Friday Randoms

Another day, another week, another month. Every time I stop and realize that it’s Friday, I’m amazed at how fast the week went. And then I realize that I haven’t even blogged anything or done anything that could fill out a complete blog post.

Hence, I’m trying something new here. Friday randoms, where I stop and look around and groan at our slowpoke process at making this house our home. Here goes!

The first thing I’m going to do after I finish this blog post is to order this pendant light for our living room:

Oversized Equator Pendant light cb2

I am so excited! I will have to put away a few months’ of spending money to get this, but I know it will take our living room to the next level. I’ve been looking for the perfect light fixture for that room since I wrote this post.

I’m still plugging away on the laundry cabinets… well, I should be honest and say that I’ve abandoned the project for two weeks now. I keep on saying, “It’s too late into the day now, I will do it tomorrow, I WILL!” and then I don’t. It’s the last lap around the track, but when you’ve run 1,000 miles, the last lap is the hardest.

laundry cabinet doors

I will finish it this weekend. I will. I WILL.

After all, the cabinet frames have been completed since April 11.

painted cabinet boxes laundry room

Poor, patient, and lonely cabinet boxes. I’m sorry, guys. You’ll be reunited with your beloved doors soon.

Remember the art I want to work on for our master bedroom? I have several large pieces of plywood in the garage waiting for me to get started on it, but I wanted to experiment on a small piece to make sure that it will look good. So far, I’ve sanded it, added wood filler, and primed it on one side. Next, I will add gesso on both sides and see if the primer is really necessary.

plywood art experiment 1

Once that little project is done, I will update you all and hopefully have a tutorial on how to do DIY art on plywood!

Back to the laundry room – we haven’t put up the art that I made on the wall because we wanted to experiment with templates first and see what layout would look the best. I originally thought we would have the four frames in a grid (two on top, two at bottom), but it didn’t look right with our short ceilings and the second row was too close to the floor. We realized that we were planning to remove the door anyway (to bring in more light to the game room), so we could use the whole wall and line up the frames, side by side.

templates for frames in laundry room

Looks great! We will put them up this weekend. I hope. Sometimes weekends have a way of fooling you on Fridays into thinking that it’ll be long, productive, and full of events. And then on Sunday night, you look up from your laptop when you’re sitting on the sofa and realize you’ve done nothing all weekend. No? Just me? Okay.

Oh, we used wrapping paper to serve as our templates to determine the location of our frames. It worked very well!

Our girl Janella loves strawberries. At the end of a strawberry eating session, she looks like Dexter, according to Nick.

janella loves strawberries

Janella is working on her crawling. She’s not there yet, but she definitely can move forward towards something she wants. However, you need to put the right thing to entice her into crawling/lunging forward. Put a toy in front of her, she will give you a blank look. But if you use a necklace, a working phone (somehow she knows the blackberry I give her is broken), a camera, or a leather purse, you’ll see her move with determination.

I found some redness on her knees, so I told Nick we needed to buy baby legs. But I read in this fun book that I could just cut up some old socks and put them on her legs. I tried that with a pair of argyle socks that I never wear and they look mighty cute on her legs!

baby legs from cut up socks

I’m gonna cut up more socks now. It takes 3 seconds to do – my favorite kind of DIY project.

Oh, and do you see that cute white/gray/yellow pillow in the photo above? Nick gave that to me for my 30th birthday. Love it.

Last AND least, I’m eating this greek dip right now. It’s really good and aside from lots of chopping, it’s ultra easy to make. I mean, if I can make it while entertaining a watermelon-eating baby, anybody can make it.

making greek dip

The end. I wish you all a great and productive (or lazy, that’s good, too) weekend.

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Our Presents to Our House

I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas! Wow, Christmas feels like ages ago already.

The following are various items that we got for the house with Christmas gift money or gifts that Nick gave me. He knows I like house stuff. I wonder how he knows…

First up is this really cool green clay pot that we found at Crate and Barrel Outlet.

It was marked down significantly and we had to sign a “as-is” form to make the purchase. It was a little bit weird – it’s not like a TV or anything – but okay. We love how it looks in our yet-to-be-styled Expedit in the game room.

I’ve been looking for a cute pair of salt and pepper shakers and we found this colorful pair at C&B Outlet.

Isn’t that so cheery? And as a bonus, all the colors on these shakers can be found throughout our home!

