Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Little Spooky Fun...

I love Halloween!
Growing up, Halloween meant going to Grandma and Grandpa's house
to eat Grandpa's potato soup and homemade bread,
before heading out to trick or treat.
It was a colorful parade of costumes.
Those are happy memories for me.
I've kept some of the traditions alive for my kids.
I still make a big pot of potato soup for my family every Halloween.
When I decorate for Halloween I keep it simple.

This cute (free) printable was an easy way to herald the holiday.

Some old friends join us year after year to celebrate.

 One eyed Willie is beloved in our home.

We lovingly picked each pumpkin this year.
So far, they've been spared the knife!

In past years we've had a ball carving our jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween is spooooooky....and I love it!

Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Linking up at:  Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Master Bedroom Dreamin'

Many years ago, 8 to be exact, I came into possession of 
our current bedding. 
I say I came into possession because I didn't necessarily buy it.
More like, I talked my mom into not wanting it anymore.
I can be very persuasive....muahahaha.
She gave up the goods and I went home with a brand new set of bedding.
The intention was never to keep the same bedding for eight years.
That's like 56 years in dog years,
way too long for the same bedding, day in and day out.
Disclaimer: we have had new sheets over the years

My typical M.O. in our bedroom has been to maybe slap some paint up, 
hang a mirror and some pictures and call it a day.
Our master bedroom here is large, but it has some quirk.
It's L-shaped, it has a whole mess of slanty walls, and there are
closets in the middle of the room.
When I started shopping for new bedding, I realized
that I wanted to make this room special.
Hubs and I deserve a thoughtfully planned, beautiful and relaxing space, after all.
When you walk in our bedroom door, you look directly at that window in the picture below.
(My OCD loathes that symmetry is non-existent in this room)

My plan is to update the bedside tables...
it could mean paint, or at least new hardware?
I love the swing arm lamps, but the shades need a makeover for sure.
I definitely want to paint the walls a soothing color.
Something similar to this...

This blue/grey has such an ethereal, calm feeling. 
Now about that old bedding.....oh the bedding!
Normally, I would choose what I want and convince my hubs he likes it later.
But I really want our "new" room to be a haven for both of us.
With that in mind, we shopped together (online) off and on for months.
You'd think white bedding would be easy to pick, right?
We began to see that not all white bedding is created equally.
Some was too frilly, some had no texture, some looked cheap.
We ended up turning to a place that never disappoints.
Pottery Barn
Did you hear the angels singing? LOL
We liked so much of the bedding, but we agreed we wanted a quilt.
Our choice makes me want to crawl into bed and snuggle.

Directly across from our bed is a nook where our dressers live.
Right now, they're just holding random stuff that doesn't currently have a home.
Go Seahawks!

We need to corral stuff like cologne, watches, you know....the usual.
Our furniture is nice, solid wood. 
But those knobs are boooooring., which means they gots to go!

This makes me very happy...

I'd also like to do something interesting on the wall above the large dresser.
Maybe DIY art?

In between the dressers and the bed, we have windows.

 Europeans have great windows!
They open completely and they tilt open at the tops. Genius!
There are tracks on the ceiling that allows to install three layers of window treatments.
I'm thinking of sheers with some fabulous panels over that.
I'm sort of a curtain-a-holic.
I'll show you my stash someday.
The other end of the room (on the other side of the closets), is a hot, steaming mess.
I can't even believe I'm showing this.

This friends, is embarrassing.
My plan is to make this a dressing area and add some lighting.
It gets dark in this area because of all the weird angles in the room.
I plan on creating a vanity and adding organized storage for my jewelry, which is currently
strewn all over the floor.
You can see, storage is a huge issue, so a dresser that we found on the street will be
the solution once it's refinished.
The carpet is indoor/outdoor industrial stuff.
It's not pretty......that's me being nice about it.
My hope is that area rugs will figure into the design, budget permitting.
I'm so excited to get started on this project.
And I'm even more excited to share it here when I'm done!
Now to get to work.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Coffee Table Love

I love a good coffee table.
And it's not just because I love coffee.
But I do loooove coffee
Mainly, I love a good coffee table because it's a versatile
piece of furniture.
Our coffee table serves as a snack center, gaming table, foot rest,
homework area, and sometimes I even make it pretty
with seasonal decor.
Like this centerpiece from last year.

Our coffee table has to be a work horse.
Then there's the issue of boys.
Lots of boys.
Our boys, neighbor boys, boys that go to school with our boys, our friends' boys.
Our house is a haven for them.
So, when these boys are say.....having a WWE Smackdown-style
wrestling match or tickle fight, the furniture has to 
withstand getting knocked into.
Last year, I purchased this coffee table from Ikea.

This is the Lack coffee table.
Mr. Lack was replacing my all-time favorite Ashley coffee table
that was way too huge for our tiny German house.
I love the shelf and at almost a year old, it still looks pretty good.
The problem is, it's very lightweight.
I tried keeping my magazine collection on the shelf to weigh it down,
it didn't work.
After a while, I got fed up with it always being askew.
Or worse, my pretty decor getting knocked off of it because it wouldn't stay put.
You don't mess with my decor, mmmkay?
Buying a new coffee table just wasn't going to happen.
It wasn't until hubs and I took a trip to
a local home improvement store that building a coffee table started looking good.
We found a piece of butcher block and I got all giddy.
I was bouncing around like my 13 year old self at a New Kids concert.
Clearly, we weren't leaving the store without that butcher block.
Oh yeah, we were going custom!
Hubs and I are a dynamic DIY duo. He builds, and I finish.
It's a good gig.
Hubby basically took my ideas, took some measurements and started building.
He's sort of dreamy like that.

