First (Small) Project!

Hooray for small projects! My amazing mother took Jess and I out to lunch today. Afterward we were just hanging out, doing some little errand shopping she needed to do. So we did her stuff, and then we were so close to the Dollar Tree that I had to go. (Our one lonesome Dollar Tree in Lincolnton is tiny. The one we went to is one of several in Gastonia, and its huge compared to ours.) She's recently started following my blog (love you Mama!!), so I was telling her about some of the dollar store projects I've been wanting to try. She ended up buying me a glass bowl with a lid, a glass jar with an airtight lid, and a glass candle pedestal.

After Jess convinced me we could spare a couple dollars for some paint so I could start, we went to Hobby Lobby, who's weekly sales items included the paint and brushes I needed (hooray!).

I started with the small bowl with a lid. I haven't painted anything with a brush since art class in school, so it took me a while to get the hang of doing it and keep from spreading the paint too much or too little.

After one coat of paint: you can see on the lid where there are still spots of the glass showing through
Here is Isabelle supervising from Jess' lap
A second coat of paint, drying overnight, and this is the final result:

Can't you picture it in some designer bathroom with cotton balls or something in it? I'm thinking I'll probably put Q-tips in it, since we don't use cotton balls much. It cost me about $1 total.

Glass Bowl- FREE (my mom bought it for $1 at the Dollar Tree)
Paint- $1.52 (and there is plenty left to use on other projects)
TOTAL: $1.52

Here is what I'm working on atm, an old tumbler that a friend gave us when we moved in (love you Cindy!). I think I'm going to paint it to match and put toothbrushes in it. (Atm, everything pretty much lays on the counter. And I am determined to organize it, one thing at a time!)


The Wonders a Simple Coat of Paint Can Do

I am currently working on a small painting project that I'm excited about, its my first since I started this blog! It won't be ready in time to post tonight, so here's another post I've been working on instead. Details tomorrow hopefully on the project!

I am convinced that a good fresh, coat of clean paint can update almost anything (especially white paint, but not always). I've been questioned on this recently (you know who you are), so I decided to put together a post with some examples. If I can find something of my own for a few bucks or even free (I scour Craigslist on a daily basis), I would love to make my own example. So, without further ado, here goes (prepare for a small photo barrage):

Centsational Girl- this is my favorite of all the items featured here

Young House Love

This silvery-white beauty was transformed by Beckie (who is a total sweetheart!) over at Infarrantly Creative

Now, normally I'm the world's biggest skeptic, so I can guess what some of you will say. And I agree that the change in environment does go a long way in making things look better. Its like those horrible ads for body makeover programs and whatnot, where the before shot looks like someone who's had no sleep (I'll give the benefit of the doubt and ignore the druggie angle), crazy hair, basically it looks like a police mugshot. And then the 'after' woman has on make-up, and her hair done, and she's smiling, and the lighting is better, and half the time doesn't even look like the same person. Picture me squinting at the computer screen, analyzing her eyebrows, or eyes, or whatever else to try to determine if its really the same person. Wow massive tangent. My point is, you can't deny that if you took the item on the right and placed it next to an un-remodeled clone, that it wouldn't still look 1000 times better even without the designer room surroundings.

I want to paint the dresser in our room white. We bought it for $30 from a good friend, so I'm not sure exactly what its made of, or if its even solid wood... but it is HEAVY so I've always thought it was. Its about 5 feet wide and 3.5 feet high (just guessing, I haven't measured it). Its a medium-colored wood, like mahogany or cedar maybe? (Keep in mind I know nothing about wood colors, I'm only guessing those because I googled wood colors and those were the closest to it.) I've wanted to paint it since we got it, I just never got around to it. So maybe that will be my project? All I know is that I will have a project for you ASAP!

Just for fun, here are a few great painted pieces in awesomely fun colors:

This fantastic piece comes from Tamara at Get It Girl Style.

I LOVE how she put the lime right up against the teal wall, its such a FUN use of color! And its so easy to be afraid of large amounts of color. But she's workin' it!