I grabbed these three golden candle holders just for fun. They were on mega-sale for only $1.95 each.

These cuties could live in any room in our house. I haven’t really found a place for them yet, but they’re happily hanging out in our tv set for now.

I get cold easily, so I love to have blankets around the living room. We grabbed two cute throws at IKEA and I also picked up a new white + gold pillow cover at Pottery Barn Outlet (the one on the right – this pillow is actually from West Elm, which is owned by Pottery Barn).

We also got two new pillow covers (also West Elm at Pottery Barn Outlet) for our game room.

Oh, that owl toy? Janella thought it would add some color.

Nick sweetly gave me a copy of Design*Sponge At Home. I know that everyone has a copy already, but I am so excited to read every single word in this book.

And the cover is SO pretty. My photo-taking skills, on the other hand, isn’t so pretty. Sorry for the blurriness!

Nick also gave me this great poster for the kitchen – I love it!! I first read about it at Door Sixteen and pinned it immediately. You can see the print better if you click over to the online shop.

I can’t wait to hang it up, but unfortunately the mat in the IKEA frame that we got has a too-small opening. I called Hobby Lobby and asked if they could cut it a little bigger for me, but they said no. Boo. Nick says he can cut it in a straight line… hope that works out. If not, new mat. From the scrooges at Hobby Lobby, probably.

We had a such hard time looking for lamps for our bedroom nightstands, because they only have 10 inches of surface space… until we found this cute lamp at IKEA for only 20 bucks. We grabbed two of them.

It’s simple, small, and gives off great light. The shade isn’t that great, but I’m thinking I want to hack it and replace the pleated fabric with a great printed fabric. A project for a rainy day. But the simple shade is growing on us, so we might just leave it as is.

The size works perfectly with our headboard as well. It’s weird how much I love these basic lamps.

We’re slowly collecting art to create a gallery art wall for our game room. Nick loved this print from IKEA and grabbed it.

I like it because it reminds me of the book The Pillars of the Earth. In our first year of dating, Nick and I each got a copy of the book and read it together during Christmas break away from each other. When I read the book, I felt like I was with him, even though he was in Pennsylvania and I in Florida. It was bookwormly romantic. We plan to do that again soon with The Help. But in the same house.

Nick’s 2012 resolution is to read 52 books – around 4 books per month. My resolution is to post on this blog at least three times a week. I’ve already failed this week (someone didn’t have great naps this week), but there’s always next week to make up!

Back to the point. I didn’t get enough sleep this week, my apologizes for all the tangents.

Our bedroom colors are purple and gray and teal, but we have a lot of gray and not much else. I was trying to figure out what we should do for window treatments until I saw this photo at everything LEB:

That was it – simple purple curtains would be perfect. With a stenciled roller shade.

When we were at IKEA, I saw these curtains but in a deep eggplant shade.

I can’t wait to hang them up. In February. We need to keep our focus on the laundry room. One of our January resolutions is to finish the laundry room – at least, to make it functional.

Wow, our purchases are all over the place. That’s the thing with budget decorating – you gotta go with what’s available for the right price, right now. But the journey is a lot of fun. Thanks for joining along the ride.

Aren’t I a bit sappy today? Yes, maybe. But I’m a mom now. Moms are sappy.

West Elm-Inspired DIY Ideas

West Elm is officially my favorite store. They just get better and better with each new season! I love their catalogs, too – the way they include non-catalog items as well as Etsy finds makes every page a delight to look at.

I recently received their latest catalog and spent a whole airplane ride (it was a short flight) just looking at the pictures and thinking about what items would work in my house. And I also got a lot of inspiration for future DIY projects!

via

My mom worked as an art teacher when she lived in Florida and she usually made the costumes and decorations for school plays and pageant competitions. During my sophomore (or junior?) year, my class gave a play about dragons (our school mascot). My character was a dragon who acted like Barney. My mom made a paper mache dragon head and I wore it like a mask. She did an awesome job and I wish I could have kept one of the masks she made for the play.

