Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ugly Wins!

As I was browsing ideas for our Christmas party, I came across a blogger who stated that ugly sweater parties were "so last year."  I don't know about you, but I'd enjoy one every year! ;)  Maybe next year we'll have a pretty sweater contest and encourage our guests to don their best duds.  And then again, maybe not! :)  Anyhoo, we had a blast at the Christmas party we hosted for our couples Sunday school class.  Food, games, laughter, tacky sweaters...yep, doesn't get much better than that!

I put together a simple, easy, and inexpensive dessert table for under $20.  I used leftover wrapping paper and ribbon to transform my Ikea picture frames into oversize gifts. :)  The rest of the Christmas decor was purchased at Target and Walmart.

We had gingerbread men, Oreo cookie balls, and turtles. :)

We also had vanilla flavored cotton candy...I'm a child at heart! ;)

Candy canes and coal for all the men...I mean, the naughty guests. ;)

Thankfully, we didn't have too many leftovers since I have absolutely no self control when it comes to sweets! :)

Here are some of the sweet ladies from our class!  I'm so thankful for each and every one of them. :)

And, finally, here's a pic of the hubby and me!  I had to get one of Josh in this shirt because I'm pretty sure it's a sight I will never see again. ;)  I still think he looks handsome.  It must be love! :)  We had a great time and are looking forward to our next get together!  Super Bowl XLVII!  Maybe we'll have an ugly jersey contest.  I'm not naming any names! ;)

Now it's on to New Year's Eve!  Ours will most likely consist of watching the ball drop from the sofa and throwing homemade confetti. :)  What about you guys?  Anyone have any plans that are more classy and fabulous than mine?  Doubtful, I know! ;)

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's a Big Boy Room!

Planes, trains, and cars, oh my!  Blake's getting a big boy room!  When I designed his nursery, I kept everything very simple and classic.  At two years old, Blake has many things he loves, so I wanted to incorporate those into his new room.  He actually sat right beside me and helped me design this inspiration board.  He LOVES the alphabet print, clock, transportation prints, car pillow, truck night light, and roadway rug. 


As always, we're on a tight budget, but I think we'll be able to create a fun and functional space for our little guy who is so full of life!  And I actually convinced my hubby to take me to Ikea next week!  Woo hoo! ;)

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

Last night we got the kids dressed up in cute costumes.  I packed baggies with candy in case we had visitors.  We walked outside into the cool, autumn night, piled into the family vehicle,and went to church.  The kids had a blast and we had the privelege of hearing Brother Randy Wright preach again.  What a blessing!  We ended the night with sweet fellowship at Chick-Fil-A.  Can you say cookie sundae? ;)  Now for some kiddie cuteness!  So, Blake dressed as a tall, dark, handsome man!  Appropriate, right? :)

And here's Clark Kent! 

And Cole was a sweet little puppy dog!  Also quite appropriate for his personality. :)

While I had my chevron fabric out, I snapped a few pictures of two of my recent purchases that I'm excited about!  Here is our family Christmas card for this year (front and back).  I love the way they turned out! :)

 I've been looking for a mint/seafoam statement necklace for a while now, so I was super excited when I found one as I was shopping for Blake's nerd glasses.  Not my typical store, but I found it at Rue 21.  And for $9!  That's what I'm talking about! :)

And this lovely yellow fabric that works great as a backdrop?  It's about to become curtains! ;)  Can you guess which room it will be going in? :)

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Designer Inspired

I love designer fashion, jewelry, home decor, you know name it!  And then there's reality.  I'm a stay-at-home mom with two kids.  We buy diapers and wipes.  We pay for college classes and books.  We have a mortgage and a car payment.  Like most people, we live on a budget.  And, honestly, I don't think I could spend $1,000 on a purse anyway. :)  However, what I love to do is draw inspiration from high-end designers and brands.  When we found out we were expecting, I started browsing Serena and Lily, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child, and Pottery Barns Kids for ideas.  I came across this room from Serena and Lily.
I loved the navy and white stripes with the grass green accent color.  I felt like it was a great crisp, clean look that was all-boy. :)  So, I totaled the cost of the bedding for the Serena and Lily room.  Just the bedding - duvet, pillows, sheets, etc.  This price does not include any furniture or decor.  And the grand total for this look was $836.  Gorgeous, but waaay out of our budget! :)
And this is a shot of Cole's Serena and Lily inspired nursery.  For the fabric backdrop, I found this rugby stripe shower curtain at Target for $15!  I ordered the letters from an Etsy seller and painted them with Serena and Lily paint in Grass green (Serena and Lily paint sample, $6).  For the pennant banner, I ordered free fabric swatches from Serena and Lily and bought the other fabrics at Hancock for $3.  I ordered the crib sheet from Serena and Lily when they were having a 40% off Nursery event, and the crib skirt was another DIY project ($6).  For the green accent pillow, I covered a pillow I already had with an old cable-knit sweater I didn't wear anymore (FREE)!  So, the grand total for all of Cole's bedding and crib wall decor came to $97! :) 
Although I couldn't afford to order all of the items straight from Serena and Lily, I was able to create a similar look for a fraction of the cost.  I'd say our motto around here is design on a dime, but it's actually pretty on a penny! :)
Do you guys have any awesome tips for creating high-end looks for less?