This piece was featured on Pink Shirts and Car Wrecks, but the credit link went to an Etsy user that apparently is no longer on Etsy. (If someone knows who I can credit, please let me know!)
I love the waves and the progression of color here. This would be so fun in an ocean-themed kids room!

Photo from The Fairy Paintbox
 I just couldn't resist including this for that fantastic color-blocked wall!


The Newest Thing I'm Drooling Over (Cuz If You Know Me, You Know It Changes Fairly Often)

Atherton Home Manhattan Convertible Futon Sofabed and Lounger in Chocolate, $299 at Walmart.com

This beauty is the new love of my (living room) life. Its $299 at Walmart.com (which means free shipping if I pick it up at the store!). Normally, I'm skeptical as hell about Walmart furniture. I've some bad experiences before (well ok, one dresser- but I will never buy furniture from South Shore again, no matter how gorgeous it is in the pictures- that's how bad that one dresser was). On top of being a sofa and a bed, it has the added versatility of being a lounger. Allow me to demonstrate:

Are you in love yet? Its a sofa, bed, and chaise all in one! Jess and I love to cuddle up together (which may be partially why the recliner got broken...), lay back and watch a movie or whatever tv show we are currently burning through on Netflix (atm, Grey's Anatomy). I can so see myself having 2 of these in my living room in place of any other sofas or chairs. Plus there'd be double the sleeping space for overnight guests!

I also checked out the reviews, because of my aforementioned skepticality (is that a word? Spellcheck says not) on Walmart furniture. The reviews on it are stellar. Its got 4 stars from over 600 reviews, which by Walmart standards is pretty amazing. 88% of people said they'd recommend it to a friend.

I'm totally replacing the Ikea sofabed on my living room mood board with this one! For $20 more, I get SO much more.

Thoughts? Anyone have one or know someone who has one?


Mudroom Bench Plans

Remember this space? The little nook just inside our back door that would be perfect for a mudroom area? I have some major plans for it (major, as in life-altering. For me.).

The nook. That I despise, because no matter how much I clean, and straighten, it never stays that way long

This is my idea for a faux built-in bench, loosely based on this tutorial from Lowes:

Its not perfectly to scale, but its pretty close

The thing is that its about 2 feet deep. So either I have some super deep cubbies that I figure we'll end up having to go elbow-deep to dig shoes out of the back of, or I figure out a way to use both spaces effectively. So I'm thinking about making the cubbies about a foot deep, perfect size for shoes, especially shoes that 13 year old boys with big feet, and leaving the other foot of space in the back. I've thought about using the space in the back for some sort of recyclable sorting bins like these from Ikea:

DIMPA Recycling Bags, IKEA
$6.99 for 3! I'd have to do something to make it look good though. I'm thinking it'd be neat to build something that they could fit in, like a storage bench. You'd lift up the seat of the bench to take out the bins when its time to take off the recycling. (They are just under 18" tall according to IKEA's website, so they'd fit in the 24" tall bench. Plus they are about 8.5" wide which means with 3 they'd have plenty of room to fit within the approximately 38" wide that the bench would be. They wouldn't crowd the air filter and I MAY even be able to squeeze a little more storage out of it!) And when the seat is down, it would just look like an extension of the front bench. Plus the cubbies in front wouldn't be so deep that we'd loose shoes.

(I feel like maybe I'm not explaining this very well. I'm trying to draw up pictures, but I'm a horrible artist, so bear with me.)

I've even thought a bit about logistics for the seat. Instead of having to hold the seat up with one hand and worry about the bins with the other (since I'm not sure how heavy the seat will end up being, plus I'm just clumsy, and I can already see myself hitting my head lol), I'll make it so the seat will stay up until I'm ready to close it. Either I'll use hydraulic lifts on the seat hinges (you know, the kind that make the trunk of your car stay open on its own until you pull it down), or (and I think this will be the more simple of the 2 options, especially considering we are literally beginners with everything), I'll install a small but powerful magnet (possibly 3 small ones, if its really heavy), on the wall and on the bench seat. Genius, right?

