunk bed is what the little man is gonna get. We frequent our local Pottery Barn Kids for their weekly story times because it's a great way for us to get out and I interact with other kids and it's fun to check out all of their furniture, bedding, and bath stuff (not to. Emotion all of the fun toys!)

For as long as we have been going little man is all over the Camp bunk beds. I adore them in the navy but with a going rate over $1,200 dollars it just wasn't feasible. So I set out to find something in a much lower price especially since we have to buy 2 mattresses to go along with the beds! The best deal that I could find was at WalMart. Solid wood, dark finish, great reviews, and able to separate into 2 twin beds.... All for right at $200! Before I placed my order I checked Craig's List one last time and as luk would have it I found a great bunk bed made by Stanley Furniture for less than $200! The only catch is that the bed was a light colored pine which was pretty but just not my style. Immediately, my wheels started turning and I knew that a navy coat of paint would be just what the bed needed! We are about 2 days out from finishing this project and I can't wait to explain the transformation! In the meantime, here are some before shots.

Theme: Little man's nursery was the perfect combo of baby and fun to keep us all loving it for the last 2 years. Since the husband works in the shipping industry, a pirate theme was perfect for our little boy! And since it's a custom set (thanks mom!) it made me happy that he has a totally unique room. I wanted to incorporate some of the ship stuff into his new room but also wanted to add some new pieces to freshen it up. So I knew that a specific theme would not work so I decided to go for more of vintagey, collected feel. We're not there yet but loving it so far!

And the drum roll please..... The bedding! For me this is what really makes the room. I have been obsessed with Serena and Lily forever and they have the most amazing kids rooms that really work with my lack of a specific theme. Right away the Cabin Life set (cabin quilt and star print sheets) really jumped out at me. Again, budget did not approve especially since we needed 2 sets of sheets. I searched all over the Internet and found some other options but they were still pretty expensive. Around this time, I looked back at S&L and had 2 great realizations.... 1. Mixing the star sheets with another pattern or solid not only looks great but also helps with the cost. 2. S&L has a crazy sale about once a year and it just so happened That they marked down the chocolate star sheets to a discontinued price of $29!!!!!! I could not get them in my cart and ordered fast enough! Let me just say that these sheets are so soft and wonderful that I almost ordered a set for our king bed! For real, the S&L sheets are seriously worth the price! Unfortunately, the S&L quilts did not get a mark down so I was off to find another option. I found lots of quilts but I really the modern look and was really struggling trying to figure out what color. For once, I took my time and really looked everywhere...who would have thought my favorite store, Target, would provide my solution. On the kids bedding aisle they have a beautiful line of Circo quilts that are pick stitched and contrast lined! For real! They come in over 5 colors for boys and girls and I happened to catch them on sale for $25 per set (twin set = quilt + sham)! Major score! I settled on the charcoal gray quilt that reverses to gray and we had a color scheme.... Well almost. All we needed now was a contrast sheet set for the chocolate stars. The colors so far are chocolate, gray, and red. Throw in the navy bed and it's a lot going on so I narrowed the options down to solids sheets only. The obvious choice to me was a play on the navy bed. I knew finding the right volt of navy would be nearly impossible so I opted to look for a muted, worn color of blue. And again, Target to the rescue! On the same kid aisle, Circo Jersey Sheet set in Heather Blue on sale for $14. It literally took months to get this pulled together but I am thrilled with how it turned out and all for less than $100 (the S&L quilt alone for one was $180!)

The big reveal of getting the beds into the room is happening this week with pics! For the time being we have the 2 twin mattresses on the floor all made up and I must say that I love it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Another busy weekend...

For once, I am actually happy that it's Monday. We had another busy weekend and I am so excited to get back on the weekday schedule! Saturday was spent knocking out a huge list of home projects to get us ready for little man moving into a big boy bed and the arrival of our little girl in a few short months. Sunday was a nice day spent with family celebrating your godsons baptism followed by a nice 2 hour nap for the whole family. The perfect way to end the weekend!

Breakdown of Saturday: 5:45am wake up call followed by blue Mickey mouse pancakes for the little man turned out to be a great start to the day. My mom picked him up just before 9 and our day was started... First on the list, prep and paint the new nursery. A while back Home Depot carried a wonderful brand of paint called FreshAire. It's no VOCs and covers great. We used it in little mans room way back when and just loved it. Sadly, Home Depot stopped carrying it nearly a year ago but luckily for me I happened to catch it when they were marking the paint down to $5 a gallon (which is a steal as it was well over $25 a gallon at full price). I scored several different colors and finishes and have been lazily waiting to paint something with them. A majority of the paint was a great neutral called Wave of Grain that was perfect for the nursery. So off we went, me rolling the walls and the husband trimming the room. I was shocked that we managed to knock the whole room out in a little over an hour! Check one complete. Changing table moved to nursery, twin mattresses moved into little mans room, bunk beds painted in milk paint and one coat of clear coat, and then all of the mess cleaned up and little mans room pit back together. Check 2-5! Finally at 5 pm we had finished and the little man came back home to check out his new digs. (more to come on his new room and the full bed makeover to come!)

