Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Porch 2014


The weather cooled down quite a bit this week so I finally got around to setting the porch up with a little bit of a "Harvest" theme.  I'll admit that I really struggled with putting it together this year. I had a vision of what I wanted things to look like, but really couldn't find what I was looking for to put things together.  I've decided to create a running list, so I'll be looking for some great vintage items throughout the year to hopefully get it down for next year.

Also, it's a bit too early for real pumpkins and gourds (they have them in stores but I think they'd be gross by Halloween, so I am delaying buying them until late October). 

Anyways, here's what it looks like now. I'm certain things will change up a little bit, from now until I  I bust out the Halloween additions, but I think it looks welcoming so it's a nice start!

(excuse the dirt all over the walk, I had some rolls of sod sitting there last week and was a bit too chilly to want to get the hose out today)
First up, I added a little potted mum to "Hootie" the planter, as he had been a little lonely since I transplanted his roses.  Home Depot had these 6" pots for $1.99.  I like that the colors were very muted jewel tones.
Some of my summer planters are still hanging in there so I only picked up one big potted mum to add to the stairs.  It's just starting to bloom, so should fill out nicely over the next couple weeks and be proportionate in size to the other planter.  I tucked Solomon the Scarecrow into one of the pots and he sways around nicely in the wind.
I brought the battery powered lanterns from the back deck up front as I like the steps to look full.
I left them dirty and I like that they are starting to rust a bit.
I needed something larger for the bottom step to keep each side balanced so I popped my white  faux pumpkin in an old basket that I'm sure once contained Hickory Farms goodies :) and like the simplicity of it.
I picked up this neat Liv'n Lantern plant today from Home Depot and absolutely LOVE it!! As I was walking to the til, I had about 3 people stop me and insist on touching the little papery lanterns.  they are quite the show stopper.  This one also has a cute little Welcome scarecrow. 
I typically prefer a more muted color palette, but these were just too cute to resist!
For the actual porch itself, I kept the chair and little table that are always out there and just swapped out the items.
The little basket of faux mini pumpkins, gourds, berries, burlap and leaves is probably my favorite thing.  I did it last year and had to recreate it again.

I wrapped a garland of faux leaves from Michael's around the railing for a nice subtle touch. 
The basket on the floor holds another gorgeous pot of mums and is originally from Ikea and has weathered to a nice patina. 
 For the table top we have the lantern that's out here always.  Another pot of mums, this time in a gorgeous purple was popped into a metal bucket I quickly sprayed black.  I think I will be adding a coat of chalkboard paint to this later this week so I can write a sweet message on here.  The paper mache pumpkin I created last year makes another appearance!
I've felt the wall space above the table has been lacking something for quite some time.  I've been toying with the idea of either a big chalkboard, mirror, sign or something but hadn't made a decision.  I found this old piece of wood in the garage and just leaned it up there for the meantime.  I really like the dark rustic wood (its all banged up and worn) and think I might make it into a sign (maybe chalkboard...?) and officially hang it.
Of course, my favorite fall wreath is back in action.  I'm contemplating painting the front door chocolate brown.  It was supposed to be painted by the builder before we moved in, but the door was back ordered and swapped out twice, so obviously got missed.
So far, I think it's looking nice.  Things will change as the summer flowers die off and I have to move some stuff around.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you've enjoyed my porch tour!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Change of Plans

I had planned a nice weekend post on all the Fall Decor over at my house.  Afterall. I spent all last week getting inspired by so many wonderful blogs and all the gorgeous fall decorating everyone has been doing. I had even gone out and purchased a few new things I wanted, to add to my collection.  Then, I got up and went to get started and kinda got stuck.

Nothing I did looked right. I didn't really have the right stuff for the look I wanted to create.... I just felt like my space wasn't nearly as inspiring as some of the gorgeous spaces I'd seen in BlogLand. My small home also didn't really have many spaces for me to inject a rustic, elegant harvest vibe I was going for. Everything just looked AWKWARD....