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Something Blue

 I'm sure you've all heard of the sweets stylist, Amy Atlas, but if you haven't, be sure to check her out!  Her work is absolutely amazing and her dessert tables are incredibly inspiring!  As I was brainstorming ideas for my sister's bridal shower, I came across a gorgeous dessert table she designed for the Wedding Library that gave me an idea for the theme.

In other words,

Amy Atlas Moment
We decided on a color scheme and theme that was perfect for a bridal shower:
The invitations were designed by Amber from Announcing You.  She always does such a wonderful job! :)

I used leftover wood I had from another DIY project and fabric from Hancocks to create the backdrop.  I was so excited when I found the silhouette mirror for $14.99 at Ross!

The pearl Sixlets and candy scoops were from Party City and everything else was purchased at Sam's or Walmart.

I found the frame at T.J. Maxx and painted and distressed it to give it a more vintage feel.

I ended up spending just under $75 for all of the decor, desserts, candy, etc. :)
I love drooling over Amy's work and using it as inspiration for my own budget-friendly, much less perfect dessert tables!  Her "Perfectly Preppy" dessert buffet already has me brainstorming for Cole's first birthday party! :) 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Easy Peasy Dessert Table

This past weekend we hosted a couples get together at our community clubhouse.  We grilled out, played games, and had a great time of fellowship!  We played a hilarious round of charades and a game called Mad Gab that I absolutely love! :)  We wanted to have a theme for the event that played off the 'Battle of the Sexes' idea.  With it being football season, I started brainstorming football terms and girly words that started with the same letter.  I ended up deciding on Pigskins and Pearls and thought brown and pink would be perfect colors for the decorations.  I knew I wanted to do a dessert table, but was limited on time and money.

I made the backdrop using foam presentation boards I already had covered with wrapping paper from the dollar section in Target.  I used posterboard and a printer to make the sign.  The four square serving trays are actually china dinner plates I found at Target on sale for $2 a piece.  I added pink scrapbooking paper to them for a pop of color.

To save on time, I bought everything pre-made except for the sugar cookies.  Although I made these, they were super simple and easy.  Pillsbury pre-made sugar cookie dough, Betty Crocker cookie icing, and pearl sprinkles.  The hubby said they were the best cookies he's ever had!  And they end up coming out to under $.50 a cookie versus $3 or more a piece for specialty cookies.

I lined the cake stand with a piece of pink and white chevron scrapbooking paper and bought ready to serve mini cupcakes.

The apothecary jars held Whoppers and strawberry milkshake Whoppers.  We also had chocolate covered oreos, strawberry wafer cookies, and football shaped brownies.

It took less than two hours to make and set everything up, and best of all, the total cost for this dessert table came in at just under $25! :)
Do you guys have any budget-friendly tips for dessert tables?  Do share! :)

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Get All the Good Dirt Here!

 I have a confession to make.  I'm an apothecary jar addict.  I seriously have a slight obsession with them!  ;)  They're in the bathroom, kitchen, and have now found their way into our laudry room. 

I'm hoping to give this room, like all of the other rooms in our house, a bright, fresh makeover soon. 
And my inspiration is one of my favorite laundry rooms of all time!
I'm hoping maybe a mini-makeover will make laundry more fun.  Probably wishful thinking! ;)
Do you guys have any fun laundry room inspiration to share?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yes, Master! (Bedroom, that is!)

Here's the very first before picture of our master bedroom before we moved in! :) 
You can see the crazy changes this room has gone through here
And here's the design board I put together for our new space!

