Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet Oliver!

Or as Charley calls him…Oviler. 


Baby Smallwood arrived on March 17th, hence the crickets that have been chirping on the blog.  We were so surprised when the doctor said, “It’s a boy!”  B.J. and I were convinced we were having another girl but our St. Patrick’s Day good luck charm is a sweet little boy named Oliver.  We couldn’t be more in love.


Charley is already an incredible big sister and she is adjusting so well.  We love being a family of four (five including Libby Pup)!



Obviously this little guy requires a lot of my attention so things will be a little sparse around here.  Baby trumps blog.  However, I was in super project mode before Oliver made his grand entrance so when I have a spare minute or two I just might blog about it. 

Okay, I’m off to cuddle with my baby boy.


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Friday, March 14, 2014

I Love: Meaningful Artwork

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve purchased plenty of prints or canvas art pieces from places like Ikea or Target and I’ll continue to do so if/when I find things I like.  But there’s just something special about hanging art on your wall that is meaningful in some way.  Whether you made it yourself or found it at a random antique shop, I love art that is unique to you. 
A few months ago B.J. and our great friend Ben (of Ben Elsass Photography), went downtown Cincinnati to capture some photos of Great American Ballpark and the surrounding area.  B.J. was hoping he’d take some decent photos that he could use in our basement.  Mission accomplished.  There are tons of great shots to choose from.  In fact, when I was looking through the collection, I found a few that I’d love to hang in our main living space and possibly our office. 
I already have plans for this one.  It will eventually hang in our family room.  I love the red and hope to incorporate that color into more of our home.
I’m thinking this one for our office.  Again, I love the red.
Reds_BJ-14[1] Reds_BJ-25[1] Reds_BJ-8[1]
I don’t necessarily have plans for the last few photos, I just think they’re really fun.  Added bonus, they were all taken by my husband.  (Pop on over to Ben's blog HERE to see lots more incredible shots from their day downtown!)
If you’re wondering, Baby Smallwood is still nice and cozy in my belly.  That’s why I’m posting about meaningful artwork instead of cuddling with our precious newborn.  Any day now, right?!  Happy Friday!
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Freshening Up the Nursery

Considering it’s my due date today and Baby Smallwood is in no hurry to make his or her grand entrance (I blame the snow), it’s only appropriate that I make today’s post about the nursery.  Apparently I have baby on the brain.
The nursery is pretty much identical to the way it looked when it belonged to Charley.  (You can read about her nursery HERE).  I couldn’t justify completely redecorating for the second baby when it was gender neutral and only two years old.  Plus, I still love it.  I would be lying if I hadn’t thought about how I’d decorate a nursery this time around.  It would have been fun and things would look different just because. That’s the fun of decorating.  Instead of creating a whole new space for this baby, I chose to make some slight changes here and there to freshen things up a bit.
One slight change I made was updating the existing table lamp with some yarn, ribbon and my hot glue gun (more on that in a different post).  It’s a subtle change but sometimes that’s all it takes.
I added this oval mirror above the changing table that I just found at a thrift shop for five dollars.  I primed and painted it because it used to look like this…
After all, it was only five bucks.
Finally, I hung a new bird print that I picked up randomly at Ikea.  This wall space used to be occupied by three monogram C’s for Charley.  Those made the move to her big girl room so something needed to be hung in their place.  When I bought this print it was more as a quick space filler, but it actually fits perfectly in here with the colors and I really love it.  Plus, the birds mimic the ones on the mobile above the crib which is always fun.
That’s it.  Just a few minor tweaks to keep it fresh. 
What’s not pictured in this post is my hospital bag that is packed and READY TO GO!  I’m so ready to go.  I’ll even prove it by sharing this gem of a picture with you before I say good-bye.  You’re welcome.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Painted Crates

painted crates

Charley’s been in her big girl room for over two months now so we’re starting to get a good idea of how the space is used.  Besides for sleeping of course.  When we’re upstairs she does like to play in her room, so I wanted to create some more toy storage.  I had a gift card to Michael’s so I picked up two wood crates and a few acrylic paints.


I started by painting the rim of each crate bright pink.  Then I drew a design on the top of each one and painted it in.  There wasn’t a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it.  Mostly just trial and error until I liked the design and color scheme.


