Frame it Out

Everytime I go thrifting, I check out the picture frame selection, as I have an affinity for intricate, thick frames. I have quite a collection started for a future project. As I was doing some work in my office, I started looking through the pile and decided to hang one up.

I took this gold, outdated frame-
  pried the oil painting off-
taped over the fabric and brought out my trusty oil-rubbed bronze spray paint-

Then, I hung it on the wall...around our thermostat-

Obviously not a HUGE makeover but definitely better than the boring before-

The best part is that it was less than $5 and took about 5 minutes to complete. It doesn't get any easier.

It's the little things in life! Have a great week. -S


A Look Back Part 2: House Updates

Because my house to-do list seems to grow longer every year not shorter (due to Pinterest, Houzz, and other bloggers constantly giving me new ideas), I want to take a moment to look back on what we did accomplish in 2011. It's pretty easy to focus on what's left to-do, but it just as important to remember what's been done and how far the house has come.

Here are my top 6 favorite house projects this year:

1. Laundry Room Makeover

Let's not forget how it started-

This is hands-down my favorite project of the year. No more dirty clothes on the floor, fallen socks behind the dryer, spilled detergent. It doesn't just look better, the whole room functions so much more efficiently. I LOVE the wall hooks and use them even more than I thought I would. The counter top makes sorting/folding clothes much easier. I still need motivation to start doing the laundry, but once I start I stay on top of it to keep the room nice and clean:) I just realized that I never posted about the DIY clothespin chandelier. It was a cinch to make and let than $15 in supplies. I found THESE instructions from YoungHouseLove. More details found HERE

2. Master Bathroom

Why are bathrooms so hard to photograph?!?

And a look back at the basic before-

This makeover comes in at a close second for favorite project of the year. We refinished the vanity, framed the mirror, upgraded the light fixtures, created DIY curtains, a small wall o' mirrors, refinished the doors and added a great big fancy shower head. This was all done on a budget of less than $200. All the details and better pics found HERE.

3. Garage Door Hardware Upgrade

And the boring before-

We turned our plain garage doors into carriage doors in an afternoon. The ultimate-strength Liquid Nails has held up the hardware in snow, rain, wind and hot sun and is still holding strong. It's amazing how something so small and can make that much of an impact on the exterior of your home. Info about the process found HERE.

4. Random Assortment of DIY arts/crafts

Thanks to being introduced to Pinterest earlier this year, I have a new favorite site for DIY inspiration. As a result, my walls are becoming much more colorful thanks to the paint chip art, crayon art, cork letter and button letter.

5. Office makeover *still in progress

And a look back to the before-

My office got a funky chevron stripe wall treatment, a thrifted old dresser painted hot pink and a shutter display wall. Unfortunately, I lost steam on the rest of the room. I plan on finishing this Spring with a new desk and maybe a bookshelf for added storage. The *easy* chevron wall tutorial can be found HERE.

6. General Kitchen Updates

Because everyone likes a good bad before shot-

Since our house is less than 4 years old, it doesn't need any major work (thank goodness!). However, it takes time to breath life into a blank slate. Our kitchen has been a slow work in process. I simply loathe the space between the cabinets and ceilings, so the decor up there is always changing. I'm slowly saving my pennies to hopefully one day install a second set of cabinets to take them all the way up to the ceiling but that is a long ways down the road. This year, I added more color to the decor, created hand and dish soap dispensers from dollar store finds and added some fun artwork from Etsy. The breakfast room also got some new DIY funky curtains. Nothing too earth-shattering but a bit of an improvement. More details HERE.

I have plenty of projects to keep us busy throughout 2012! Can't wait to get to work and share with everyone:)
Have a great week. love, S


DIY Easy, Colorful Ornament Ideas

When I think of holiday crafts, it brings me back to my elementary school, Girl Scout days where we hot-glued clothespins together to make reindeers and made Santa faces out of smashed up Coke cans. My mom was our Girl Scout leader and came up with the coolest crafts for us little girls.

