Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pinkaliscious Party!

Well, friends, I know I have been MIA. I was SO sick last week, and this past week was spent recovering, catching up, and getting ready for my now 3 yr. old's Pinkaliscious Birthday Party (which had been postponed due to all of us being sick!). If you have been to my house, you know that it is not very roomy.... at all! Somehow, we crammed about 45 people, 23 of which were little people, in here for a festive celebration. The kids decorated wands and crowns, and even got to decorate their own pink cupcakes!

I wanted to go all out with decorations, and stay on a budget (i.e. CHEAP!) so I headed to the dollar store and found plates, napkins, cups, all in pink, as well as lovely faux roses, green florist foam. I stuffed the foam and flowers into hot pink pots I bought from IKEA, and then used red basket confetti to cover up the green foam. I made 3 of these little arrangements, for around $20 total.

I also found how to make these gorgeous tissue paper hanging flowers from none other than Martha Stewart Online. Mine do not look like the domestic goddess', but they added a nice soft pink touch to the room nonetheless!

Food was also pink themed, with strawberry cream cheese sandwiches in heart shapes, pink fruit salad, pink lemonade, and of course, pink cupcakes! We also played a homemade "Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake" which was very easy to make, and fun to play!

I am sitting on the couch now recovering from the craziness of it, but isn't this little Pink Princess worth it?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Family Room Redo.... Part 3

This past weekend was spent shopping for some new pieces I needed to convert the unused side of the family room into a craft and game area. I already knew I wanted to get 2 of the large white IKEA expedit shelving units. The plan was that my husband and I would take our daughter to IKEA Friday morning while Sawyer was at school. Of course, Emmy was sick all week last week (which is also why there have been no new posts!), and by Friday we had to take her to the doctor. So Chris took her, and I ventured bravely to IKEA by myself. All was going smoothly until I had to load the card up with boxes 1,2, and 3, of two sets of bookshelves. Let me tell you, these things are heavy! I managed to get the first one on my cart by myself, but when it came to hoisting the second set I clearly needed help. I walked around and found no one to help me. I was exhausted having been up every night with a sick child, and my nerves were shot! I tried very hard not to just sit on the floor of the self-serve furniture area and cry like a baby. Instead, I took deep breaths, walked some more and finally found someone to help me. He loaded it up, but of course the cart now would not move in a straight direction so we had to drive the cart together. I still had to pick up a desk as well, but that was much lighter to my great relief! It was all an adventure I don't want to relive, but I got my shelves! That was only half the battle, though. After the kids went to sleep that night, Chris and I spent about 3 hours putting them together. And when the day comes that we sell this house, I think the shelves will be part of the deal as we would have to take them back apart to get them out of this room!
Once the shelves were put together, they needed to be filled, and I wanted to get some nice storage boxes. I looked at IKEA when I was there, but they seemed to flimsy to withstand my family. I went to a few other stores, and eventually talked myself into going to Wal-mart. I never go to Wal-mart but I was desperate and didn't want to spend much. I found these fantastic and sturdy gray bins made from recycled materials for $6.50 each!

I also found these fantastic chocolate brown organizing boxes and magazine files, all for just $6 each.

And of course, I busied myself Saturday night emptying out the contents of the black armoire into the shelves and organizers. I also shopped in my own inventory and found this little cabinet that has not found a home, and placed it next to the couch. It serves as an end table, and is also hosting all my kids board games perfectly!

So now, to give you an idea of where this room is headed....

I am looking for 2 fabulous antique chairs to use on either side of the desk/table. I saw a great idea where a chair was silver-leafed and am considering that. If you see any greay curvy little chairs, let me know!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baby Love

Yesterday, I saw on my caller ID that my best friend was calling me in the middle of the day. She works full time and never calls in the middle of the day, so immediately my heart skipped a beat. Sure enough when I answered the phone, she couldn't contain herself and told me that she was pregnant! She has been down some rocky roads, so I was thrilled when she met her perfect match and married him last year, and even happier now that they will have a beautiful big baby! Yes, this baby is going to come out tan, with a big booty, and tall, and probably will have gleaming white teeth right away as well, since my friend and her husband look just like that! Their procreation will be gorgeous! So of course, now that I know she is having a baby, I get to start shopping! Check out this frame I designed on

You can create all sorts of fabulous frames and signs! How cool is this site? You will have personalized, special, artwork or frames for your home or as gifts. I first saw these fabulous beauties courtesy of The Nesting Place at
Check it out! She has a beautiful sign in her home I saw back in November that i drooled over. Come to think of it, one of the signs would even look great in my new family room. hmmmmm.....