So, when I saw this white paper mache animal bust, I thought that it would be a fun project. Start with a ball of some kind, maybe a syrofoam ball, then mold newspaper around it using masking tape until it resembles an animal head. Attach it to a piece of wood and form the neck and the ears. Make the horns out of toilet paper tubes and add pipe cleaners to look like ridges. Paper mache it all and spray it a glossy white. It could be awesome or a hot mess, depending on my paper mache skills. If worse comes to worst, it would still be fun to do!

talk

There are loads and loads of sunburst DIYs out there in blogland, most of them good. However, this cool twig mirror is sightly different but would be as easy to DIY. And I could find everything at Hobby Lobby. Grab a mirror, a couple of fake twigs, hot glue everything on just so, and get a cute twig mirror as a result! If I could think of a good spot for this in my house, I’ll be sure to do it. A easy project!

talk

I have so many white pillows waiting in a closet for their makeovers. We bought a lot of them for our wedding reception for the benches at our outdoor loft/bar. I’m always looking for ideas of how we can use them. This is a cute and simple idea! I have so many buttons saved up for no reason. But I wouldn’t actually sew the buttons on the pillow – I would just thread string in the buttons to make them look sewn on, and then glue them to the pillow. Think that’d work?

talk

Another leftover from our wedding reception is all the glass vases we have. I plan to put paint in them and swirl them around to give them some color. This sweet little vase with the leaves gave me an idea – after putting paint in a vase, I could paint on the outside with glass paint to add simple designs like this one.

via

We have a total of three builder bathroom mirrors (two huge, one humongous) that we plan to re-purpose into pretty mirrors to reflect around more light, since our house doesn’t have that many windows. I’ve seen this mirror at West Elm before, but it never occurred to me that I could DIY this with our bathroom mirrors. Get thin trim, paint it black, glue it to the mirror, add little mirror squares from Hobby Lobby, and then finish it with some more painted trim.

I just bought some materials for one of these projects and we hope to get started on it soon. Can you guess which project we’ll be doing?

It’s so pretty… Nursery Curtain Fabric Found!

When mom was here, we decided to go fabric shopping to try to find the perfect fabric for curtains for the nursery.

I had found a fabric that I loved online, as seen from my basic moodboard, but I have a silly aversion to buying unseen fabric online. I wanted to see what was out there first before ordering the fabric.

And good thing I did, because we found the perfect fabric.**

I just love it – it has all the colors of the nursery (orange, green, blue) and is cheerful without being too childish. I’m very indecisive when it comes to fabric… actually, I’m indecisive about everything in life, period. How do I ever get anything done? I should have been born a Libra.

I have no idea what the “real” name of the fabric is. We found this at Interior Fabrics in Austin and they assign weird names to the fabrics instead of using their real names. I don’t know why they do that. This was labeled “DARWIL”, which is an ugly name for this fabric. I would have called it… ORANGEY AWESOMEIL.

Then we had to think about another fabric that would work with this one and act as the upholstery for the sofa bed I’m planning on making. We weren’t sure whether to go with the blue suede or the green suede:

Then mom reminded me that the walls of the nursery are light gray with a bluish tint to them. Good point, that. So we went with the green and I think it is the right decision!

Here’s a horrible mock-up of what I visualize for the nursery:


You get the idea! I hope?

Next up is to cut up the fabric (I am scared) and DIY some curtains. I plan to follow this tutorial because I am too inept to use my sewing machine on this beautiful fabric.

** I will NOT apologize for the bad iPhone pictures, because I begged mom to remember to bring her iPhone AT LEAST ONCE when we went out shopping and she FINALLY remembered to bring it with her that day. I need a iPhone someday soon… but I promised Nick he would get his first, because his Blackberry is all cracked and sad. However, mine is now missing its cursor ball and is sad as well. But a promise is a promise. Thanks, Mom, for finally remembering to bring your iPhone and making this blog post possible! **

How To Snag Overly Big Lamps at Home Goods

1. On your way to check out the piles of baby stuff at Buy Buy Baby, stop by Home Goods to check out the… goods.

2. Be obsessed with finding the perfect lamps/sconces for your bedroom and go straight to the lamps area.

3. Find great lamps for $39.99 each and consider paint spraying them black. Go ahead and buy them and hope they look good in your bedroom.