Although I will always hold a special place in my heart for those crafts, my almost 30-year-old self prefers a little more grown-up look to my holiday tree. So, here are several adult-friendly easy holiday crafts...no Elmers glue required.

1. Swirly-paint glass ornaments
I first spotted these on Pinterest HERE and thought they were gorgeous. I actually purchased some craft paint and clear acrylic ornaments and am planning on attempting to make these this week.

2. Rhinestone Monogram Ornaments

I found this on The Creativity Exchange blog. You should check out her entire blog actually, Cyndy has gorgeous taste! All you need are plain ornament balls (Dollar Store ones would work just fine) and scrapbook crystal stickers, found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. It does not get easier than this folks!

3. Photo Ornaments

Print out your favorite photo and stick in a clear glass ornament. Done! I think this would be an especially awesome tradition to do with a child, include a recent photo and write the year on the ornament and repeat every year. It would be a great way to look back on how much a child has grown from year to year. I'm filing this idea away for our future children! *Photo found on Pinterest, no source given.

Have enough ornaments but need other holiday decor ideas? What about...

4. DIY Burlap Stockings with Hanging Initials

Not only do I love the way these look, I also love how easily you could create more matching ones for future babies or son/daughter-in-laws. Instructions HERE. *Cindy from Cottage Instincts was the one who made these. I read her blog regularly and always leave feeling inspired and a bit jealous of her pretty home!

5. Dress up your dining chairs using kitchen towels, ribbon and ornaments.

If you're like me, you have a random assortment of kitchen towels on hand. You probably also have drawers of ribbon and some extra ornaments as well. Throw a hand towel over the back of a chair, wrap ribbon around it, hang in ornament and call it a day.   *Idea from BH&G's website

LOVE easy crafts, especially when they can be done in the comfort on my great room in front of a fire on a cold, chilly day like today! -S


Thankful/ A Look Back Part 1

I realize that Thanksgiving has passed and that most people shared what they were thankful for most then. However, my feelings of thanks extend throughout the whole year, and especially at the holiday season.

This post will be a bit more personal than most, but I want to share what I am thankful for today, at this time of my life. The past 6 years of my life have been challenging. I have been blessed in many ways, but I have also had my fair share of trials and tribulations.

From 2005-2010, I graduated college, moved back to Kansas City, my mom was diagnosed with cancer (which we believed at the time to be treatable), got a new job, became involved in a significant relationship, bought a house, lost my mom to said cancer, sold first house and bought a second, got laid off, lost my grandmother, lost my great aunt, got a new job, had that significant relationship end abruptly, took in  roommates, lost my great-uncle, entered the world of dating for the first time in 6+ years, and fell in love...again. All by the tender age of 27. Whew! What a ride it has been.

2011 brought a much needed change of pace. I could breathe this year. I could look at my life and feel good about every aspect: no drama, a happy, satisfying relationship, a great job and my health. My 28th year has treated me well. It has taken me awhile to truly appreciate all the positive things, however. It took time for me to shake off the feeling that something bad was going to happen. I had experienced so many challenging life events that anytime something great happened, I felt myself waiting or expecting for the other shoe to drop so-to-speak.

Since we are dangerously close to the end of another year, I want to look back upon 2011 and share with you the moments that helped me enjoy my life again and live in the moment. The memories that I am forever grateful for. The people that make my life whole.

Starting with our trip last week to Vegas! We spent Thanksgiving visiting my uncle in sunny Las Vegas. I know everyone says this when they get back from vacation but man, is it true...it was GREAT to get away!

Justin and I joked that we must be getting old because all we seemed to do in Sin City was eat. Oh my goodness, did our taste buds get spoiled! First up, the best dinner of MY LIFE. And I don't say that lightly, because this girl loves to eat. Alize is located on the 56th floor of the Palms making it the 5th highest restaurant in the world and allowing for the best views of the Strip.

We also visited Thomas Keller's Bouchon, in the Venetian for lunch.