If anyone has any input (good or bad), problems you forsee (especially those of you with more experience!), ways to make better use of the space, etc, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment or email me!!

Anyone else planning, working on, or completed organization projects of any sort? I'd love to hear about them/see them!

New Living Room Furniture

I know I haven't posted in a few days, and for that I am sorry. Its been a crazy past few days. (Let me tell you, working 12 hours and driving an hour each way to and from work on an hour's sleep- NOT fun. I seriously came home and unintentionally slept for almost 17 hours.) BUT I am (hopefully) back to normal now, at least as much as possible!

I think my lamp may have to be put on the back burner as being the very first project I do (aside from the one I have in the works that will be completely FREE). Every piece of (sitting) furniture in my living room is crap. Broken. Or just wholly uncomfortable. (Ok, let me clarify that any of these are fine if you just want to SIT. But I am a creature of comfort, I like to lounge, or recline, or lay. Plus I have an undiagnosed bruised tailbone, or something that makes it wholly uncomfortable to sit for more than a minute or two, along with a bad back from 8+ years of working in nursing. Yes, I bought a donut pillow, but I haven't had it long enough to tell if its helping.)

First off, there is the recliner that was given to us by my in-laws when they got new stuff. It was functional at the time, fast forward to more than a year later and when you recline it you end up lopsided because the arm is broken in half (or so Jess tells me, I haven't bothered to flip it up and really get into the details. But she tells me its beyond repair). And then there is the HALF of a (faux?) leather sectional that we got free when it was abandoned in an apartment (benefit of being the office manager's daughters!). We actually got the whole set, but we couldn't fit it all in our small living room and still keep the recliner. And Jess refused to give up her beloved recliner. So we gave the sofa side of it to our sister who had recently found herself with a huge almost empty living room. We kept the loveseat and the middle piece. If you don't want to sit in the dysfunctional recliner, then you have to sit on some part of the sectional. There is the middle piece, on which I have to contort into crazy twisted positions to be comfortable, which in turn kills my back. (I know, I know, I'm too young to be falling apart like this!) The end piece used to recline, but something is wrong with the metal support that should pop out the footrest. I have no idea what's wrong with it. I know Jess tried to fix it, to no avail.

So here I go, scouring Craigslist like I always do, hoping like hell I'll get lucky really soon. (I almost got a GORGEOUS chocolate-brown chaise the other day, the guy had listed it for free! He said he'd just bought new a few months before for a couple hundred bucks. I spotted it about an hour after he posted it, and emailed him immediately. He told me that people were already offering him over $100 for it. So I politely conceded to them, secretly hoping he'd decide to give it to me anyway for being so sweet, but of course he didn't. Sad face here.) And if I end up getting something really hideous (as long as its functional, I don't care at this point) I'll have to suffer with a blanket covering it until I can afford a decent slipcover, because re-upholstering a loveseat or recliner is still a bit out of my skill range.

Until then, I'm dreaming.

I'm not entirely crazy about leather or faux leather, but you have to admit this set is beautiful. Clean, simple lines, a bit of curve to it... Just my style.
Metro Chair and Ottoman, $289 at Walmart.com

It would take me about 2 minutes to spill something on this and mess up the velvet (and the price- well just !!!), but a girl can dream right?
Avenue Six Curves Tufted Chaise Lounge in Chocolate Velvet, $449 at Walmart.com

And then there is this, the sofabed from Ikea that I still intend to buy when we have some cash to spare:
Beddinge Lovas Sofabed in Genarp Brown, $279 at Ikea.com


Storage Beds

My quest for better organization has me doing a lot of consideration of dual purpose furniture. The coffee table ottoman that I included in my living room mood board and the convertible sofa would be great starts. Today I've had storage beds on the brain, because two very small closets and one dresser are not near enough storage for our bedroom. So the hunt begins, to find the balance between affordability and quality. Of course my first stop was Ikea, where I found these beauties:

Left, OPPDAL, $299; Right, BRIMNES, $249

The only thing I don't like about them is that they don't have a pronounced headboard. I want a headboard. I know I could make my own fairly cheaply compared to buying one, or even make a fake one on the wall. Its silly of me to hang onto the idea of getting a true headboard, and I can't explain it. And I know that I could just get a normal bed, and buy a bunch of storage boxes to go underneath, but I've always wanted a platform bed. If it came down to it, I'd pick the platform bed over the true headboard. But for now, I'll keep looking, and see if I can't find some way to have my cake and eat it too.

Hillsdale Furniture Tiburon Kona Storage Bed

I found this beauty that I was in LOVE with (gorgeous headboard AND drawers!) until I realized that the whole queen bed set (base, rails, head and footboard, drawers) costs $949. (They have it set up as buying piece by piece, so it showed up as being just over $100. I hate it when things are labeled misleadingly.) Juuust a little out of my price range. So I will keep looking. Or back to Ikea I'll go. Suggestions anyone? Recommendations?

Salt Lamps

I was browsing through lamps on Etsy earlier, and I came across this beauty:

Isn't she GORGEOUS? Link to this one here
And I fell in LOVE. I've been hearing about these salt lamps a lot lately, the health benefits are supposed to be tremendous. The negative ions they put off are said to reduce a lot of airborne toxins like mold and bacteria, as well as many other allergy and asthma triggers. I want one! And Jess has bad allergies, so it would totally be worth it. But I can't bring myself to spend $50 on a lamp that's less than a foot in diameter. I'm all for supporting small businesses, but we're also on a budget, and I could buy one 2" bigger than that one for $30 at Target. This will definitely be among the first things I buy when I get back to buying things, wherever I get it from!

Anyone have one yet? Can you tell an honest difference since you got it?


Blogger Sisters

I haven't yet figured out how to add this on my sidebar, but I will at least blog about it. This super cool lady named Sara had an awesome idea to create a site where new bloggers with questions could go to apply to be assigned a big sister blogger, and vice versa with blogger vets looking to share their wisdom. I applied as soon as I was done reading the guidelines, and was assigned to Sara, the creative genius herself! I feel so honored. :) You can go check out her blog for yourself (she blogs about a variety of things, from DIY ideas to family things) or you can go here to check out the Blogger Sister program for yourself. As soon as I figure out how (or Sara tells me how, since she is on Blogspot as well), I will be putting one of her lovely buttons on my sidebar.


I've seen a lot of other bloggers posting about one-word resolutions for the new year. While I don't like to call them resolutions, I've decided to follow the trend. The word I've chosen is


I'm thinking lots of baskets and magazine holders, a la some of these fantastic people. I don't think I would have ever thought of some of these ideas, and they are such cheap and simple ways to organize!

This genius idea comes from Pamela over at PB&Jstories- Its just a magazine holder turned sideways, and with straightened-out bobby pins on the end to hold the cans in! Genius I say!

$4.99 at Target
I'm thinking something like this might be good in the bathroom, thanks to a Pinterest post (which I won't post, because she uploaded the image herself, so I have no idea who to credit). I could store The Boy's electric razor and my curling and straightening irons in one!

Baskets on the stairs,
via Karen over at Sew Many Ways...
I'm also planning on baskets, lots and lots of baskets. Baskets in cabinets, baskets on the stairs, and baskets for the mudroom I will eventually build!

Anyone else got any organizational plans for the new year? Or already completed some? How about 1-word resolutions, what would yours be?


A Few Accomplishments

Ok, so I realized today that most of my blogs have been about what I WANT to do. So I decided to make one about some things I HAVE done. So here goes.

Eventually I'll get around to doing a full photo tour of my bedroom. Its my favorite room, and the closest to being completed. Its also the messiest, since its the one part of the house that no one sees but us. As usual, please excuse the crappy quality of the pictures.