We are slowly getting there, and I can't wait to share the 'before' and 'after, after, after' pics! ;)
What do you guys think?  Color overload or much improved? :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chalk Art

Have you all seen the chalkboard art that seems to be popping up everywhere?  I've been thinking about making a DIY chalkboard menu for our kitchen.  Something like this, maybe?

I've recently seen some awesome examples of just how cool chalk art can be.
I mean, how gorgeous is this custom chalkboard art by Dana Tanamachi?  Amazing!  I would love to hire her to do one for us, but I'm guessing she's a little out of our price range.  Oh well, I'll just drool over her work anyway! :)

I found this print on Etsy that I thought was adorable.  You can actually customize it with your own family name and recipe.  And it's only $35 for an 11x14 print.  Not too shabby! :)

And one of my favorite Etsy shops recently came out with this adorable chalkboard invitation.  $15?  I think so! :)

What do you guys think?  Gotta have or leave it in the dust? ;)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Budget Nursery Design

Decorating a nursery is challenging period, but decorating a nursery on a small budget is extremely difficult.  After doing Cole's nursery for less than $200, I can say I speak from experience. ;)

Here are a few tips for keeping your nursery budget in check:

1.  Reuse and repurpose as many items as you can.  "Shop" your house!
2.  Scour thrift stores, consignment shops, craigslist, etc.
3.  If you see something you love that is just too expensive, do a DIY version instead. :)
4. can be your best friend.
5.  Create a budget and stick to it!
6.  Finally, don't be fooled into thinking that you need to spend $1,000 on a crib, $500 on bedding, $600 for a rocker, and so on.  If you're not careful, you could easily buy a car for what you spent on your nursery! :)

For example, this crib is quite lovely:

But not for that price!  No thanks! :)

One of my favorite tips for creating designer spaces on a dime is finding high-end rooms and pieces to use as inspiration.  Once I find something that I love, I make it my goal to achieve the same look within my budget. 

When looking at cribs for Blake, I fell in love with the crib on the right from Restoration Hardware.  But it was out of our price range at $1049 plus a hefty freight charge.  I eventually found this look-a-like by Carters at Babies 'R' Us for $399.  Much better! :)

And if you're really looking for a deal, Graco has this crib for $149:

Not too shabby! :)

Just remember, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to create beautiful spaces!  Never thought I'd be saying that!  Boy, has five years of marriage to my wonderful hubby changed me! ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Love Me, Love Me

Today marks five years since I married my wonderful hubby!  I am so blessed!  Speaking of love and marriage, I found a few more prints that I'm considering for our master bedroom.  Etsy again! ;)

I absolutely love this print from the Song of Solomon! :)

And these silhouette prints are amazing! :)


There are just so many different prints that I love!  Thankfully I have lots of wall space to fill! ;)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jane Austen Typography

If you know me, you know I'm in love with Jane Austen.  Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility are some of my favorite movies.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen Emma approximately 100 times. ;)  Anyway, I've been looking for artwork for our bedroom, and thought it would be neat to include some Jane Austen quotes.  So, I hit Etsy!  Shocking, I know. ;)  I found these adorable ones from Uplifting Prints.  They actually have a section just for Jane Austen fans, and the prints range from $20-$30 a piece. 

You can check out all of them here: 

I thought I'd play around with Publisher and see if I could come up with something similar.  This is the Pride and Prejudice print I made:

And here's my Mr. Knightley quote that I personalized with our wedding date. :)  I absolutely love that scene!

Feel free to print the Pride and Prejudice quote if you'd like, and I can always customize the Emma print with your colors and wedding date.  Just let me know if you're interested!  And if you haven't seen these movies, you're missing out! :) 

Do you guys have any other good ideas for master bedroom artwork?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

J. Crew Bubble Necklace

Don't you just love this outfit?  And that necklace?!?!  I've been drooling over it for a while now! :)

If you want the real thing, check out this one from J. Crew.  I just couldn't break down and spend $150 for it, although I'm sure it's great quality. :)

I'm happy to share that I found an abundance of look-a-likes on that start at $17!  Hallelujah! :)  Because I already have around 10 turquoise necklaces, I decided to order a yellow one.  This one is actually $29, but the seller has thousands of reviews and they are all positive.  That's something I always like to look at when shopping on Etsy. :)  And she's a quick shipper too!  Mine is already on its way, so I'll be sure to share pics when it arrives! :)

What do you guys think?  Drool worthy or not? ;)