Thursday, January 24, 2013

10 years of marriage, but it feels like...

...the first day we met, of course!:) His hair is still gray and my hair is still being colored. I mean other than these 3 kids, a few laugh lines and a lot of wine later, things are the exact same!

The year after we were married, the honeymoon phase, I think they call it, we took one of the best trips of our lives to Italy with two of our most loved "travel sole mates" and friends, Amy & Travis. There are friends and then there are friends you can travel with. They are both and you can never expect that all friends will be both!

Just babes in these pics....March of 2003

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Allow me to interrupt for clothes...

I shop for clothes much the same way I shop for furniture. I like a deal.... enter disposable clothing & accessories. I'm not talking about paper goods here but I am talking about the clothes finds you can score at places like Target, Urban Outfitters, Francesca's and H&M. They may not last you a lifetime or maybe even the entire season but you won't pay enough to be too disappointed.

I did a little shopping at Francesca's for some sure to find great disposable vacation wear. They have great patterns in there. If you want a couple decent sundresses to wear to a destination, they will never disappoint. Their jewelery keeps getting better and better. I love the range of colors they have, bright fun and inexpensive.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Come in to my bedroom!

It is okay for a bedroom to be feminine. I often hear, from her ladyship (for the Downton Abbey fans) that she can't paint or accessorize with a color she wants because her husband would never go for it. It's all about balance. If you are going to have more feminine bedding or pillows, then paint a neutral color on the walls. I mean you make all kinds of other compromises in the bedroom, this is exactly the same! It's the perfect room to be a little riskier if you want to stray from the look of the rest of your house.

For our room, I wanted to do some touches of Hollywood Regency style. My husband rolls his eyes when I say "Hollywood Regency" but it is a real style made popular in the 1930s and was created when designers encouraged West Coast film luminaries to decorate their home with overtones of glitz and glamour.  Hollywood Regency style was a favorite of celebrities like actress Joan Crawford, "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!" As remembered best in my mind from the movie "Mommy Dearest" and sometimes now I channel her in the privacy of my own home:) 

that's Joan, not me....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dear Target, we have been together so long...

My relationship with Target goes way back. I remember making a night of Target & Jiffy Treat frozen yogurt at IU with my roommates. Flash forward 13 years and Target can make my day as I drag in my 3 kids, making promises that I will hang out in the toy aisle for a bit if we can peruse the  like my good ol college days:) And of course now that they are a grocery, I can now tuck the "extras" into the grocery bill! Its a win win type of place for everyone really.

I looked online at Target the other day because I was curious to see how much more they had. I discovered they did in fact have some never before seen items! Several of the things I was attracted to or have purchased in the past are part of this "Threshold" line. There were several items, many on sale, I thought were worthy of noting in this collection. So here she blows....Some great finds and of course good prices in the Threshold line by Target.

The green & blue towel pictured first is the Global towel. Hand towels are $6.39 and bath is $9.00! The next two are the Floral towels in yellow and aqua. Hand towels are $9.99 and bath is $11.00!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crazy for Cake Vintage

If I was at your Christmas exchange, you are familiar with Cake Vintage Kitchen Papers!! When I found them at Allisonville Nursery this past November, I was hooked. They are very cool, very practical and a great price! When I went to find out more about them on their website I found out that West Elm decided to bring them in their store last month! If you know me, this is ironic because I love West Elm, so it was confirmation of true love!

Basically, they are very cool patterns of paper placemats and table runners. The placemats are in a deck of 50 and run $25. The runner is a large roll that you cut it to size for each use and runs like $35. For the holidays they made some intricate wreath designs that were gorgeous. They have patterns perfect for more formal entertaining like this one

They also have more casual everyday patterns. You could write names on these if you were having people over to dinner. Or you could let you kids decorate them for dinner too.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

No more bar stools!!

Benches at dining tables are everywhere now. They are great for kids. And having a bench you can tuck away under the table means you don't have to have 6 or 8 chairs surrounding the table. But what about having a bench replace your bar stools at your kitchen island? I am a minimalist in the kitchen. I can't stand clutter in there. Our kitchen nook table is right next to our island eat in area so there were bar stools and chairs everywhere! Here is a photo of what the bar stools looked like at the counter. 12 little stool feet to clean under with food and dog hair collecting on them every time they push in and out!

So I started looking and I found that the concept does exist, although the only one I found was this one from Lee Industries.