The wall sconce I got from Pier One on clearance for about $15, along with the red candles that I think were $1 each. The wall decal I found on sale at Hobby Lobby for I think like $10. The bed was given to us by a friend of a friend not long after we moved in. They were getting a new bedroom set and the mutual friend knew that we were sleeping on a box spring and mattress on the floor. (I wanted to paint it before we moved it in, but we didn't have it on hand, and they were willing to move it up the stairs for us, so I never got around to it. The sheets we splurged a bit on, they are 500 thread count Egyptian cotton from Walmart. I think they were about $60?

The curtains and curtain rod I got from Walmart. The curtains are energy efficient blackout curtains. They were about $25/per panel but we figured with the money we'd save on power they'd be worth it. The comforter we also got from Walmart, I think its like 300 thread-count (can you tell we are creatures of comfort?) but it has little white pieces of stuffing sticking out all over now (the comforter itself is black) so I guess you get what you pay for, at least in this case. I've thought about getting a duvet cover to put over it but wasn't sure if it would work, and never found one I loved that didn't cost an arm and a leg, so I haven't.

This is the only thing remotely crafty I've done as far as decorating since we moved in. Its a basic plastic 3-drawer cart from Walmart (that we didn't add the wheels to). I bought 2 of them and painted them, and they are now our bedside tables with bonus storage.

Photo from Ashley Furniture HomeStore
On the left is a vanity mirror I scored at Goodwill for $13, in pristine condition! If only they'd had the rest of the set, its so gorgeous!


Kitchen Dream Remodel Mood Board

Ok. Soooo the big dream kitchen redo. I gave y'all the teaser for the floor. Ready for the rest? Heeeere goes!

Floor to ceiling, literally!

 1- Shaker Cabinet Doors from Barkerdoor.com- $14.99 each (for the style and options I chose)

 2- Sherwin-Williams SW7123 Yellow Beam- This is the color I picked to paint the cabinets with. I HATE choosing off-white shades, but there it is

3- Sherwin-Williams SW2804 Renwick Rose Beige- This I would paint the backsplash with

4- American Olean Glass Wall Tile in Powder- $3.85 per 4.25x4.25 tile

5-  MS International Tropic Brown Polished Granite Floor and Wall Tile- $9.99/sq ft- Before you say anything, let me explain. Laminate is sold in 4-feet pieces and up. The way my counter is set up, I would get out cheaper just buying these tiles than I would several pieces of laminate. Btw, I got the idea from a fellow blogger who redid her counters (with the help of her husband) in granite tile instead of laminate- and they look fantastic! But, for the life of me, I cannot find her blog again! By any chance, did anyone else see that post?

6- Shaker Cabinet Drawer Fronts from Barkerdoor.com- $14.99 each (for the style and options I chose)

7- Classic 12" x 12" Sedona Slate Cedar Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile- $2.18/sq ft- Not the cheapest, but by far not the most expensive! I think I would pick a different color grout though than the blue-grey in the picture. Maybe a tan or light brown?

So. Opinions anyone? I really should go measure everything so I could get an idea of how much everything would cost. Yeah, I should. I'll get right on that...


Things I Only Dream of Doing

I have this recurring daydream that I'll be showing my mother-in-law/apt office manager a sketch I've done of how I'd redecorate the kitchen on a tight budget and doing lots of the work ourselves, and that my landlord will see it and like it so much that she will agree to pay for us to re-do our kitchen. Then she will love what we've done with the kitchen so much that she will let us do the downstairs bathroom. And have us draw up plans to show the maintenance guys what we did so they can redo the other apartments. I even dream that she'd offer me free or reduced rent while I was doing ours, or pay me something like she would a normal interior designer. I know, I know, purely wishful thinking. But a girl can dream, can't she?

This post is about what I would do with my kitchen, were that to ever actually happen, (although, let me just note that its NOT what I would do if it were my own kitchen in a house that I owned).