Monday, January 11, 2010

I almost forgot!

I am blessed enough to have a father and brother who take fantastic photos. I am not just talking run of the mill pictures. My dad just won a contest! Almost all of the art work around the house is courtesy of my family. I scrolled through some of my brother's photos while he was here visiting (he lives too far away in Los Angeles!) and came across this beauty! I plan to get it printed rather largely and frame it or (if it isn't too expensive) have it printed on canvas and it will hand on the wall above our new couch. Pretty cool, huh?

By the way, this photo came in second, but I love it, too! I love the rusty finish of the train, and I love the "UN" which is part of the word "Union" on the train, but "UN" kind of spoke to me.... unorganized, unfinished, unready.... you get it!

Family Room Redo.... Part 2

Alright, well we are really getting somewhere now! Baxter, our lovely new couch, was delivered on Saturday, and it was love again! I love the gray color, and I love the pillows we purchased at West Elm. We got 3 of these ruffly guys in the same gray, then I found 2 of these gigantic pillows in a softer gray at Marshall's for just $19.99 each!

As you can see, my children think the new couch is as wonderful as I do, and we have spent a bit of this morning relaxing and watching the Disney Channel Movietime Monday Movie (as seen on my TV).

The cabinets have also been repainted white, and the TV stand/dresser will be next to complete the look there. The pictures also need to be shifted over, but I wanted to make sure we had the TV set up in the right place before I went to crazy with my hammer, especially since I am famous for hammering a nail in about 4 different places before getting it just right!

So the plan as we move on forward....
I plan to make the far side of the room (where the old couch is currently sitting) a workspace with shelves (most likely furnished by IKEA expedit) so that I can do smaller crafty projects there, as well as homework with the kids, consultations, etc.

The side closer to the door will get a new chair, yet to be decided. I like the IKEA karlstad in the linen or light blue, but my husband is not quite feeling it yet. We also want to get a round table for in between the chair and couch, a new coffee table and rug, and the room will be repainted. For the rug, it will most likely be from West Elm since we earned some dollars to use there with our purchase.

For the room color.... I would love ideas! I am leaning towards a bisque, white, cool beige, or pale warm gray. What are your opinions? I am going to get the entire room put together before I decide on color for the walls. I have learned from past experiences that paint color needs to be one of the last decisions! Stay tuned for Part 3.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Family Room Redo.... Part 1

I am so excited to be in the midst, well, really the very beginning stages, of redoing my own family room. As I go through this process, I am going to share all my steps (as well as my mis-steps) with you, lucky reader! Today was "Day 1". Before today I have just been thinking, perusing some fab homes on,,, and and collecting ideas, color schemes, etc, that I love. I have decided to keep it mostly neutral and light, and then change out accent colors as I feel. So what was accomplished on "Day 1"? Well, I repainted part of my entertainment cabinets, and my husband and I took a child-free trip to Tyson's Corner, and ordered our new sectional in a fabulous gray! I LOVE white upholstered furniture, but with 2 dogs and 2 kids (not to mention a husband) white is just not possible. Here is a sneak peak at what we purchased at West Elm, and will be delivered tomorrow afternoon! The best part is it is entirely made in the USA and made of eco-friendly products. Check out Baxter, who will be moving in with us tomorrow!

I am also constantly cold, so I like to snuggle under a blanket on my couch, so Baxter needed an accessory; we purchased this nubby and cozy throw, which is covering my legs as I type!

And of course, Baxter was in need of some pillows, so we purchased a few of those, pictures coming soon! But for now, enjoy the before pictures below, as well as the glimpses I have shown you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cheap and Chic Artwork

I just love black and white artwork- photos, prints, you name it! And I just love a good bargain anymore, and free items even better! Yes, your trash could be my treasure! A while back, I picked up an old set of encyclopedias form the early sixties off craigslist for free. While they could serve to be hefty reading, I chose to (if you are a book-lover who does not believe in taking books apart, even in the sake of reusing please stop reading now) flip through them and rip out pages that had sketches and prints that I thought would one day make a nice project somewhere and somehow. Also, some time last year, I happened upon these fabulous frames that came in an set of 3, unfinished, for just $2.50! I snatched a few packages of them and put them away for someday.

Well, someday has arrived! My mom's birthday is just around the corner, and she is an avid gardener. I really wish I had inherited that. I love pretty flowers, but I don't love making them grow! Anyhow, I had several encyclopedia pages with plants and flowers so I decided to put together a trio just for her. I selected 3 of my favorite flower pictures, cut them to size, and painted the frames white. Also, when I opened the package I discovered each had a black satin ribbon to hang the frame- what a bonus! Not too bad for artwork under three dollars, don't ya think?