I have got to say that even though the husband did most of the work, just helping with the 30% that I did totally exhausted me. While if feld wonderful to get so much accomplished, as I lay in bed Saturday night with horrible lower back pain I was wondering just how smart it was to be doing all of this at 28 weeks pregnant. Then I realized that I really need to keep moving and knocking everything out or else I will be 33 weeks, huge, and waddling around trying to get all of this stuff ready! So fingers crossed for more progress this week!

Below is the messy before picture - followed by 2 after shots with baby sissy's first real piece of furniture in the room!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free at last!!!

It has been a very long 24 hours in our house... No one is sick, the little man is okay, the husband even came home early from work yesterday and brought us lunch! Well, after much discussion we finally decided to bite the bullet and cancel our cable tv and home phone yesterday. We had a bundled package of phone, Internet, and tv which was running us $130 a month! And this was for the basic Cable with no high def, DVR, and premium channels! It was painful to send the payment every month. We had gotten a promo deal a few months ago which dropped us to right at $100 but sure enough each month the charge kept creeping back up higher! After being a very loyal customer for over 10 years, we called yesterday to drop to just the Internet package. We have spoken to several neighbors and friends who also did this and got there bill down to near fifty a month which is still insane but much more manageable. We decided to purchase a standard HD antenna which will let us get about 20 channels for free and in high def!

So imagine your surprise when they quote us $90 a month for thr Internet speed that we have right now! Really??? I pulled up their new customer rates online and they are charging $29 a month for this speed if you are a new customer but since we have doled out thousands of dollars to them over the last ten years they cannot give us that rate. After about three seconds of discussion, we cancelled the whole thing! No phone, no tv, no Internet.... And it was all gone about thirty seconds after we hung up the phone.

And wouldn't you know that none of the other Internet companies are providing service to our neighborhood? Thankfully, I stumbled upon ClearWire and gave them a quick call to verify service in our area. Amazingly.... They do! And for less than a third of the rate we were quoted we get unlimited data from a 4g network which can even be used in other locations not just your home! I signed up and had a package waiting this morning on my front door!

All you have to do is plug the unit into an outlet and wait for service..... Hmmm.... An hour later and still no network picked up. Now I am really freaking out! This was our last chance! On a whim, I took it upstairs and placed it in our laundry room window. Success!!!

So I am happily blogging and browsing away! On a more productive note, my mom ever so graciously offered to watch the little man this Saturday so that the husband and I can have 6 uninterrupted hours.... Of work around the house! We have so much to do to get the baby's room ready and move little man into big boy beds. It was never going to happen trying to squeeze the work into 2-3 hour segments while he napped. So lots of pics and updates next week, but in the meantime I am making sure we have everything that we need to knock everything out on Saturday!

Side note: since we had no cable last night we watched our wedding video and it's mind blowing thA it's been almost 3 years since I married my best friend and the man of my dreams!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm a sucker for maps!

As of late I have found myself being drawn to beautifully framed vintage maps. We have lots of blank wall space in our home and I would love to find something unique to fill some of the walls with. The catch for me is that the these pieces are very pricey! I would love to find an authentic map and get it framed but after scouring our local thrift and antique stores I was beginning to think that I might never find a map that would work for me at a reasonable price.... and then on a trip to our Ballard Designs store I stumbled upon a great find!

Ballard carries several beautiful sheets of Decorative Wrap paper. Personally they are too small to really wrap anything with but for the $4.50 price tag they got my mind racing! I found 2 great maps in 2 different color schemes and have been holding onto them for the last 3 months or so just waiting to finally make something worthwhile happen to them! Ironically - I had been storing these in the spare room which will shortly be transformed into the new baby room and when I brought in the fabric swatches found that the Rome print was a perfect fit to use in my little girls room! Since we still have so much work to do I am holding off on that one for now so off to work I went on the other one for use in our Living Room.

It is a golden yellow vintage looking map (seen below) with lots of muted reds, greens, and grays which was a great fit with our Living Room color scheme.

