Monday, July 30, 2012

Citrus Brights

DIY necklace, Anthropologie top, Gap skinny jeans, JCrew flats, Target handbag, Bangle???

This past weekend was filled with friends and family, one of the highlights being dinner and drinks with my mom and sister on Friday night to celebrate my sister's birthday (Happy Birthday, Kris!).  The weather was a bit gloomy so I went straight for my yellow skinny jeans to brighten things up.  Ever since I bought them a few months back, I've been pairing them with neutral tops, but this time I did just the opposite.

To accessorize, I threw on my wooden bead necklace and I instantly loved the chunky beads next to the delicate fabric of the shirt.  I also love how there's just enough yellow in the necklace to tie into my pants.

I also wore a wooden bangle and carried a brown leather bag to balance out all of the brights, and I opted for a neutral ballet flat for the same reason. 

This citrus outfit proved to be perfect for a Summer night out.  Cheers! Pin It

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Touch of Whimsy

A while back I began transforming our dining room into a playroom.  This room will definitely evolve as Charley gets older so I haven't done anything too permanent in there just yet.  One change I did make though was I swapped out the light fixture (that screamed dining room) for this DIY ribbon chandelier.  When I read this post over at Young House Love I knew it would add the perfect touch of whimsy in our playroom.

I picked up a cross stitch hoop and some colorful ribbon from Michael's to get started.  I pulled colors from existing pieces in the room-like the rug and a framed picture of a stack of books I drew a couple years ago.

I basically cut the ribbon on an angle at varrying lengths, laid them out in a random pattern and hot glued one end of each ribbon to the hoop.  I attached one piece of fishing line to each side of the hoop as a way to hang the chandelier.

Before I could hang it though, I had to call in reinforcements to change the actual light fixture (I haven't quite ventured into the electrical projects).  So B.J. and his dad took down the dining room fixture and replaced it with this pendant lamp (minus the pendant) from Ikea.  Then I added a couple ceiling hooks and a clear, round bulb that looked pretty when you see it through the ribbons.  Ta-da!  A ribbon chandelier!

So playful, and just look at the pretty design it leaves on the ceiling, I love it!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Basil Pesto

The potted basil on our deck was getting out of control and needed cut back in a major way.  I knew I needed to incorporate it into a recipe as more than just a pretty garnish.  I had lots of basil to use up, and lots of basil=delicious pesto! 

I grabbed my kitchen scissors and started cutting away (here are some helpful hints on cutting herbs).

Before I made pesto for the first time I was intimidated by it, thinking it would be tricky to make.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  I love that you can play around with the ingredients, adding different things each time.  In the past I have made pea pesto, sundried tomato pesto and spinach pesto, but this time I stuck with a traditional basil pesto.  Here's a similar recipe to how I prepared mine.

The great thing about pesto is that it freezes nicely, so make a big batch, and then invite me over to help you eat it! Pin It

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bookshelf Styling

In my last post I mentioned that I'm on a mission to streamline our family room.  It's felt cluttered and I decided the accessories in the room weren't working together.  I took a look at the bookshelves that frame our fireplace and realized they weren't adding the color we needed in the room.  Here's what they looked like...

There wasn't anything particularly wrong with the items that were on the shelves (in fact, I reused many of them), but they weren't helping tie the room together in terms of color.  These shelves provide the perfect opportunity to bring color into our room, so that's what I did.  I went through my house in search of orange and turquiose colored items and this is what I came up with.

To start, I grouped books by color.

Then, I flipped through my stacks of magazines to find ones with orange and turquiose covers.

I also added some colorful books on a tilt.

I changed the items on the mantle as well.  You can see in the first couple pictures that a basket vase with white flowers and DIY vase candle holders used to fill the space.  They didn't seem to fit the style of the room so I switched them out for white ceramic pieces with pops of turquoise and orange.

I'm loving these simple changes so far.  I'll probably continue to tweak things here or there because, well, that's what I do! Pin It

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pull it Together

I'm an accessories girl, always have been, always will be.  The first things I buy when I go shopping are shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry.  Accessories put the fun into an outfit.  I find myself putting pieces together that maybe I normally wouldn't because I have an accessory that makes it work.  For example, I threw on this navy tank with a turquiose skirt, and because the beaded bracelet encompases both colors, it pulled the outfit together.