First I'd have to decide if I were going to go all the way and gut the cabinets or just paint them. They are crappy and sagging in some places, but a fresh coat of paint and maybe some new hardware would go a long way. Some days I think I'm going to go crazy and paint them anyway and be damned with the consequences. The wood grain is so dated. Nothing crazy, just a nice cream color would work. I'm thinking one with a tiny bit of reflective quality, to help brighten the room up. Even with the blinds on the sliding door open, or the overhead light on, it is only really bright in the morning. After about 11, the sun is up too high to affect the kitchen. And I'm rarely in the kitchen before 11.

I would definitely be putting in new flooring, which would have to extend into the small half bath as well. We currently have this ugly tile, which, no matter how much I scrub, remains an ugly dirty grey, with brown grout. They are the bane of my existence (well, ok, along with the rest of the kitchen).

I would also be tearing out the counter and redoing it. Its cheap and crappy. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was literally the cheapest option they had when they built the place. I'd gladly rip off the horrible dingy striped wallpaper backsplash and retile the backsplash myself. If I could find some really awesome deals, I'd get new appliances too, especially an over-the-stove microwave (I've always wanted one of those, and it would free up so much counter space!).

Here is a teaser of the tile I picked out for the floor, which I would relish in learning to do myself. I love to do things myself, I love the feeling of knowing I am the reason it looks so good (or, on occasion, crappy), and I definitely love saving the money from having someone else do it! At $2.18/sq ft it is not the cheapest option there is, but its by far not the most expensive either!


More things I can't wait to do!

I'm going to jump on the trendy bandwagon: apothecary jars! Homemade. From a candle pillar and hurricane glass. I'm sure you've all seen these by now, so I won't bore you with the monotonous details. I haven't decided what I'll put in them yet, but I'm thinking the taller the better. I first saw them through a Pinterest post from Ali over at Found in the "Ali", that is one of her pictures to the right.

Next up is a rug/mat for my kitchen. Made with those foam puzzle piece thingies for kids (left). Inspired by Shannon's post over at Shannon Berry Design Blog. She didn't make any of her own, just posted about some of her blogger friends that did. This one is my favorite (right), done by Sarah of sarah.wandering.

She painted that freehand! I wish I had talent like that

Last on today's post of can't-waits is some awesome hanging baskets for my upstairs bathroom! This inspiration comes from Lorie over at Be Different... Act Normal. Its a very small bathroom, so I can use all the extra storage space I can get. I had been planning to (eventually) buy one of those iron over-the-toilet shelves, but then I saw this. And if this works out, I will more than likely do this instead! Its a dollar store craft, so assuming my local dollar store carries everything I'll need, I'll come out much cheaper than the $30 iron shelf I had previously picked out.

That's it for now folks, I will be sure to post pictures of any and all projects I do! Keep dreaming dreamers!


Kitchen Tour

I started taking some pics around the house today. The quality is still horrible, and will be until I find my USB camera cord or buy another one, so bear with me (that just looks so funny to me - BEAR with me - I looked it up and its the correct word, but all I see when I look at it is bear like a grizzly bear. Anyone else ever do that?).

The door leads to the laundry room/back door
I digress. So we'll start in the kitchen. (Actually, I should start at the back door/laundry room, but I'll get to that.) This is my mudroom area. That nook you see to the left of the door? That's where I want to put my faux built-in. The marker board hanging up we got from Goodwill for a few bucks. My lovely wife put a few nails around it to hang things like dog leashes and hats, and it has knobs to hang keys. To the right is my kitchen table (ignore the giant bag of dog food, we puppy-sat for my mother-in-law this weekend and when I took this picture she hadn't picked him up yet). The chairs have any number of jackets and things hung over the backs at any given time, despite that fact that there is a coat closet a bit to the left out of the picture. The whole thing drives me nuts. You see where a good mudroom would come in here? One single place with a designated spot for everything. Shoes, jackets, hats, mail, etc.