I had picked up a frame many years ago from Marshalls or TJ Maxx with the obligatory vintage looking champagne ad with the main color being a deep red. The actual frame was just a plain black frame about 22 x 30 inches which was a near perfect fit for the paper. Somehow I did not take pics of any the steps but they are so easy that anyone could replicate easily! I basically opened the back of the frame using a flat head screwdriver to push back the staples that were holding the backing to the frame. I was surprised to find that the print was actually printed directly onto the backing. This would explain why it was such a steal... not the best quality! I centered the now removed backing over my Decorative paper and traced a line in pencil so that I would know where I needed to cut the paper. I only had to trim about an inch from each of the sides so this was the perfect frame size to use, any bigger would have required a mat to be added. A quick wipe of the frame and glass with cleaner and I was ready to reassemble! I popped the paper on top of the backing and put it all back together! I used the flat head screwdriver to push the staples back down to hold the backing in place and Voila! In less than 5 minutes I had a beautifully frames vintage map for less than $5! I am super excited to try something a little more involved with the Rome one like maybe a wrapped map art like the Nester did here http://www.thenester.com/2011/04/how-to-make-map-art.html

I added the map on top of the closest thing we have to a mantel, a huge armoire that is a main focus when you walk into our living room. Along with another DIY framed art piece (using a friends Key West destination wedding invite) and some odd pieces that I had scattered in other rooms of the house, I am now happy to see what was a blank space now looking a bit more finished.... now if only we could get a coat of paint on these boring white walls!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What a weekend... And looking forward to the week!

I learned quickly just how out of practice I am this past weekend... We headed down south for the wedding of good friends on Friday morning. We had a wonderful time and stayed up way too late and got up way too early both days! Thankfully, I had a partner in crime (another prego friend) to partake in Shirley temples and stalking down the good seats at the bars! But a full weekend of activities, fast food, and little sleep are taking their toll today. I spent the day in pajamas hanging with my little man (who came home from grandma's house looking like a little boy and speaking in 3 word sentences).

It just so happens that one of his favorite activities is hanging out in my closet... So I got the needed push to keep moving on the closet. Everything is hanging up. The drawers are now filled with the clothes that had been on the disaster shelving unit. 2 more bags packed up for goodwill. So now I am actually ready to follow the plan that I put together on Fridays drive (have I mentioned that I love my in laws who got me an iPad for Christmas?)

1. Being that I have 2 distinct parts of my wardrobe, I need to separate into maternity and non maternity. Right now, it's all mixed in across my two levels of hanging which requires a step ladder to get dressed.

2. From there, segment and hang by type. Jeans, pants, skirts, shirts.

3. And finally, segment by color.

4. Then it's time to look at the accessories.... Shoes, jewelry, belts, and scarves oh my! Fingers crossed that I can take advantage of some shelving ideas above. Y dresser so that it's all in sight and easy to access.

5. The fun part.... Make it all look pretty!

Before any of this happens, I have some minor changes that need to be made to the shelving set up. Thankfully we used the brilliant adjustable system when we installed my closet shelving after moving in.

As for the rest of the week... I have been dying to get a couple of other quick projects finished and will be checking those off Tuesday and Thursday so that I don't get to burned out on the organization... What can I say? I need some instant gratification!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Project Closet.... ADD!

Its a well known fact in my family that I have a pretty bad case of attention deficit disorder. There is a very old VHS tape that my parents and sister love to reference where my 3 year old self is literally bouncing around a very small inflatable pool like a pinball! My wild hysterics and chattering continue for a good 15 minutes as I flap around like a fish out of water. While I am now able to control my wild behavior (or at least keep it behind closed doors!) my mind still runs wild and I am very easily distracted. Add some major pregnancy brain to the mix and I am all over the board on what tasks need to be completed on a daily basis.

Today was a total wash thanks to an unwelcome 5:30am wake up call... And tomorrow we are heading out before noon for the weekend for a good friends wedding. So week 1 of blogging has been a success, however the closet project has hit a stall. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed about what to do next and how long it should really take to make this happen. Where do I go now?

After much thought, i have an idea that fingers croased will work! I think that what I need is a more structured plan with small tasks that I can check off when complete. I recently added a to do list app and think that this would be the perfect way to keep me motivated and making progress. So on the 3 hour car ride tomorrow I will be working on a detailed plan that I can follow to finally finish my closet.

But because I still need some instant gratification I am planning to mix in a few non organizing related projects. First on the list... DIY Serena and Lily Seychelles Chandelier (seen below... the catalog pic is much prettier showcasing it in a room!) I spotted it today in their new catalog and cannot stop thinking about how to put it all together and how perfect it would look in little girls room.

