Pillow Mood Board

So we have these couches…IMG_1123

We bought them when we were first married and they’ve served us well. They’re just not really the style I’m going for. Despite they’re flaws in the “beauty” department, they do have a few amazing qualities. They’re comfy, sturdy, and they’re really good quality. In fact, they just WON’T die! Their worst feature? Plain and simple. I would love something drool worthy, and these just aren’t making that happen.

These couches and I have a love hate relationship. I look at them and think, “Oh man we could really do so much better than these”, but then I sit on them and think, “these couches are straight from heaven and I am never standing up again as long as I live!” It’s a serious problem! I’d love to buy new couches, but until these ones die, It’s just not going to happen.

Since these couches aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon, I decided I WILL make them work, and new pillows ARE GOING to make that happen! I hope… To help me narrow down my options, because lets face it, there’s about a million AWESOME pillows/fabrics out there, I created a mood board.

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1: Polka Dot Pillow, Cushion Cut Decor 

2: Lattice Pillow, Target

 3: Embroidered Floral Pillow, Pottery Barn

 4: Honeycomb Pillow, West Elm 

5: Oxen Pillow, Latter Day Home

 6: Circlet Pillow, West Elm 

7: Stamped Mini Dot Pillow, West Elm

I love a good geometric pattern so some of these pillows were a no brainer for me. A few others were a little out of the box, but I’m hoping they’ll be just the pop the living room needs.

What do you think? Am I still going to want new couches?

Yeah…

Probably.

It’s just not going to happen.

Oh well.

Sigh…

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Low Cost Revamp

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Recently I’ve been working with my friend Melissa on a few projects. I already showed you how we organized a portion of her kitchen. (If you missed it click here.) A few of the areas she wanted to work on involved simply rearranging decor. She knew she wanted a change, but she didn’t want to break the bank for it. I think we can ALL relate.

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This is where we started…

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…and this is where we ended up.

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She had a cute little gallery wall of family pictures in a small hallway which made the wall seem overrun with decor. We decided to switch the pictures to the wall above the piano. The wall is much bigger there and it fits the scale of them better. In addition to a new layout, we needed to make the frames more cohesive and have them carry their weight. A few of them had very thin frames that were hard to see from a distance. We decided to ditch those and go shopping, around her house that is. We gathered a few unused frames from a closet that fit the bill, but all of the them had completely different finishes. I’m all for miss-matched things when it works, but in this case it didn’t, so we bought a can of  white spray paint for $5 and remedied the problem.
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By simply shopping around Melissa’s house, and rearranging things from one wall to another, we filled this somewhat empty wall with pictures of her adorable family. Sometimes it’s as easy as moving a few pictures!

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Put it on the wall.

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For Christmas last year the Mr. got a bigger, fancier, new fangled TV. He was all excited about his new gadget, but sadly I was more excited about the fact that we could put the old TV in our room.
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Since last Christmas this little gem has been waiting, oh so patiently, to be mounted on the wall. I’ve been waiting, not so patiently, to actually make this wall pretty! I’m happy to say I finally convinced Mike to mount this thing! The process is really so easy. It’s just a 2 person job. We bought an inexpensive mount off of Amazon. There’s about a gagillion to choose from, and it depends on your tv, so find the mount that works for you. I’m pretty confident the process of hanging them all is all about the same.

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 We started by finding the studs in the wall with the stud finder (please no cheesy jokes from the 2 men that actually read this).  We placed the mount on the wall where we wanted it, using the handy built in level, and marked where the screws were with a pencil.

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 The screws for our mount were particularly beefy so we drilled a pilot hole for them to go through so they wouldn’t split the stud. Once the holes were drilled we attached the mount to the wall.

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At this point all we had to do was attach the remaining mount pieces to the tv and hang it up.

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TADA!

Now about those cords….

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My Dad gave me this extra piece of cord cover that he had sitting around. This stuff is awesome!! It comes in different sizes, and there’s elbows and connectors you can buy to make it go just about anywhere!

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I started by measuring the length I needed, cut it to size, and painted it the same color as the walls.

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Once it was dry, I used a level to make sure I had it placed perfectly before attaching it to the wall. I drew a faint line next to the cord cover to mark where it goes.

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I pulled the strip off the back,  lined it up next to the pencil line, and stuck it to the wall. After that it was just a matter of shoving the cords in.

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*Look closely in this one and you can see my little photo bomber.

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This is definitely one of those times where I was wondering, “why in the world did we wait so long to do this?” What a difference!

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Thoughts on organizing and keeping things tidy.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most since starting this little blog adventure of mine is that my friends have started to ask me to work on their projects with them and add my 2 cents. I love a project, and I love spending time with other adults (I’m sure some of you can relate), so it’s win win for me. Recently I’ve been helping my friend Melissa de-clutter and organize her house.