4. Set them on your nightstands the minute second you get home.

5. Stand and stare at them (a la Emily Henderson) for more than several minutes.

6. Sadly mutter to your husband that you think they might be too big. Listen to him disagree weakly.

7. Decide you’ll give them a few days to prove themselves worthy.

8. Tuck yourself in bed that night and flinch when the lights shine brightly in your eyes as you chat with your husband.

9. Sigh. Look at your husband as he comes to the realization that they are indeed too big. Sigh again.

10. Decide to return them. Procrastinate until the second to last possible day that you’re able to return them.

lights edited

They don’t look too big in the picture, but in person, they just overshadow the headboard of the bed and the nightstands. Oh well. I’m sad to have to return them, but I’m happy to announce that Nick is finally on board with the desk lamp/sconce look for our bedroom. Hopefully we find the perfect pair for cheap somewhere soon or settle for one from our previous search (see this post).

But no trip to Home Goods is a complete and total fail. I love these huge outdoor pillows that will live happily in our nursery.

pillows edited

And how do you like this cute yellow birdcage thingy?

birdcage2 edited

It reminds me of this birdcage from Crate & Barrel, but at 1/3 of the cost.

Okay, fine, they don’t look similar at all. But – both are yellow. Both are birdcage-ish. And ours is much cheaper. So, let me be happy, a’ight?

Best off-the-point news of the day: THREE WEEKS ‘TILL SUMMER VACATION!

Lights Galore

We finally went on our bathroom light hunt last Saturday and it was successful! It was so successful that I was so worn out and slept all the way home from the stores. Sorry, Nick. In my defense, we also went thrifting after the three lighting stores – no, no that’s a lousy defense. I’m just a wimp.

First, we went to this cool little lamp store in downtown Austin, Tipler’s Lamp Shop. They had a great mixture of antique lights with modern lights and I loved everything in there, especially all the big ceiling pendants. I didn’t take any pictures because the workers there seemed very aloof and didn’t greet us, and I always take that as “You don’t look rich enough to shop here, so we aren’t wasting our time..” and I didn’t feel right taking pictures. Oh well. The lights there were tad out of our budget, so they might have been right in ignoring us.

Our second stop was Lighting, Inc. It’s a bigger store that carries all types of lightings, mostly traditional but with a nice selection of more modern light fixtures. We checked out the bathroom lights and saw this beautiful thing.

The “beautiful thing” I speak of is not the light itself, but the big yellow tag that says Special Sale Price! That three-bulb light was down from around $150 (?) to $45. Awesome – and we even liked the light, so it was perfect and made our decision easy. Otherwise it would have been a pain in the neck deciding which light to pick.

Some other favorites of ours that we’ll definitely consider for the other bathrooms in our house:

Look at the top of the photo – the ones with the cute shades and the crystal bottoms. I love them. I want them for our master bathroom! Someday. With dark purple walls, white marble countertops, shiny mirrors, light gray vanity… oh yeahhh.

This one was a bit expensive, but we loved the dark, moody look of them –

In the right bathroom, they would be perfect.

I also loved the industrial look of this light – (top row)

Maybe not in this house, though.

After we bought the light, we decided to go ahead and check out our third lighting store – Lights Fantastic. I am glad we did! That store is… well, fantastic. The light fixtures are very modern and cool and the prices cannot be beat. We saw some lights that were also available at the other lighting stores, but they were cheaper here.

We only saw one bathroom light that we liked in this store, though – after you’ve seen a number of bathroom lights, you get bored easily. We liked this one and will consider it for our 2nd floor bathroom, if we feel like it.

There were too many goodies around the store to focus only on the bathroom lights. Nick fell in love with this lamp and said, “We must buy this!” I said, “Check the price.” I’ve seen this around blogland and just knew it would be an unfriendly price.

Over a thousand bucks. Yeah… moving on. Nick demands an overhang lamp for our sectional sofa, though, so I will be stalking Craig’s List for that.

Saw some lights we might consider for our stairway:

And some contenders for our living room ceiling light:


(this one, above, is another form of boob light according to Nick. he’s right… look closely)

A simpler pendant:


This dazzling ceiling light grabbed Nick’s attention.

It is way too fancy for our living room, of course, but this could be awesome in a closet, maybe?? A bedroom would be another great place for this glittering thing.

You know we need lamps for our living room and we really liked this lamp – it comes in different colors. We saw, in two separate stores, a light blue one, an orange one, a teal one, and this gray one. Only if it was 50 bucks cheaper.

Enough about lights for now. Our little bathroom light is installed right now and we are happy! We’ve also visited three light places in Austin and are adding them to our home decor places to frequent, so we are happy! This post is finally over, and I’m happy!