Household accessories do the same thing, but instead of pulling an outfit togther, they pull a room together.  Lately I've been feeling like something just isn't quite right in our family room.  It seems cluttered a bit (and it's not just from all the baby stuff).  I'm on a mission to make the colors work together.  The best way to do that is through accessories.  We have an orange desk and a turquiose coffee table in our family room, so I went in search of some items that encompassed both colors.  I found these pillows at Pier 1 and they perfectly integrate orange and turquoise.

Here's another pillow that I made with a fabric that does the same thing.

And then, when I brightened up this side table, I chose a piece of scrapbook paper for the top that tied orange and turquiose together as well.

So when you need to pull an outfit or a room together, think accessories.
I will be back soon with a post about restyling our bookshelves, another step in my mission to streamline our family room! Pin It

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Makeup Bag

I love reading about other people's go to beauty items to see what's out there and what I may be missing, so I thought I'd share some of my current faves.  I love a dewey look for Summer and as turning the big 3-0 quickly approaches, it takes a little more work to acheive that look.  I came across this B.B. Cream by Garnier and I'm in love.  It evens out skin tone, provides SPF protection, adds a touch of color, and even smells good!

My next go to items are all from Bare Minerals.  First up, Summer Bisque.  This is basically a concealer, but you can use it all of your face if you wanted to.  (I also use Benefit's Bo-ing concealer when I need more coverage).

I also love Bare Minerals' Warmth bronzer for a sun kissed look and Pure Radiance for a shimmery glow.  I apply both with the Soft Focus Face Brush, the most amazingly soft brush your face will ever feel.

So those are a few items you can find in my makeup bag this Summer.  Feel free to share any of your go to faves, I'd love to hear them! Pin It

Monday, July 16, 2012

Entryway Table

This chest of drawers belonged to my niece and before that I believe it belonged to my aunt.  If I remember correctly it was a light blue color and then painted pink, white and purple for my niece.  And that's when I got it.  For a while it sat in our basement, not really sure where it would make its debut.  Then I thought, "could it be an entryway table?"  I moved it there thinking it wouldn't fit, the door wouldn't open and it would look out of place.  I mean, a chest of drawers in your entryway?  Buuuut, I loved it!  So I painted it a dark charcoal color and switched out the hardware.  I wish I had a before picture to show you but this is project I did last year and I didn't document the process. 

I did, however, come across a (blurry) picture of what the space looked like sans entry table...boring!

Much more inviting now, don't ya think?

I dressed the top of the chest with some flowers, a candle, a ceramic jar and a silver tray for guests to toss their keys.  I love how much storage all of the drawers provide-I tuck all sorts of things in them, but mostly extra candles.   This chest of drawers has proven to be a perfect entryway table!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Backyard Spruce Up

Our backyard has basically become Libby's playground where she thinks everything belongs to her.  And she's quite the gardener actually.  She trims bushes and digs up plants, isn't that nice of her?!  Hopefully you can sense my sarcasm.  We haven't done much to the backyard in terms of landscaping because everything we do ends up destroyed by our puppy.

Here's Libby when she was a tiny pup, already owning the backyard.
Recently we added some leftover invisible fence flags around one area in hopes of keeping her out.  So far so good so we decided it was safe to spruce it up a bit.  Here's what the area looked like in the process of me ripping out some day lillies and weeds.

Once the space was cleared out we got to work leveling an area to lay some pavers.  Our plan was to make a small patio(ish) to set our bistro table and some potted flowers.  There wasn't much rhyme or reason to our process so if you are looking for a serious tutorial on a DIY paver patio you might want to check out this post over at Young House Love.  We laid one paver at a time and eye-balled it to see if it was level with the one next to it.  If it wasn't, we would add some sand or dig out some dirt depending on if it needed to go lower or higher.  It seemed to work for us because this space is mostly just for show-it's not a real patio that will get a lot of use. 

Once all 16 pavers were laid we spread sand on top of them to fill in the cracks.

The next step in our backyard spruce up was to give this bistro table some color.  It had been sitting outside for quite some time and it definitely showed.

I gave it a good sanding and then primed it using a spray primer by Valspar.  Then I used Valspar's Peacock Blue spray paint for the color.  After a few thin coats, I left it outside to dry, and then I sprayed it with Krylon's Clear Polyurethane to protect it from the outside elements. 

Once the bistro table was good and dry, it made it's way to the patio to get fancied up with some cushions and a lantern .

Finally, we planted a mini spruce tree, a few boxwoods and some annuals for color to complete our new space.

Now, who wants to join me at the bistro table for a glass of wine?! Pin It