As for the toy boxes, they’re from Target and cost around five dollars each.  They have lids which is nice but I chose not to use them for Charley.  Right now the crates only hold a couple boxes of toys but I plan to use the tops to hold things as well.  In fact, since this picture was taken we’ve added her xylophone to the top of the long crate.  You know, so she can play her jams as she calls them.


I like how the crates fit perfectly underneath the window and in between the curtain panels.  Like they were just meant for this space. 


Eventually there will be a chair sitting in that empty corner next to the crates.  We just have to wait until Charley’s birthday in a couple weeks!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

I Love: White Rustic Living Rooms

I’ve been really drawn to bright white rooms lately.  That’s probably why I painted Charley’s room white and added lots of color with fabric, rugs and artwork.  Our family room is a very light, cool gray, which I also love.  However, it’s very color specific when it comes to accessories and accents.  Yellow and turquoise.  I’m definitely not over those colors.  I still like the combo for sure.  I just think I’d like to make some slight tweaks to create a more neutral space where I can add a wider variety of color.  I feel a little boxed in by the specific color palette that’s currently happening.
Here are some white living rooms with a rustic vibe that I love at the moment.
rug, table, etc
leather sofa, midcentury coffee table
nuetral artwork, coffee table
I’m not planning a family room makeover by any means (you can breathe now, B.J.).  You just might notice me neutralizing a few things here and there or adding artwork or pillows that encompass more colors than just yellow and turquoise.  Oh, and this won’t be happening any time soon.  It’s really just on my “wishful thinking” list.  My first priority is delivering this baby.  soon.  like it seriously better happen soon. 
Happy Friday!
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

West Elm Rug Inspired Artwork

While browsing last month’s West Elm catalog, I came across the Torres Wool Kilim Rug and I instantly loved it.  I knew it wouldn’t make an appearance in my house with the price tag of $799, so instead I tore the image out of the catalog for future inspiration.
I was smack in the middle of cleaning up my work/craft space in office when I opened the closet and saw the catalog page hanging on the bulletin board.  Then I glanced up and saw leftover drop cloth fabric from THIS wall hanging project.  I should have continued cleaning my house and prepping for Baby Smallwood’s quickly approaching arrival, but instead, I grabbed the drop cloth and some paint to start this project.  Crafting trumps cleaning.
I had the idea of using the edge of a scrap piece of wood to stamp a design similar to the one on the West Elm rug.  I measured and cut a piece of the drop cloth to fit inside an empty white frame that wasn’t being used. 
I painted the side of the wood and started stamping.  I wasn’t being particular about making sure the design was symmetrical, which is weird for me because I typically like things balanced. 
In the end, my drop cloth art looked like this.
After it dried I attached it to the lip of the frame using hot glue and hung it on the family room gallery wall. I love the texture so it worked out perfectly that there isn’t glass for this frame.
I took down a couple things to make room for this new DIY artwork.  Even the slightest change helps keep things fresh for me.  Which is good, because otherwise I might be rearranging the furniture on a weekly basis…
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Placemat Headboard

You read that correctly.  I made a faux headboard for our faux daybed out of placemats.  It only seemed appropriate, really.
placemat headboard
While looking for some kitchen accessories for Charley’s play kitchen at Ikea, I came across these black and white striped placemats.  I was drawn to the stripes because, well, I love me some stripes.  Instantly I thought about using them to give our pallet daybed the look of a headboard.  I bought ten of them for 1.49 a piece.  Not a bad price for a headboard, even if it is fake.
The hanging process was super simple.  I started by measuring where the center of the bed would be and hung the two center placemats with tape, making sure they were level.  Then I worked my way outward on both sides.  Once I had them hung with tape I snapped a few pics to make sure I liked it.  Finally, I hammered a small nail into each corner when it came time to hang them for real.
With all the stripes up top I decided to get rid of the colorful striped rug that was laying in front of the bed.  I didn’t know there could be such a thing as two many stripes, but it turns out, there can be.  Mostly because they were all horizontal and way too redundant. 
On a whim I hung the empty frame with pictures of various cities around the world that used to hang in the old guest room.  I also hung paper garland from Anthropolgie, just because I love it.  I’m not sure if it will stay like this because the office is so up in the air right now.  I have some ideas but not a super clear vision of how this space will look.  Luckily, I haven’t spent money on anything that won’t be staying.  I’ve basically been digging around our house and using what we have on hand just to start the process.
Perhaps I’ll hop on Pinterest for some office decor inspiration.
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