There's a sliding glass door behind it
This is my kitchen table. Its pretty much a catchall for crap we have nowhere else to put, and then some. My 13 year old brother-in-law is the most forgetful, airheaded child. Leaves his stuff lying everywhere around the house (see the belt on the table? Bookbag on the floor?) All of it drives me nuts. I think its karma, I was a rather forgetful child myself. I usually try to keep it all nice and neat and cleaned up, and with cute centerpieces I make up from the Dollar Tree, but I haven't been feeling well, so I've been lazy. The table is also extremely shaky and highly unstable. I still haven't decided what I'll do with the table and chairs when I finally get rid of it. Any good upcycling ideas? All I can come up with is making four columns for a four-poster bed, which I'm not interested in. I'll probably just give it away on Craigslist.

I want to replace it with something like this, which I found for $199 (plus free shipping!) at AllKitchenCarts.com. (I chose this one because it seemed to be the best value for what I want. The prices go upwards of two grand!) It has wheels, so I could easily move it to where I'm cooking for extra counter space (another thing I'm severely short on) or if we need to move something in or out through the sliding door. Plus it has 2 drawers and a cabinet with an adjustable shelf. More storage space.

Anyone have any idea how much it would cost to make one myself? Seems simple enough. Put some wheels on a cabinet and the stainless steel on top? And I bet I could use a wall-mounted paper towel holder for the towel rack. Think I could do it for less than $200? Sounds like a challenge to me!

 This is getting long, so I'm going to wrap it up. I feel like all I've done is complain on this post, so I'll leave you with some things in my kitchen that make me happy:
Bamboo Utensil Holder, bought from Walmart

Iron Scroll Utensil Caddy, found at Goodwill for a few dollars

Red Canisters and Spoonrest, also from Walmart
Magnetic Vampire Salt and Pepper Shakers, free

Btw, the story on those shakers is that Jess' parents bought them for her this past Christmas as a goof present because she LOVES all things vampire. They are magnetic where he is kissing her neck. They were my favorite Christmas present and they weren't even for me!

Living Room Mood Board

So, here is my first actual mood board. Its loosely based around my current living room and what I would like for it to be, eventually.

1- Benjamin Moore- Barely Yellow- I wrestled a lot with this. I couldn't find a color I liked on-screen, so I finally just went with this and said screw it. Buuut I can't paint my living room anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. The walls are already painted a warm off-white color, so its not horrible.

2- Benjamin Moore- Sweet Pea- This is the color I would choose for my accent wall, again IF I could paint my living room.

3- This is a picture of some art I already have (we LOVE art!), by a Malaysian artist named Puteri Noor. I bought a CD of over 700 images of her work for $15 off her Etsy shop (which is sadly now empty, as are all her other online shops and galleries that I could find). I took the CD to Wal-Mart and printed off the 9 works to put in a pre-matted collage frame that I had found previously at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $30. I realize the one on there is all weird and pixelly, so here's another:

I'm not sure if this has a name, or if any of her stuff has names. On the CD it was 'Dragon4'

All of our art means something to us. Mermaids are my thing, dragons are Jess'. The others we chose for the collage all represent some parts of us or our sisters.

4- This is a picture of a giclee print I have, that I bought from an artist named Susanna Shap on her Etsy shop. Its titled 'Apple of My Eye'. This was one of the few things I splurged on (in fact, I think its the only thing I've splurged on to date in this apt- we had plans to splurge on a piece of art Jess picked out, but she has since decided she doesn't like it enough to waste her splurge on). I paid $90 for the print itself (its 24x36), and I paid over $200 to have it professionally framed at Michael's (although in my defense, it was a huge sale; it would have been over $700 total otherwise, including the price of the print).

5- IKEA Besta Boas Entertainment Center- $159.00- I love this. Open spaces for the wife's xbox 360, which gets too hot in our current console with the doors closed. Drawers to store unsightly things like extra cords. What would I do with the current one? Ideally, I would sell it for a couple hundred bucks (I paid $400 for it) and put that money towards the credit card that it was bought with. But there's always the idea of donating it somewhere. Or posting it on Listia, where you get credits for auctioning things off, and you use those credits to buy other people's things.

