Dec 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from our House to Yours!

We're off to visit family for Christmas in Colorado.  Nothing like being in the mountains for Christmas!  I'll be "off" for the next week until Jan 1st, but I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

See you in 2014!!  (Can you believe it's almost 2014??)

Dec 20, 2013

Get The Look! Contemporary Bungalow Style

Do you ever find yourself browsing through real estate websites for design ideas?  I often find decorating inspiration this way.  It allows me to dream of living in a home with period details such as hardwood flooring, pretty mouldings, brick fireplaces, and original built-ins (which is sadly foreign to me in a newly built home).

Just the other day, I found this pretty living room in a character-filled 2-story bungalow for sale in the heart of Cathedral Village in Regina, Saskatchewan.  The inviting space is perfectly decorated with deep neutrals and just a few tasteful pops of color, texture, and shine.

This charmingly layered room inspired me to create an inspiration board just in case you'd like to replicate the look of this warm and welcoming living space.  (Sources and source links can be found below.)

Sources: Blue Linen Fox Pillow ($22) - Etsy // Teal Pillow ($20) - Pier1 // Orange Velvet Lumbar Pillow ($25) - Pier1 // Indigo Paisley Pillow ($30) - Pier1 // Capiz Sunburst Mirror ($89) - Target // Plush Curtain in Indigo ($40/panel) - Pier1 // Urn Table Lamp and Shade ($239) - Shades of Light // Seismic 3 artwork by Ashleigh Ross Ninos, 16"x16" ($162 framed) - Artfully Walls // Possibilities 84" Queen Sleeper Sofa, Lindy Fabric in Charcoal ($1345) - JCPenney // Steel Polyhedron Planter, shown with orchid ($50) - Etsy // Chrome Glass-Top Hexagonal Table ($175) - Overstock // White "SALONG" Vases ($8 and $10) - Ikea // Tuscam Perma Grey Rug, 8'x11' ($725) - RugsUSA // Wall Street Coffee Table in Espresso ($122) - Target

I love the traditional patterns, fabrics, and lighting, mixed with the modern lines of the art, tables, rug, and accents.  It's the perfect blend of old and new!  Which decor piece is your favorite in this bungalow inspired design?

Dec 19, 2013

Christmas Tour of Jennifer Worts' Toronto Home

I was introduced to interior designer Jennifer Wort's beautiful home in November's issue of Canadian House & Home and I've been waiting and waiting for images to pop up online so I could share it with you...well, they never did.  So, I decided to take action and scan them in for you.  Homes as gorgeous as this one simply must be shared among friends!

Get ready for some fun...

How about some fuchsia as a playful pop of color??

Isn't that over-dyed rug just dreamy?  The woven rattan stool is super cool too!

That David Hicks diamond print fabric on the throw pillows is the perfect jolt of pattern in the space.

The lighting above the table is a cluster of West Elm's Globe Pendant lights!  Truly one of today's most popular and wonderfully affordable lighting choices.

Don't you love the American flag hanging in the stairwell?  Too cool!

That brass sconce from Circa (above the bed) is on of my all-time favorite light fixtures but it's pricy!  This Schoolhouse Electric sconce or even this West Elm task lamp are more affordable but very similar options.

Isn't that floating rustic wood vanity beautiful?  I love the way Jennifer has mixed sleek modernity with the warmth of natural elements.  And, that tub and moroccan star light?  ADORE!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the modern white with pops of black and color.  And, I can't help but swoon over the geometric patterns, playful fuchsia, and the black window frames!  My very favorite thing, though, is the open concept main floor with the kitchen, dining, living, and sitting room all in one big happy area.  This is pretty much my dream house!

Dec 18, 2013

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Teachers

It's always so hard for me to come up with Christmas gifts for teachers.  Anyone else with me?  I think it's because they truly deserve so much, but by the time you get around to buying them something there isn't any money left in the gift budget.  My little one is blessed to have 4 teachers in her classroom (1 teacher and 3 aids)...YES, 4 teachers!!  And, gifts for 4 teachers can really add up.

This year I had originally planned to give gift cards.  (Let's face it, we all love gift cards!)  But, when I thought about handing each of them a $10 Starbucks gift card, I just thought it sounded kinda lame.  So, I decided to come up with something that cost the same but took just a little more effort than a run to Staples for the gift cards.  Here's what we decided to do...

I found the mug for $5 at Homegoods and the Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte Mix from Trader Joe's was only $3.99 (and it's AMAZINGLY delicious!).  I know teachers have plenty of mugs, but at least this one is pretty and doesn't scream "I'm a teacher!".

Here it is all wrapped up with a pun-tastic tag attached.  I downloaded the "Merry Christmas" text  and banner clip-art for free, combined them in Powerpoint/Keynote, added the "Thanks a LATTE for all you do!", printed it, cut it out, and attached it to a cute gingham bow on the wrapped gift.

No, I didn't come up with the "Thanks a LATTE" line.  I found that online too!  It was so fitting for this gift idea and the 4 wonderful teachers that they're going to.

Anyone else have any good last minute teacher gift ideas?  Do share with us, please!!