IMG_1021IMG_1024This is what we started with. This little section of her kitchen sits tucked away, around a little corner, from the rest of the kitchen. It’s become the catch all for EVERYTHING!!!! The display cabinet, while not cluttered, wasn’t being used to it’s full potential. Obviously before we could do any actual organizing we had to clean things out. At times Melissa seemed overwhelmed by the process so I put together a list of things for her to think about as we cleaned:

  1. Do I NEED this?
  2. Has this been used in 3 months?
  3. Will this be used within 3 months?
  4. Do I have more than one of the same item?
  5. If yes to #4, do I NEED more than one of the same item?
  6. Would I notice this item missing if it were gone?
  7. Do I have a reasonable place to store this item long term?
  8. Is this item worth the hassle of storing for the amount this item gets used?
  9. Could I replace this item for under $10 if I NEEDED it?
  10. Am I keeping things for the sake of having things?
  11. Is it broken?
  12. If it’s broken will I honestly ever get around to fixing it?
  13. Could I sell this?

I find myself thinking these same questions as I clean stuff out. It’s SO easy to be overloaded with “stuff” when you have kids, and unless you’re cleaning non stop, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of it.

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Once we got through the hard part of de-junking, we had to give everything a proper home. I decided (ok, WE decided. This is Melissa’s house after all) to fill the display cabinet top to bottom with baskets to give everything an organized place to live, and to also make it visually appealing. Those baskets could be a mess, but you’d never know it until you pulled them out. FYI: they are not a mess! They are very organized. Good work Melissa!!!

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To take the organization one step further we added chalkboard labels to each basket. I purchased these at Michael’s for 39 cents a piece!! We simple wrote on them with chalkboard marker and hot glued them on. SO EASY!!

IMG_1030As a preemptive strike, we added a basket in the corner of the counter for that random every day stuff. I’ve found with myself If I have a designated place to put that catch all stuff, that you can’t put away THAT second, my house tends to stay more organized. I also purposely leave open spots while putting things away for new things that I know I’ll eventually have. I have 2 kids! It’s GOING to happen! With that in mind, we left one basket completely empty for future storage that we all know she’ll need. We also added a paper organizer to the right of the display cabinets for all the papers she needs to file, but can’t get to that second. The canisters are filled with paper clips, safety pins, rubberbands…things like that.

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I love to see the transformation of a finished project. Especially when that project involves cleaning stuff out! Most of all I love being able to step in when my friends need my freakish cleaning/organization skills! It makes me happy to see them happy, and I love getting to know my friends even better by spending time with them! Thanks for enlisting me to help Melissa!

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Ellie gets the credit for this one.

Everyone take a good look at this cute, loveable, funny, sweet mischievous, little girl.

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She seems harmless, right? Think again! Yesterday my little Ellie attempted to follow me into the garage. I was only going out there for 1 second to grab some bags out of the car. Every time I let her out with me she ends up running down the street, or doing something equally obnoxious. I decided, “Ellie, you can sit inside for literally 1 second unattended while I get this stuff out of the car”. You see where this is going don’t you…

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In an attempt to open the door and follow me, SHE LOCKED ME OUT! She twisted the lock on the door knob and I COULD NOT get her to twist it back. Of course I had already placed my keys and my phone in the house. Not that the keys would have done any good. The other 2 doors have door guard locks on them, and we don’t even own a key for the door that enters from the garage. I was racking my brain to figure out how I could get in. Long story short I happened across an unlocked window, and 45 minutes later I was in. (Thank you Melissa for helping). Once I got inside I realized we needed to do something about this door. Hello! We don’t even have a key for it.
IMG_1010I decided my best defense against getting locked out again was to install a keypad lock system for the deadbolt and to add a hallway doorknob WITHOUT a lock at all. I went with this keypad lock because of price. There are others out there that are less bulky, but this door leads from the laundry room into the garage. I was okay with it being a little bulkier. I simply followed the instructions and 20 minutes later we were good to go. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

So, thanks to a certain little Miss, we have an upgraded lock and a fool proof way to NOT get locked out of the house. Aren’t 2 year olds fun?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I feel like I’ve been a little MIA lately, but I’ve been busy celebrating Ellie’s 2nd Birthday…

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…and getting Anna prepared for kindergarten. I know, I know. Excuses!

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I finally had enough time to finish a post I started a week ago. Oi! Motherhood is time consuming.

IMG_0981We’ve lived in our house for a little over 2 yrs and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I actually put something on the wall above our bed. Sometimes I wonder why it’s taken me so long to do the simplest things.I purchased this mirror at Target for $39.99. It was originally purchased for Dawn’s room, but we decided to go another direction. “Oh darn. I guess I’ll have to keep it.”

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I love the way it looks above our bed. It finally gives you something to look at besides I big old plain wall. I’m not stopping there though! I have even big plans for this wall. I’ve been tossing around a few options since the day we moved in. Seriously, no joke, since THE DAY we moved in. As you can see, I have yet to act on any of those plans. I’m hoping to remedy that very soon.

Here’s a few options I’ve been considering:

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I love the idea of board and batten, but because of our slanted ceiling line, I like the idea of having it stop 2/3 of the way up the wall. It would make the whole project so much easier.

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I also love, love, LOVE the look of having board and batten cover the entire wall. This was my front runner for over a year, but after doing a few other projects, and realizing how bowed our walls are, I’m worried it will be a complete nightmare to accomplish.1012-bedroom-painted-wood-wall-lAs of today, this is our winner! Mike and I both love the look of a planked wall. Originally I was thinking white washed but I sort of like the idea of having it painted a color. Time will tell, and as always, I’ll let you know what happens.

I’d love to know what you’d do. Would you pick board and batten 2/3 way up, board and batten over the entire wall, or planks? Weigh in.

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