Just don't tell my mom I didn't even spend 3 dollars on her, ok?

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's in Store for 2010?

I promised to proclaim my 2010 resolutions, so here you go! I was dragging my feet over this, because once you make it known, well then you really have to follow through. Or at least try.
1. Well, as most do come the new year, I need to make more time for exercise. Currently I teach 5-8 classes a week at a couple different gyms, but I need to make tome for a little relaxation and yoga, and running. So my plan is to either run or do yoga only once a week. These few pounds which have made themselves at home on my hips need to go!
2. Drink more water. This shouldn't be hard as my usualy beverage intake is made up of coffee, diet coke, and wine. I usually only drink water at the gym or if I am really hot. So far, I have had an extra 32 oz of water the past few days. I plan to work up to 64 oz. I don't want to put my bladder into shock right away!
3. Work on little projects around the house. We just received our tax assessment, and since our house is worth much less than it was at time of purchase 3 years ago, we aren't going anywhere any time soon. So time to really embrace this house and fall in love with it!
1. Be a better blogger. By this I mean, be more frequent and more interesting. Frankly, I am a pretty boring stay at home mom, but I will do my best to hold your interest! I will document what I do around this little house, and show you some other little projects you can do yourself! And trust me, I am one thrifty chic, so you will be able to afford to do these projects!
2. Get a logo and new business cards. Already in the works.... Coming soon!

To get the year started right, I have already started my first little project in home. Our foyer is the teensiets foyer ever, and while I can't magically transform it into the larger space I would like, I can make it look a little more "me" and have it flow better into the rest of our house. Our front doot was a honey colored wood stain, seriously scratched up by the previous owner's dogs. I also have a tiny little dresser which is about the only piece of furniture I can fit there for storage. It was painted a sweet buttery yellow and it suited the dresser, but not my house. I am not much of a yellow person, unless it has to do with kids or babies. I also have a fabulous green shelf I purchased at the Brimfield Flea Market aboce the door, and a hook rack I made from trash. Literally. I found this fogged up mirror in horrible shape at Crumpton on the ground. I picked it up and on the back it had the original label, so I had to keep it. I painted it a bright green jade and added hooks. Unfortunately, I grew to dislike the green, and wanted something more subtle, so I changed it to white.

There is not a huge difference in the space, but I wanted to share the before and afters..... Ta da!

In the after, as you can see I painted and numbered the dresser as I loved the huge numbered dresser I recently painted (, but don't have the space for it. So I made a miniature version! I also added a shelf purchased at Crumpton and painted the same color as the dresser. I also painted the backside of our front door a warm gray. It's a little more relaxed feeling now, and not so charged as it was before.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Decade to Remember!

I for one, am so excited to be entering a new year and a new decade. Tomorrow, or Monday, I will look ahead and proclaim my resolutions, personal and professional, but for now, I want to reflect on the last 10 years. Looking back on the last decade, I feel like most of my life happened in that 10 year span, and it really was over in a flash! I can honestly say that a major life occurence happened almost year! 2000- graduated from Wake Forest University with a major in English and Communications; also began dating my husband, and used what I learned in communications to almost always get my way. ;) Also, we brought our first dog, Charlie, a beautiful beagle, home!
2001- moved in with my husband.
2002- moved to New Orleans, and got engaged!
2003- got married and bought our first house. Adopted our second dog, a Basset-Beagle mix named Jake.
2004- took a fabulous trip to Costa Rica! December was blessed with news of our firstborns impending arrival in August of 2005.
2005- Sawyer was born on August 9(my very own birthday)! Soon after Katrina hit, and my young family hit the road, to return home 2 months later, grateful to have a home to which we could return.
2006- Surprise! We discovered after a weekend in Mexico, that our next baby would be arriving in 2007!
2007- Emmy was born on January 17! At 6 weeks of age, we packed her up and headed to our new home in Maryland. I also met my business partner, Theresa, late in 2007. Sawyer started school/
2008- was launched! Much thanks to my friend, and website designer, Josh.
2009- Emmy started school as well. And I have made many new friends last year who I am looking forward to getting to know even more in the next 10 years!
I chose this picture for this post because of what it means to me. I was one month away from having my daughter... I just love it because I feel like it embodies what the last 10 years were all about for me- family, love, and starting our own traditions, even the simple ones like picking out our Christmas tree!