Good option but I needed it a little longer to maximize the eating area and I didn't really want it to have a back. I liked the idea of it tucking under the counter and disappearing when not in use. So I had our contractors who finished our basement and have done several other home projects for us, build one to fit! Here are some pictures of it unfinished.

We also did some work on our kitchen, which is why it looks a little torn up. That post will come later

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The real life...

So you have been into my house in the last few posts. Seems pretty calm and organized, right?? Its time to meet the tenants... I looked for three photos to sum up my kid's present day personalities so that you have basis for the madness you may be subjected to from time to time.

Lets start with Vince. Vincey is the baby so I feel sorry for him because I too am the baby and they are victimized. Vince more than embraces his role with drama drama drama. Here he is when he handcuffed himself to the fireplace screen in protest. He lasted much longer than you would think a 4 year old would... Life is not always tragic for Vince, he is the comedian of the family. His timing is impeccable! The little wheel in his head is ever turning.  

 This is Stella. She is boss. She is a leader-like the ring leader type. People follow her and they don't even know why, something like a mix of admiration and fear:) She loves makeup, singing and being the princess in the home of her queen (I have to remind her she isn't the only girl in the house and sometimes the universe)

This is Harris. He is a nut. He loves to get a laugh out of people and will do just about anything to get that to happen! He is is a lover. The kid you remember from school who wasn't wrapped up the slightest bit in himself but just a likable, agreeable guy. He is the DJ of the family. He knows more about music and movies than most people twice his age.

And a picture of them all together, in one of the rare moments where they all look at the camera, semi-smile and are not littered with makeup and dirty clothes:)

Cheers!! {Laura}

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The hunt is on and you need to find something specific, be it a lamp or a piece of furniture etc. There are 3 places you need to consider before hastily relying on the Pottery Barns of the world. Don't get me wrong, you need those places too but only after you have considered these options...
1.) Etsy Why, you ask? Because there are hundreds of creative people selling unique things that will set your house apart from the ordinary and the best part about it is that their prices are not marked up 3 times like they would be in a store. If you are looking for something specific, even better! Go on, put what you are looking for in the search. Here is one my fav etsy finds.

Took down the old builder chandelier over our dining room table. Searched for a white over sized chandelier and bought this one for like $175. I love that it is vintage and it has a story behind it. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Paint the crown & baseboards, leave the walls white!

I loved the idea of painting the crown and baseboards black in our office and leaving the walls white. White walls are particularly dramatic if you have any kind of trim detail you want to showcase. In our office, my husband had decided he was going to panel the walls himself and do a cool display ledge around the room. When he was done it was way too cool to paint a color. And white would make the perfect backdrop to display pops of color on the ledge. I chose a color called "Cotton Fluff" , which is a Behr paint color. It had just enough warmth so it was not stark white. So, the question....could we paint the crown and baseboards black if the rest of house is white?? Um, I have no idea:) So, I'm going to make this rule (since its my blog) that you can indeed do this if you have a room seperated by door and more closed off from the rest of your house (like a bathroom or in this case, an office). As far as the black color goes, any black will do. I would just match the sheen of the black color you choose with the rest of your house trim which is usually a semi gloss. On regular walls I always use a satin finish. I used to use eggshell until I had kids because satin wipes down better.

So here is a shot from the perspective of walking into the room through the double doors that close off the office from the rest of the house.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No floor as cool as FLOR

If I lived in an older house with more wood than carpet I would have FLOR tiles in way more spaces. I love the idea of running these tiles down wood steps or a wood hallway or entry. They are an obvious pick to cover a toy room. I really can't say enough about how cool they are. So, I will show you some!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

White on White on White

I lOVE the color white in decorating. It often gets ignored but can be a great accessory color against a bold colored wall. And it looks very dramatic when you can use all white to draw attention to the textures in a room.

However, I was not feeling it in its purest form on the exterior of our house!! The front is as flat as a pancake and there is not a vast array of textures going on. When we moved in to our neighborhood, an eclectic mix of various time period houses, we asked if the Greek Revival house we were about to purchase was only in the primed stage of painting! I had never seen a white on white house with absolutely NO tone difference between the trim and siding....boring!!!

Mudroom Makeover

I have to admit I'm a bit of an organization freak and so it was secretly killing me to have to stick my son's paperwork and homework on the side of the fridge the last two years. It worked well enough since he was the only one in school but with Stella going off to Kindergarten I needed some organization! We recently turned our sun room from playroom to mudroom. I decided to have my homework system be in the new mudroom where they grab bags, shoes and coats for school.

Above: how it started... we had a "nook" in the sun room, perfect for a bench seat

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