6- IKEA Hol Side Table- $34.99- I will probably paint this, though what color I'm not sure. I think I'd have to wait and get it in the room before I decided.

7- Storage Ottoman by Coaster- $114.35 on Amazon- Free shipping, tax included. This is another semi-splurge. I could get a regular coffee table for much cheaper, but in a small room, storage space is key. Plus, you can flip the trays over and you have extra seating!

8- IKEA Lovas Sofabed- $279.00- If you couldn't tell from the ottoman, I love versatile furniture. And since our guest bedroom has been taken over by a 13 year old moody teenage boy (my brother-in-law, long story- suffice it to say, he'll be here until at least the end of the school year), I would love to have a bed instead of just a sofa for overnight guests to sleep.

9- Better Homes & Gardens Classic Caning Pillow- $11.97- Since I can't actually paint that accent wall, I want lots and lots of colorful pillows in various colors!

I'm still looking for a few affordable chairs, maybe a chaise or something. And I have a couple really old lamps that my mom gave me that I intend to paint, something really bright and cheery. But other than that, there you go, my whole living room for around $600 plus tax!



I feel so intimidated sometimes, with all these blogs out there that I'm trying to network with, and I'm just starting out. I haven't even gotten any pictures up yet of the things I've already done (although there isn't much). And even some of their before shots look like they came out of a catalog. Its scary. So if I get self-conscious sometimes, just ignore me, ok? Dream on dreamers!


Project Dreams

So! I figure its about time I get a post up of some projects I have in mind, and these will be in no particular order!

First is painting an old lamp my mom gave me (and either finding or making a new shade for it). I think this will be the first thing I do, because burning candles for 6+ hours a day gets costly, and quick. The lamp is old, but brand-new (the plastic is still on the shade).

Sorry for the crappy quality of my phone's camera, I cannot find the cord to connect my camera to the computer. I've never needed it before because my computer had a slot for the memory card. Sadly, my computer is not functional atm.

Its not-quite-white, its boring, its B-L-A-H. I hate blah. I love color! Lots of color. So on will the color go. What color, you ask? I have no idea. Something bright and cheery and fun. Possibly a nice lime green. Something matte, I think. Perhaps I should find/make a shade first, so I can match the paint to it. That would be easier. I'm told I do everything the hard way...

All my jewelry is currently hanging on a stand shaped like a treble clef that I bought for $8 on an antique shop excursion with my sisters. Its gorgeous, but my necklaces get all tangled, and its messy and overcrowded, which makes the earrings fall off, and I hate it. So first up is a jewelry organizer! I came across this through- what else, Pinterest!- on Ashli's blog over at Mini Manor (who is SUPER super sweet btw!). Basically you take a cutlery tray, paint it if desired, screw in a few hooks, and hang it on the wall! Sounds simple enough, right? That kind of thinking could get me into trouble...

There is this little nook in my kitchen, just inside the door we come in from the car. Its about 3 and a half feet wide, and 2 and a half deep. Currently its the place where we put our shoes when we come in. Its a mess, and it drives me nuts. I want to make it into a mudroom of sorts. Since we rent, we can't actually make a built-in mudroom, but I've been scouring Craigslist for something usable. Short of finding something that will work, I've adapted a DIY bookcase from a tutorial on Lowe's' website to fit.

DIY Bookcase, courtesy of Lowes.com

There will be a bench, and cubbies underneath, and places above for all things from hats and gloves to dog leashes and mail. I'll make a more detailed post on that at another time, with pictures I've drawn up and everything. For now, here is a picture of the nook:

Now you see why it drives me NUTS? I try to keep everything all neat, but it never stays that way.  Do you see the potential here?

I had intended to cover a few more ideas, but this is already a bit long, so I'll save some for another post. Until then, sweet dreams dreamers!