Okay - I feel so much better!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Inspired ideas... Closet day 3

During my son's nap time is when I have a few hours to work on my projects. I usually get a few hours of quiet time and today was no exception (nearly 3 hours to be exact!) Except I was limited on what I could do as the husband worked 15+ hours from 7pm to late this morning and he is holed up in bed sleeping which means no closet progress today.

So I decided to pop on HGTV and eat lunch with a little design inspiration via Candice Olson on Divine Design (episode 1409 to be exact). And what do you know they are converting a woman's gigantic walk in closet into a craft/art/sitting room? I must say that I am not sure if this would have been my choice but the idea of having some dedicated space for a computer, sewing machine, and just being able to shut the door and not worry about clearing off the kitchen table mid project for meals sounds amazing!

One of the many 'divine' ideas was a fabulous idea for mirrored closet doors. Candice used Wall Words to update the mirrored closet doors into an inspirational wall filled with quotes in a beautiful gilded gold. It got me to thinking about a huge mirror that we have waiting to be give away that came off the wall when we redid our bathrooms last year. Once I have access to my room, I am going to measure and keep my fingers crossed! The mirrors are on the far right in the above pic and it is somewhat hard to see but what a great idea!

Some other inspired ideas: a beautiful and fresh paint color, a new blinged out light fixture, hanging jewelry display, and maybe even a small bench or seating area!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hoarding is out in 2012... Closet day 2

I got a wonderful surprise this morning in the way of the hubby taking the little man to the gym for a few hours so that I could have some much needed alone time (and to let the little man burn off some steam since it was nearly 30 degrees this morning!)

I happened to pop on the Today Show while finishing up folding the laundry and heard some of the big ins and outs of 2012.  What do you know hoarding is out for 2012??? As I was putting away some of my clothes (translation- hanging the clothes on my closet door since I can't easily fit any more hanging clothes on the racks!) i realized that my closet just might classify me as a hoarder. So the task for Day 2 of the closet makeover is to objectively look at what I would really wear and give everything else away (or at least make a dent so that I have room to actually organize since it's not like I can try on any of the clothes and make sure they fit as nothing does since I nearly 7 months pregnant!)

Since the husband had to work tonight that was the perfect opportunity for some uninterrupted closet time and a mere 2 hours later I have made some progress. But the highlight of the night for me is a couple of classic finds that I feel compelled to share.

Find #1: A still tagged DVF dress circa 2003? Purchased while in Dallas for work on a great discount. Can I really give this away? I mean someday I will have the perfect occasion for this dress right?

Find #2: My Cache Tan Suede Jacket and Matching Skirt. The pic is worth a thousand words! I would look like a total cowgirl if I ever dared to wear them together! The jacket is headed out but the skirt will remain. I wore this paired with a simple black halter on the first 'big' date that I went on with my husband the night before a work/girls trip to Vegas.... I still say that he was trying to wine and dine me with a fancy dinner at Ruth's Chris so that I would do nothing but think about him while I was in Vegas with the girls! Turned out that his plan worked!

Finds #3-10: Hello. My name is Nikki and I am a hoarder. It has been 4+ months since I officially stopped working and nearly 18 months since I stopped going in to the office more than one day a week... so why in the world do I still have 7 pairs of black work pants??? And its not like I only black pants. 3 pairs of gray, 3 more pairs of pinstriped, 2 more khakis, and an infinite count of skirts too! The scary part is that right after I officially quit, I shipped 4 pairs of the newest ones to a friend down south! Okay so maybe I am not hoarder, maybe I have a shopping problem! I think that keeping 2 seems like a good compromise and the rest are headed down south to contribute to someone else's overflowing closet!

One bag down and it feels like a million more to go! Slowly making one step closer to an organized life (closet) in 2012!

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's time to get organized... Closet Day 1!

I have a dirty little secret. I am a horrible organizer. Current case in point: my closet! This disorganization is compounded by my love of clothes, shoes, purses, etc! Luckily since making the move to one income I have been very disciplined about no shopping. But many, many years of this near shopping addiction have taken a toll on my closet space. I have watched TLCs What Not to Wear with envy as the hosts filter thru the fashion victims full wardrobe and enviously wanted to have the magic 30 pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a new and polished look everyday without the hassle of digging thru my chaos of a closet. So this will be my first blog project... Closet makeover!

I think that an issue compacting my disorganization is my lack of drawer space. I have not had a set of drawers since those horrific plastic ones we all had packed into our college dorm closets. As you can imagine its hard to stay organized when you have no drawers! I have a huge walk in closet with a half of one of the walls filled with that cheap plastic shelving. These shelves hold my tshirts, workout clothes, and pajamas in no particular order. It's a nightmare to find anything and I spend so much time digging thru the stacks looking for something. Just thinking about getting dressed stresses me out.