The week before Vegas, I volunteered at the annual DIFFA Holidays by Design event, supporting AIDS awareness.
Earlier in the month, one of my favorite friends from college tied the knot. Not only is Jessica ridiculously beautiful (she could easily stand in for Jessica Alba any day), but she is truly one of the sweetest and funniest people I know.

If she wasn't so awesome, I'd totally hate her;) Congrats Jes and Andrew!

This Summer brought many fun memories under the sun, including my birthday wine weekend-

A visit from one of my best friends, Annalisa, in from Seattle-

Dinner out with friends-
And bowling for Justin's birthday-
Of course we've spent a lot time with family, both Justin's and mine-
And took many trips to the dog park with the apple of my eye, my beloved pupsters-
So, here I am. Thankful. Reflective. Content. I can only hope that the New Year will be just as fulfilling. Here's to everyone having a lovely 2012! I hope you can find the time to reflect during the chaos of the holiday season and find some moments of  peace.

*This is part 1 of a 2-part series. I'll be doing a look back at the house projects that we completed this year as well:)

love, S


$10 bar cabinet redo/Painting laminate info

I spotted this bar cabinet at my favorite thrift store for $10. Let's be honest....it wasn't pretty. The previous owner had stapled ugly, cheap brown fabric to cover the wine storage.
Oh and added a beautiful blue bow! I think it makes it, don't you agree? ;)

Once I got it home, I immediately ripped off those brown curtains. Already a huge improvement!

I then spray painted the entire piece with oil-bronzed spray paint. Three coats along with a sealant was all it needed to turn it into this-

It still needs to be properly stylized. I plan on adding a colorful tray to corral all my bar gadgets, but for now I love it! Since I already had paint on hand, the entire project was just $10. It gives me plenty of storage for our wine glasses and bottles, without taking up a lot of space. Best of both worlds!

*I wasn't able to find much info online about painting laminate furniture. Since it can't be sanded down like real wood, I was nervous about spray painting not sticking to the surface. Because the piece was so inexpensive, I went ahead and tried anyways. I used Krylon spray paint and did three thin, even coats. I let each coat dry for 24-48 hours in between coats. I then used a clear sealant and left it to sit in my garage to completely cure for 3 days. Since it is sitting in my formal dining room, it does not get a lot of use, so the finish still looks great. There hasn't been any scratches or nicks yet. I would advise using a primer if you plan on painting a piece of laminate that will get lots of use, along with 2 coats of sealant for extra protection. Hope that helps!



Go ahead and call me crazy...

I sorta went overboard with decorating for the holidays this year. I usually like a serene, clutter free home, so spending 3 days putting holiday decor up was intense.

It started innocently enough...a traditional tree in our great room.

Then, the mantle got a little sparkle. I usually put up snowmen on my mantle that belonged to my mom. However, I've never been a huge fan of them, as they along with other holiday creatures like penguins and santas seem a little cluttered and not my style at all. So, I decided to keep it simple with greenery, pine cones and bits of red.

Next up, our second tree in our formal great room. This silver/white tree is my absolute favorite. It can be seen from out front window and seeing it glow as I pull up every night makes me smile.

My favorite ornament of all time is this angel ornament that belonged to my great-grandmother. The vintage sweet face is precious.

So, you might be thinking that 2 Christmas trees isn't too crazy, right? Well on a recent trip to Target, I decided to pick up a skinny, simple $20 tree for our bedroom.

That's right...we have 3 Christmas trees currently up in our house. Justin says it looks like Christmas exploded in our home...I say I'm just really in the holiday spirit this year.

I used simple bronze ornaments hung with cream colored ribbon that I got on Target's after-Christmas sale last year.

I used leftover fabric from my DIFFA Dining by Design event to cover the base, originally seen HERE.

We are hosting Christmas Eve at our house this year and I cannot wait. Please share your favorite holiday dishes, as I'm looking for some new recipes to try out!

     Happy Holidays! xoxo, S