Saturday, August 13, 2011

Before & after: guest room problem wall

My parents' guest room needed some help. One wall has a drop-leaf table to allow room for traffic and serve as a desk for guests when needed. It's also where the router and modem hang out, like so:

Other than being completely uninspiring, this set-up is annoying when the boxes are flashing lights in the dark. Dad had taken to covering them up with whatever was handy when guests came to stay. It was pretty sad, so I decided to put a few minutes into creating a solution for them.

This little desk organizer from Organized Living had outlived its usefulness for me due to color scheme changes and a few stains on the top and front.

So I just removed the drawers and put the router and modem in the empty slots, with the back of the box facing the room. No cutting holes for cords required (yay).

A friend of the family who passed away with cancer had once spent an afternoon painting with Mom and let Mom keep the watercolor she made. It is so charming and impressive for someone who had never painted before. I'd been meaning to get it framed but hadn't really had a plan for where it should go.

Now that I was focusing on the guest room, I realized the colors were pretty perfect for the space. A quick trip to Michael's got me this poster frame for $12.99.

It is pretty cheaply made, to be honest, but the look is good for the price.

Then I just added some flowers, a tray and a glass Mom already had.

It was a fun update in less than an hour, including the shopping!

I might have to do something crafty to break up the blocks of orange and black. But the parents like it so far.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Good women and girls finds at Target

Target has had more than the usual amount of good stuff lately. This adorable collection by D-Signed for girls is full of trendy but easy to mix basics. How cute is that blazer?

It's surprising how much better the women's clothes look in person than on the website. There really are some super cute, decent-quality pieces. Here are a few things I talked my sweet mom into grabbing for herself at the store the other day.

If the detail was clearer you would see that those round medallions are teal blue and kelly green. We paired this tank with a rolled-sleeve teal cardi that hangs long and grey or khaki trousers. I will have to get pics of her modeling later.

This next tank also looks stunning with the same teal cardi and neutral pants. The fringe of round cut-outs (I want to call them paillettes but obviously they aren't shiny) is the prettiest detail in person. This top looks expensive and has a cute bronze ball button in the back.

The next combo we came up with was a cool abstract print tee and a lemon cardi. Paired with dark jeans.

She also snagged this:

and I took this one for me...

Here is an unexpectedly nice classic piece if you don't already have something similar. Great for now or layering year-round.

Update on the nightstand from Home Goods: Painting commenced right away, but the heat dome has prevented any painting outside for awhile. I'm hoping there will be a few minutes of painting time in the next couple nights to finish it up so I can post the results early next week.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Homegoods really delivered last weekend. I found three adorable things that I could not leave without.

1.  Quatrefoil urn:

My immediate plan was to paint this baby yellow and add a laquer coat. But the silver is starting to grow on me. We shall see if I go crazy with the paint this weekend. $39.99

2. Cute side table/stool that Imma use as a night stand:

It was $35 on clearance! The grey is lovely but won't work for my bedroom. Trying to decide on a color.

3. Sweet little bust:

I've been on the hunt for one of these for a while. This one is petite and makes me laugh because the ponytail bun style is basically what I rock daily and doesn't strike me as a hairstyle used in the ancient days of busts and robes. She was marked at  only $12 and I got 20% off that because of some black marks on the front edge which are hardly noticeable and might scrub off.

A couple other acquisitions will be featured soon but they were not part of the Homegoods loot. Also in the works is some DIY art. WHO KNOWS how this will turn out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Now I get why pillows cost an arm and a leg and your face

I bought some Robert Allen ikat fabric months ago, intending to make some pillows. But this was not a project I wanted to attempt alone, so I waited for Mom to be here and willing to help (read: show me how and fix my mistakes). I also changed my mind about the number and shape and size of the pillows a few times. Eventually I decided a body pillow would have a nice impact on a queen-size bed.

Sewing machines and I do not co-exist well. Their parts aren't labeled. You need an engineering degree to thread them. And there are 5 billion things to adjust. Whenever Mom would walk away, inevitably I had to yell questions to her in the next room like: "Where did the lever to raise the foot go?!" This is what happens when you sew about three times per decade. You forget everything.

 Anyway, thanks entirely to Mom, the finished product actually looks like a pillow. And I love it. O. Is that upside down? Here it is turned around.

Obviously I need to style this area. It won't look plain and white forever. I need to bring in some more pattern and color and sconces and bedside tables. Can't wait. Especially since those things don't require sewing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Workin' It

I have probably nothing in common with Kim Kardashian except height and body type. Unfortunately, the size and shape of my body has of late morphed into something unfamiliar to me. And it looks not-so-much like the above amazing photo.  

Which is all about to change!

Here is what's going to make it happen:

1. Eating paleo. More specifically, primal. Basically, no grains or dairy or sugar or caffeine and lots of yummy protein and veggies and fat. And temporarily holding off on the fruit. This book is supposed to be amazing (people actually use most of the recipes instead of one or two).

 Mark's Daily Apple is a fantastically informative site with a daily blog all about how to live primal. This will help answer a lot of questions not covered in his books.

2. The most amazing boot-camp style gym ever. It's called CrossFit, and if you're super lucky, there is one near you. If you aren't that lucky, the site has loads of videos to show you how to do some things at home. Don't be turned off by the amateur looking graphics. This is a hard-core and fast way to get in shape. Pro athletes, police, fire and special military forces use CrossFit. As do grandmas.

So far I am having a blast. Getting through a class makes me feel like this dude.

And like a survivor. Who has an amazing natural high and wants to go dancing...possibly like this guy.

At least on the days I am not sore and/or shaking. Already I am getting stronger and can do a billion sit-ups. And push-ups are actually fun.

And eating a green leafy salad piled with avocado and red peppers and roasted chicken or tuna or salmon and olive oil is the most satisfying thing ever. Well. One of them.

Best of luck to anyone else out there making changes and feeling strong! I'm counting the days ( calendar is marked with weekly goals) until this happens:

I mean. Look at that waist. Yes, please.

P.S. Apologies for months of silence. I had some personal things going on. And at this point, I'm not even going to try to post daily. Just when things happen. Toodles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Last (half) day of Kate's sample sale

...just in case you didn't know.

I didn't see anything I had to have, but there are some deals to be had. Notice it ends at noon, not midnight. Good luck!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things I saw while out shopping

These make me want to forgo making the pillow from the bulletin board fabric.

You can see there is a striped version in the same colorway underneath them.

These tablecloths are a cheap fabric option for pillows or some other small project:

Also of note: there are some cute things for little girls in the Valentine's clearance section at Target. Bright stripes, floral and heart patterned things like shower curtains and tablecloths and pillows. There are also faux fur throws in pink. Everything is 30-50% off.

Homegoods pillows: set of 2 for $29.99
Target tablecloths: $9.99 each