Mar 30, 2012

Dress Up a Lamp Shade With Ribbon

This is a super easy project you can do in just 30 minutes with some scrap ribbon.  I had an itch to fancy-up a plain beige lampshade I had in our dining room, so I dug around and found some turquoise ric-rac and my hot glue gun.  The rest is history!

Plain lampshade (any size or shape!)
Hot glue gun

Mar 28, 2012

Car Organization 101

Car organization - now that's a topic that gets you excited, huh?!?  Sure it's not the most visually interesting thing for us to talk about, but it can be essential to keeping your car space as neat and orderly as possible.  Pre-child, I always had a pretty clean interior in my car.  I even opted for the seemingly luxurious light beige interior finishes, which I definitely regret now...

Once our babe's toys started taking over the backseat - mind you, they're typically flug from the carseat, ending up on the seats, on the floor, under the seats, you name it - we decided to head over to The Container Store to find an inexpensive solution to our containment problem.  We ended up purchasing a flexible plastic tub that fits perfectly under the carseat and nicely holds all the spoils of backseat entertainment attempts.

My little containment inspiration...blatantly ignoring my pleas to say "cheese!"

Now for the useful information.  Here are a few great containers I found that may help you meet your own car organization needs, kids or not:

For the floorboard...

Small Rugby Stripe Bin ($10) from

Large Tribeca Bin ($12) from

Household Essentials Tapered Bin ($10) from

For the trunk...

Folding Trunk Organizer ($12) from

Nesting Trunk Trays ($28 for all 3) from

For under the seats...

Clear Document Cases ($8-$10) from

Silver Square Mesh Lunch Box ($13) from

Mar 26, 2012

Dining Space Double-Take

If you're like me, you probably love flipping through shelter magazines any time you get a chance.  I see so many rooms that I love, at times it's almost overwhelming!  Something I wish they would always add to the photo captions is the sources for the items and the prices.  I have a feeling they don't always do that because the prices are so exorbitant it would knock our socks off just reading it...

Here is a very warm and welcoming dining space that I came across in Elle Decor last month - I was immediately drawn to the richness of the colors albeit a mostly neutral space and the overall "collected" look.

pic from elledecor

Isn't it inviting and just eclectically cool?  It looks like everything in the room has it's own story, which would surely be welcomed alongside a glass of orange juice or cup of coffee.

Knowing the room belonged to the VP of Jayson Home - a home furniture and accessory website with simply gorgeous (and pricy) items -  I knew it probably cost a pretty penny, or at least a decade of antique hunting, to furnish this beautiful space.  I set out to find similar items in order to replicate the overall look of the space on a stricter budget.  Here is the result in an inspiration board fomat...please tell me what you think.  (And, sourcing and pricing can be found below...)

Copycat of Elle Decor Space

Buffet with 2-Door Hutch Oak
$549 -

odyssey white dining table
$199 -

Toorie Curtain
$78 -

Loft Shade Pendant (6 finishes
$69 -

Savannah Story Bust, Zebra
$68 -

IKEA Olunda
$40 -

Voyage Mia Dinner Plates, Set of 2
$18 -

Aidan Gray Decor Framed Typeset Letter
$16 -

IKEA Grapefrukt
$7.99 -

IKEA Crassula
$7.99 -

$456 -

Vintage Cream Bottles W/Carrier
$17 -

Mar 23, 2012

Replacing the Boob Light...

Yes, I said "boob", but there really is no better explanation for the builder-basic flush-mount light that you can find in most any track home built in the last 10 years.  Does it function well?  Yes...  Is it inexpensive?  Yes...  Is it ugly?  No, not terribly...  But, gosh, it's mighty boring and just begs to be something more.

Our house has at least 5 or 6 of these suckers, so I thought we'd try to change one out to mix it up a bit.  My target?  The dining room...which in our rental house can also serve as an office.  I needed a fixture that wouldn't scream "dining room" to the non-design-savvy renter so I decided a chandelier was out, and set my sights on another flush-mount look that would work for dining room or office.

This was my dream fixture from

The only problem was that it cost over $100 - $130 to be exact - and it only came in the pictured bronze color.  My design dilemma involved the fact that all our other light fixtures (many visible from that room) are brushed nickel.  Booooooo!  After deciding to begrudgingly move on, I took a spin in our local Home Depot and found a dandy alternative on sale for $89.

Mar 21, 2012

Creative and Inexpensive Backsplash Ideas

After going through a kitchen transformation myself and seeing my neighbor complete her DIY backspash just last week, I've got backsplashes on my mind.  So often it's difficult to come up with an affordable backsplash option that you can DIY with materials from your local hardware store, so I decided to hunt down some creative (i.e. not tiled) and inexpensive backsplash ideas.  Here are my top 5 favorite "thinking outside of the box" backsplash ideas:

1.  My very favorite, because this is what my neighbor did - Chalkboard Backsplash.  We see chalkboard paint used everywhere these days - on furniture, on doors, on walls - but I had never thought of using it for a kitchen backsplash.  It looks great and definitely doesn't break the bank, plus you can draw on it to change things up a bit.  Because it's just paint, you can even do this in a rental space where you're allowed to paint.

pic from design*sponge

pic from apartmenttherapy

They make magnetic chalkboard paint now, too, so that's another great option if you want to hang pictures or notes on it.  My neighbor took it to the next level of coolness and used adhesive to glue long ceramic tiles around the edge of her chalkboard to frame the backsplash area - love it!

2. Acrylic Backsplash - I saw the first picture below of the fun orange backsplash in a home tour on Apartment Therapy and did some research to see where you can buy sheets of colored acrylic.  Both Lowe's and Home Depot sell colored acrylic, which can easily be cut to fit the size of your backsplash.  Simply drill holes in the corners of the acrylic and attach it to walls with screws.  Just wipe it down with water when splatter happens!

pic from apartmenttherapy

3. Temporary Wallpaper Backsplash - These self-adhesive wall tile decals from Blik are quick to install and can be repositioned as needed.  This a great option for renters, as you simply peel them off when you move.  Even better, two 24"x48" sheets are only $45.  Cut to fit and you could easily do your entire kitchen for less than $100.

pic from Blik

See how great a wallpaper backsplash can look?  They even make some papers that look like tile...

pics from manolohome

4. For a great industrial look, ever consider a Corrugated Metal Backsplash?  Sounds strange but it looks really cool.  You can position it horizontally or vertically depending on how you want the lines to run and attach it to the walls with metal screws.

pic from bhg

5. A more traditional-looking metal option is a Tin Ceiling Tile Backsplash.  There is a huge variety of colors when it comes to tin ceiling tiles - copper, stainless steel, silver, gold, you name it...and the pattern options are endless.  The American Tin Ceiling Co. website will get your creative juices flowing.

pic source unknown

What do you think?  Do you have any other good ideas for a cheap but great-looking kitchen backsplash?

Mar 19, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Bites

These buffalo chicken bites are so good!  We love buffalo wings but haven't found a good place to have them in Portland, so we've been experimenting with recipes and settled on this one to appease our hot wing craving.  The recipe is adapted from What's Cooking Chicago.


1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet
1 cup finely diced cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup Hot Wing Sauce (we like Frank's Red Hot Wings, Buffalo flavor)
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled a bit
2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing for dipping sauce

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