29 March 2013

Oh Deer {We Have a Problem}

I really enjoy the house decorating process. There’s just something about taking a blank room and making it your own; finding all the little pieces that create the bigger picture. It’s like a game – the bonus being that you get to enjoy the end result every day! And some of those “games” prove to be more challenging than others. The challenge can come from an odd room layout, lack of inspiration or having a husband with his own vision (I didn't think they actually cared what the house looked like as long as we wives were happy...Lies!)

But now that we are looking for a bigger house, my husband has started listing some demands of his own towards the design plan. I’m not sure I like where this is headed. Well, I have to say, I am partly to blame. I knew we would cross this bridge one day and right now is that day. Background: my husband is an avid sportsman. He has a strong love for anything related to hunting & fishing.  Unfortunately, along with that love comes “trophies.”

The trophy that he is currently petitioning to be added to the décor would be a deer head mount… I don’t mean antlers that I can lay out on a coffee table or even an antler mount that I can tuck on some hidden, not-frequently-seen wall -- I mean a deer head. Here’s your mental picture:  a rabid deer ran straight into a wall.  Displayed on my living room wall would be the head [the eyes follow you] and somewhere on my deck, the rest of bambi would be hanging out.

28 March 2013

How to Avoid Ugly [on the Inside]

The spring heralds several necessary evils – spring cleaning, landscaping, allergies and PANTRY MAKEOVERS! Be prepared, I’m adding a little bit of a twist.  With bikini season creeping around the corner it’s time to banish the 190,298,678,971,938 layers of clothing and feel comfortable in your own teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini skin.

The first step in improving your health is to make a conscious decision to improve your nutrition.  Notice I'm not saying, "cut out carbs or eat only grapefruit,” but rather to build a better food foundation.

Here's the problem: you may already be undermining your efforts.  Bummer, right? The dangers are lurking in your freezer, pantry or cabinets. Uber processed foods.  Let's be real here....any food that can exist for 4 years without refrigeration can’t be doing wonderful things for your body. Think of your body as a car (a super sexy sports car!). Your car only operates at its most efficient level if you use unleaded gas (and change the oil)...so you wouldn't put something else in the tank right? I hope not at $3.50+/gallon! So why would you put processed foods in your body as fuel if all it does is make you sluggish, overweight and at risk for serious health problems? Yep, it's an issue.

27 March 2013

Owl in Good Time

Pinterest and Pottery Barn have made me into a home décor monster addict lover.  Beautiful chic rooms filled with beautiful chic things… I catch myself drooling over couches and chandeliers and cute knick-knacks on beautiful shelving units.  But have you ever gone to purchase those knick-knacks? In case you haven’t let me show you an example: Behold one galvanized iron marble track (because every home needs a marble track).

Marble Track

Awesome right? Perfect for that empty spot on the mantel or bookcase! Well, baby, get your credit card ready because you are about to shell over $119 for that adorable little decorating nugget. Makes you a little nauseous doesn't it?

At this point, you might be getting a little irritated. Why mock me the way you do Pinterest? Why show me stylish rooms that I can’t afford without working 4 jobs?! Unfortunately, threatening to boycott the ever-teasing site is futile at best (let’s be honest it is way too addicting to ever really follow through on that breakup threat.)

26 March 2013

Caution: Wet Paint

In furnishing a new [to us] house, I've learned the necessity importance of working with what you already have.  Furniture is expensive.  So hand-me-downs and second hand (awesome) pieces are always welcomed guests in my home. I've become friends with the paint counter guys at Lowe’s and so far it’s a relationship that’s helped my house look like a home.

While I haven’t branched out to paint the walls yet – our windows still have to be replaced and ALL the trim needs to be painted as well – I have worked on jazzing up some accent pieces.  Luckily my workshop kitchen has a large enough space to allow me to plop down and paint these pieces where it is warm (and I can see the TV – Housewives, helloooo).

I found a pair of nightstands (actually I’m not sure what they are supposed to be, but I deemed them to be nightstands) at a small consignment shop a few towns over.  Luckily, the shop owner was willing to negotiate the price; A. because I’m cheap and B. because they needed some serious TLC.  There was something about them that I loved.  Sometimes things just speak to you – I’m sure there are some DIY divas who know exactly what I’m talking about.