Dec 16, 2013

Gift Ideas : The Royal (Crest) Treatment

Chivalry is alive!  And it couldn't be more in-style.  Crests/shields are a hot trend in jewelry design, home decor, and even for the tiny tots.   I've been "pinning" away at them not even realizing how much I was drawn to the simple but regal shape.

Check out these crest finds, many of which I'd love to see underneath the Christmas tree!

Anyone else have their eyes on crest-like objects of late?  My favorite object above?  Definitely that crest mirror. I'd love to have it for my entry.  Here is where I first spotted the mirror, which totally fueled my crest hunt...

And, my most recent crest acquisition, you may ask?  This metal vintage crest I picked up from an antique store in Portland OR.

So, what do you think of crests?  Royal cool or too old school?

Dec 13, 2013

Cinnamon Stick Manger

Here's a sweet little handmade gift a friend gave me this year...a cinnamon stick manger she had made to go with my Willow Tree nativity set.

Isn't it precious?  The cinnamon sticks look just like little logs that are the perfect size and scale to the figurines.

Here are some close-ups so you can see how she hot-glued it all together:





Our nativity is set up on the "hall dresser" right as you come in our entry-way.

Since this spot is usually set up to feature our world travels, I decided to run with the global theme and top off the setting with the beginning of John 3:16.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Jesus, the world map, and our travel art tie together quite nicely.  Don't you think?

Dec 11, 2013

Paper Straw and Wood Bead Garland

There's never a shortage of paper straws in this household...I always grab a pack whenever I see them go on clearance at the local craft store, TJ Maxx, or Homegoods.  So, when I saw a paper straw and wood bead garland featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine I was rearing and ready to go!

This was a super easy craft to do, and it would even be do-able with little ones.  Simply lace cut paper straws (I cut them into thirds) and wooden beads onto yarn or heavy nylon string, then tie up the ends and you're done.

To make the "ends" easier to work with (and avoid having to tie a knot the size of your head), I cut about an 18-foot length of string and tied the ends together to form a large loop, thus "doubling" the string over into a 9-foot length.  Then I strung a bead onto one end of the loop,  tucked the bead in-between the two strings and pulled the bead tautly to the end.  This allowed the wood bead to be the end of the garland, allowing me to easily string the other pieces on without having to worry about tying a knot large enough to keep the beads/straw pieces on the string.

Clear as mud?  Hopefully this photo helps...see how the bead is holding the garland together without having to tie a knot?  I did this to finish off the other end as well.

That's the only complex part, the rest is just stringing the pieces on in whatever pattern you like.

This garland is a festive addition to our big 'ol Texas star but it would look really cute strung around a Christmas tree as well.  Happy decorating!

Dec 9, 2013

Splurge vs. Save : Gold-Toe Pumps

What's the perfect festive but sophisticated shoe to wear with a cocktail dress to all those Christmas parties? Gold-toe pumps, of course!

Sources: splurge |  save

How's that for a close comparison with a major price tag difference?  And, because it's the season for sharing, here's a few office-party-appropriate dresses that they'd look really cute with.

A solid pairing...

A lacy number...

And, a pretty print...

To stay warm, a little black cardigan would be the perfect topper for all of them!  And, the jewels of course...  My below pick goes with every dress and adds the perfect amount of sparkle.

Are you ready to dress up and go out on the town?  Now it's your turn.  What would you wear with some pretty gold-toe pumps?

Dec 6, 2013

DIY Ornament Clusters

Do you know what a big container of plastic ornaments, a stick of hot glue, and a glue gun get you?

Well, decorative DIY ornament clusters, of course!  All over the house...

Not the most inventive DIY in the world.  Not even inventive enough to make it a "craft" but they sure do add a nice festive touch of sparkle and glam to your table tops.  And, they're super easy to make too!

Now you want to make some too, huh?  Go for it...that's what weekends are for!!

Dec 4, 2013

Fly Away With Me Nursery

As a welcome diversion from Christmas Christmas everywhere in blogland, I wanted to share a recent inspiration board that I created for one of my best friends who's pregnant and just found out that she's having a GIRL!  She wanted a primarily gray and yellow room, with a bird motif scattered throughout.  Here's what we came up with...

What do you think of the nursery inspiration board?  Have a favorite item that's featured?  I sorta want a room like this for myself...or at least a chandelier like that.

Dec 2, 2013

Splurge vs. Save: Faux Fur Tree Skirt

In this installment of "Splurge vs. Save" I have a cute Christmas tree skirt idea for you!  Faux fur is all the rage right now, so why not skirt a tree with it??  Especially with a pretty white faux fur that will make your tree look like it's sitting in a fresh pile of soft snow.

Sources: splurge |  save

Even better, the "save" tree skirt option from Target is a blanket, so it has multiple purposes.  You may be a little torn between using it as a throw on your sofa or using it as a tree skirt, because it's oh so soft and cozy.

Heck, you could solve that problem by buying two blankets...and your bill would still be less than the "splurge".

I actually took advantage of this "save" myself for our tree this year...

What do you think of it?  I've seen a few DIY's like this one {here} for faux fur tree skirts, too.  Another fabulous, even more affordable option, if you're one with the sewing machine...
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