To create an x-leg a notch had to be cut out of each piece,
so they would fit inside one another.
Like this.

The 4 corner legs were put on first and the x-legs were attached
with 1.25" wood screws in counter sunk holes.

Hubs did a great job building this beauty!

I wanted a rustic look, so I didn't sand any of the wood perfectly smooth.
And I left the knots and imperfections in the butcher block alone.
To me, imperfect=character. 

Wanna see it?

Hello, my pretty.

I applied 5 coats of paste wax to this to give it a nice (protective) sheen.

See what I mean about the imperfections? Character.
The legs were painted with Annie Sloan Old White and lightly sanded
before I applied Valspar water-based antiquing glaze with a damp cloth
to get the layered, aged look.
Now that the project is finished,
I'm feeling some mad coffee table love.

Here's what we used:
*Butcher block 31.5"x 23.75"
*4 pieces of 2x2 cut to 17.5" length
*4 pieces of 1x2 cut to 28" length, notched in the center to create an X
*4 pieces of 1x2 cut to 21.5" length, notched in center to create an X
*2 pieces 1" trim cut to 24.75"
*2 pieces 1" trim cut to 16.5"
*1.25" wood screws
*8mm countersink drill bit
*Wood glue
*Merlot water-based stain
*Minwax paste furniture wax
*Annie Sloan Old White
*Valspar water based antique glaze

Linked up at:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feature Friday: Victoria's Beautiful Home

You know how every once in a while you meet someone that you instantly click with?
And maybe she's super crafty and has great style?
And maybe she's adventurous and has a sweet spirit?
And maybe you bonded immediately over DIY projects and paint colors?
That's how it was when I met Victoria.
We got each other from the minute she walked in my front door.
So, I thought it would be fun to feature her home since!
When you're part of a family that moves a lot like Victoria and I are,
it can be a challenge to make each new house a home.
Some of us (I mean me) are still working on it.
Victoria, on the other hand, is clearly gifted at creating inviting spaces that she 
can flex her gracious hostess skills in.
This handmade wreath sends a clear message.
"Hi, my house is to die for. Come see what's inside."
Well it said that to me anyway ;-)

Don't mind if I do.

The entryway opens to a mudroom type area.

All of Victoria's house tells a story and it starts here.
She surrounds herself with things that are meaningful.....
and pretty to boot.

This custom made entry table, I mean....come on.

Wouldn't it be fabulous if we all looked down our halls and had this view?

I know. It's gorgeous.
(Killian loves it too)

Did I mention Victoria is a phenomenal hostess?
This is a pretty spot where we've gathered with girlfriends, noshed on 
homemade scones with clotted cream, and talked our heads off.

Let me give you a little pictorial tour of Victoria's main floor.
She has little gems and vignettes all over.
I almost got whiplash the first time I saw her house.
My eyes were darting all over, trying to take in the fabulosity.

I call these the twins. She made these ya'll!

On top of the entertainment cabinet are items that are dear to 
Tori and her hubby. 
The Fall touches add warmth.

This is on the other side of the cabinet,
I love the unexpected in her spaces!

I admire a home where there are spots that speak about 
a home's inhabitants like this.

What's in a name?
A lot, if your name is Fortune.
I adore the Happy Halloween pennant and the leaves.
Isn't it festive?

She made these too.
Stop. Just stop.

All of the rooms have these handmade signs hanging outside.
It's like you can't help but want to see inside.

You can see that Victoria is brilliant at using ordinary things in unique ways.
It blows my mind.

It's like a B&B....only she gets to live here!

This room is fun, and Victoria is fearless when it comes to color and texture.

This corner literally makes me happy. 
Like super happy.

This is the guest room.
I live down the street, but I think about taking a vacation here.

How cozy does this look?

Again with the crafty.

Before we say goodbye, let me introduce you to my
uber talented, super sweet travel companion and friend, Victoria.

She's a total hotty totty, I know.
And one of the nicest people you'll meet too.
This girl is always traveling, and lucky us, she blogs about it! Check it out...

Thank you Tori, for letting me oogle your home (again) and share it 
out here on the blogosphere. 
I <3 you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stick a Pin in It......

One of my favorite things about Pinterest is that it 
gets my brain excited.
This is so true for me that I have a Pinterest curfew.
Otherwise, I lay awake all night thinking about 
the Pinterest-y things I want to try.
There was one such night that I laid in bed all night
thinking about a map.
Yeah....a map.
Because since we live in Europe now, we want to go places.
And we want to document our travels in a unique way.
Doesn't everyone?
Of course they do.
So anyway, I had been searching Pinterest for such a thing.
A family travels map.
Oh, be still my beating heart.
I can't say that any one was exactly what I wanted,
but I had a few choice examples to guide me.

At this point, I needed to execute my plan.
Now I do love power tools, and I have done some moderately 
impressive builds.
However, I'm not so much for cutting angles.
Straight cuts, yes.
Angled cuts, someone (me) might lose a finger.
You see what I'm getting at?
Since I don't think my hubby would dig giving me a celebratory high 3, I asked for his help.
He, as always, rolled his eyes and got to work.


Hubs built and I painted the frame and did the stenciling.
We got the map from here, where the selection is huge.
This is just 1x3 boards cut so that the map sits tightly inside the frame.
For the lettering I printed the words and traced them onto
the frame and painted them in.
I noticed after we hung it, that the Ns are upside down.
Don't tell anyone.
I wrapped washi tape around the tops of straight pins and cut the tape to 
look like little flags.
Then we stuck pins in all the places we've traveled, and all the
places we've lived.
Ya'll we stuck a lot of pins in this bad boy.
Now that it's done, I can't wait to stick another pin in it!