I realized that until I get some drawer access organization is going to be hard to come by. After scouring Craig's List for many months, I was stumped and frustrated. I was dying for a solid wood piece with adequate drawer space that I could beautify for a great price. My wonderful hubby turned out to be the best shopper and while enjoying a happy hour beverage in our neighbors garage saw that they were donating a beautiful and LARGE Bassett dresser and matching mirror to Goodwill the next day! Not only did they happily say we could have it for free, they also helped move it into our garage where it sat for 3 months as I mulled over the transformation (see why I need a blog to keep me motivated?)

Of course, I finally decided on the plan right around the time I found out I was pregnant which meant I could delegate the painting to my husband... Score! So here is the brief run down:

Rustoleum Heirloom White for the actual wood surfaces and the mirror was an easy choice. The main surface of the dresser was not made of wood so I wanted something a little different since I was not sure how well the paint would stick. Enter the miracle product, Rub N Buff! I rubbed and buffed several coats of the Pewter color to achieve a worn metallic looking dresser top. I must say that I love it! It reminds me of those beautiful zinc top farmhouse dining tables that I adore! Since the hardware was brass, I also gave it a light coat of RNB as well to achieve a very weathered look. (the pics below don't quite do it justice with the flash!)

And this lovely piece has found its way into my closet and I LOVE it! But alas, my closet is still a disorganized mess since I have avoided doing anything other than getting it in the closet with the craziness of the holidays. So this week the pressure is on! I am going to make it happen!

Below are some pictures of the before and after of the dresser along with it living in my closet now. I am embarrassed to even include the actual current shot of my closet but hope that it will push me to make it happen! (And yes that is a step ladder in my closet covered with layers of clothes!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year.... New Resolutions... New Outlet for me!

2011 was a great year for me filled with so many wonderful memories, accomplishments, and surprises. Topping the list: Jed's first birthday, 2nd anniversary of being married to my amazing hubby, becoming an aunt again, learning that we would be welcoming our own little girl in 2012, and finally putting in my notice at work and becoming a full time stay at home mom! Wow! I am so very much looking forward to the upcoming year and seeing what is in store for me and my growing family!

I love staying home with my son... I went back to work full time for about 11 weeks after he was born and I just really struggled with it. I ws lucky enough to have my mom take on his daily care for the brief time that I was working FT. For me, it was not a good fit. I missed my son and hated the idea of missing out on his daily activities, milestones, and smiles! I opted to move to a part time position that would be a reduction in hours (also reducing my pay, responsibilities, and title!) initially it was a great fit. I would go from being a director responsible for a team of people leading high level client training sessions and analytics working 60+ hours a week to a part time analyst logging 20-25 hours a week mostly while working from home. It sounded like the perfect option! I quickly learned that transitioning roles would be challenging to say the least. The biggest problem... I am a perfectionist. I cannot say no when asked to help out on a last minute project, training call, and whatever the request may be. My work ethic does not allow me to just say no! It took me nearly a year of trying to juggle what turned out to be 30+ hours per week all while my son was home with me full time. I spent every nap he took working or on a client call. I am not sure exactly when I realized that it was not working for me anymore. But I was working from home to be with my son and that was not happening. I am so blessed to say that it has been a wonderful feeling for the last 3 months to finally be a full time stay at home mom!

And the point of this long drawn out story leads me to why I have started this blog and chose to make my first post on January 1. I am immersed in Elmo, choo-choos, sippy cups, play dates, and trucks all day long. I try my best to do a fun activity with Jed every day and it's great for both him and me so neither of us get bored and it let's our creative minds run wild. Over the holidays, we cooked and painted over 4 dozen cookies in the month of December alone! However, I have found that cookies, coloring, play dough, and crafts still leave some desire for me. So here I am starting a blog about my creative pursuits that I accomplish while the little man is napping to help me keep my sanity!

So far on the list for early 2012: reupholstering my favorite club chair (it is super comfortable but a horrible blue floral print), milk painting Jed's new bunk beds, the full she-bang for little girls room (custom bedding using Serena and Lily / restoration hardware fabric thanks to moms sewing expertise!), adding black out liners to my newly completed kitchen drapes, DIY Hicks pendant ikea hack, and finally to finish off the under stairs 'playroom'. So hey- what better way to make sure I actually start and finish these projects than writing about them on a blog! Oh yeah, and since our little girl is due in April I have all of these projects on my radar to be completed before I add a newborn to the mix!

So here we go.... Cheers to a great 2012!