25 March 2013

Packing [Attempt]

As the house hunting continues, we are going to have to be out of our current abode, and soon. Initiate crisis lock-down mode. Okay, I mean we do have a month, BUT we have a significant amount of stuff…important stuff that who knows one day down the road I might possibly need, so obviously I can’t get rid of anything. Can we say “denial”? Let the packing begin!

With the commencement of getting all of our much-needed things into boxes (Lord, help us), I have to be honest with myself. I have many, many flaws -- and I am not one to pretend I don’t-- but one of my biggest faults is procrastination (honestly, why do it now when you can do it later?! Riddle me that.)  The first step in knowing you have a problem is admitting you have a problem, and I have a problem. But not this time. I am staring the deadline in the face and refusing to resort to wine and pulling out my hair at the 9th hour to get all of our stuff packed. I am going to be the most organized-relaxed-put-together-future-homeless-person you've ever met!

23 March 2013

Ottoman [From Pantry Shelves]

I’m all about reusing materials/objects for different purposes. Giving something a second life is always rewarding.  So when my brothers reinvented my pantry (I’ll post pictures of that later) I had a fleeting moment of genius.

Rewind to two weeks earlier – I saw an ottoman at Target that I loved.  It was tufted, and the perfect size.  However, I had some qualms about spending $100 on furniture from Target, especially when the fabric was ivory.  Ivory fabric + my husband = no go.  I don’t even think stock in Scotchguard could have sold me on that idea.
Target Ottoman

Now back to the“ta-dah” moment.  I asked my brothers to make a box from the leftover shelves from the pantry.  They were able to cut down 4 of the shelves to make all 4 sides and the bottom (crazy talented).   The top they dug up from my grandpa’s wood-shop. Something I definitely would not have been able to build by myself.  Not even on a good day.

22 March 2013

I'm Addicted {To Shoes}

I have a bit of a (self – admitted) hoarding problem when it comes to shoes.  I don’t discriminate; I love all kinds, heights & colors.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I don’t care for this latest shoe trend:

Wedge Sneakers
How the heck are you supposed to run from the fashion police in those things?!?

My closet clearly illustrates the depth of my obsession (minus sneaker wedges).  It’s probably best that I wasn't blessed with a sister…had she stolen borrowed a pair of my shoes, it wouldn't have been pretty! “Buy a pair – get rid of a pair” does not apply to shoes, sorry.

Admission:  I fell in love with a pair of Butter wedges, peep-toed glittery perfection. 

Glitter Wedges, Butter

21 March 2013

Venting [House Hunting Edition]

Everyone has those things in life that make you snowball from smiling to crying. You know the hallmarks of attraction-loathing, happiness-frustration, disappointment-reward…and usually all in the same breath. Love-hate relationships... and for me they would be golf, my adorable white ball of fur and fuzziness, Molly, and house hunting.

My husband and I moved into our house October 2011 after we got married. I had so much fun planning and searching and discovering just the perfect nest for our little family of two to grow.

Cottage Bedroom

After we got into our house (isn't it adorable!?! Yes, I do realize it is just a pic of our bedroom, but I don’t have one of the outside and I am too lazy to go take one. At least I’m honest?) I began the process of decorating, finding just the right touch for each room. I knew that we wouldn't be there forever. Shoot, I knew we wouldn't be there for more than 3 years, but I didn't realize we would outgrow our home so quickly.

20 March 2013

{Re}Purpose - From Console to Counter

I think your kitchen is one of this most important rooms in your home.  Yes, aesthetics are important, but above all is functionality.

My husband and I bought our first house two weeks after we got married. Craziness.  It's an awesome two-story colonial, I love it.  The only problem? Hello, 1980's.  It makes me want to break out in song, Ferris Bueller style, often.

Our kitchen lacked counter-space.  This was a huge problem because we both love to entertain.  You can't have everyone hanging out in the kitchen fighting over the cheese, crackers, and chips that occupy the same 6 inches of prime real estate.  We needed a kitchen island to break up the space in our kitchen and provide some much needed sanity counter-space.

After a couple weeks of searching and not finding anything in our price range that we liked -- everything was basically $1000.00+ for a 2'x6' island with the features we wanted.  This called for an imagination intervention.  Why not find a base that I loved and then move forward from there?

I scoured thrift stores and Craig's list for weeks.  Literally.  I finally found THE piece.  It was hanging out in a storage unit a couple of miles down the road -- just waiting for me!  It had everything; character, glass doors, storage, and size...

Entertainment Console