And then I realized this:

Why the heck was I inside my house trying to make my feel warm and cozy when I was running the fans again and wishing I was outside, enjoying the day??   With as short as our summer seasons are here, it's no wonder I wasn't feeling the itch to start packing summer away!  So I forgot about it all, stopped beating myself up about it and enjoyed the day. 

I'll get around to decorating for fall this week/weekend. But for the meantime, here are some phone shots of our walk yesterday. I'll be bringing my real camera with me next time ! :) 

This gorgeous little bridge is one of my favorite things about this park. 

Love this view of the trees. From green to yellow, to bare...

It's always a feat getting this one to sit still but when she does, she gives me good smiles!! 

Hope you had a great weekend! I've got a few painting projects I'm working on right now so I should be able to reveal those this week!! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Nails: Fall Peacock

I've never been a girl who gets her nails done. Yes, I'll paint them myself from time to time, but they're super fragile and break easily, so it's often not worth the hassle.

But a few months ago, I had the opportunity to try some press-on Nails and became HOOKED!! Gone are the days when press-ons were a vision of the 80s, in bright red talon-like styles.  Today's styles are very fresh and current and work nicely for me as they last about a week, which let's me change them up as often as I like!! 

Yesterday, a trip to <a href="">Walmart</a> for cat litter, yielded 2 new pairs of earrings and 2 new styles of nails!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love birds and of course peacock colors, so coming across these babies was an exciting find! 

Of course I had to put them on that night!   I'm super happy with how they look. Here's a peek:

The dark moody colors really pop on my white skin!   What I like about them is that they aren't all the same. The feathers are turned the other way on some so they don't look so mass produced and a little more hand-drawn! 

They offer a nice selection of sizes so you  can find something to fit. I'm thinking it would be super cute to do these as a feature nail with a dark color for the rest of the hand since I prob won't be able to do a full hand again! 

One thing I love is that as someone quote spends all day typing, the length on these is pretty good .  I don't have issues with them feeling awkward. Plus I find my natural nails are protected and actually grow quite well when I'm wearing these!! The best part? Pre-glued. These babies take less than 4 minutes to finish!!  

If you're looking to add a little something to your manicure, be sure to try out <a href="">Impress Press On Manicure by Broadway Nails</a> 

What beauty tips, tricks or products have you tried out lately? I love hearing from my readers!! 

Disclaimer: While I have, in the past, received products from this company (via a third-party) to review, these items were purchased by me. I enjoyed the complimentary items soo much, I have continued to purchase them since the trial and will continue to do so. All opinions and ideas here are my own. I was not compensated in any fashion for this post. However, that being said, I'd be happy to work with them in the future :) 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Office Progress: Drapery

A few months back, when the friend I had staying with me moved out, I decided it was time to update the office a little bit.  Nothing fancy, but as the space was entirely full of dark furniture, it was feeling pretty "heavy" and I felt I could lighten things up a little bit and make it more conducive to my wanting to use and be in the space.

The first thing I decided was that I wasn't going to bring all the furniture back in.  The tall BILLY bookcase was relocated to the basement for some storage in the laundry space,which worked out  well.  I also got rid of the stand alone filing cabinet since I gained the filing drawer space in the drawer tower that the ex had left me.

Everything else was returned to the room in pretty much the same spot, since I was keeping the big mirror in the space and that limits the furniture placement.

....and then I kind of got busy with work and nothing else happened in the space.  Until last week that is, when I remembered about the project and had some free time to go shopping!

The first thing I wanted to do was bring in some color and pattern into the space via some patterned drapes.  I lucked out at HomeSense  when I came across these pretty geometric linen panels in white, grey and turquoise.  While I`m not usually a fan of grommet panels, they seem to be the norm for HomeSense, and I can`t complain when I get 2 panels for $25.00!

I also needed to buy a drapery rod for the space and after checking out a ton of different options (and actually buying a different one initially), I came across this pretty one with Mercury Glass finials which I absolutely loved.  They were also cheaper than the plainer version I had already purchased.  These are Threshold from Target .

This was my first time putting up drapery rods, which I know is ridiculous.  But it was pretty easy and I even added one immediately after, to the guest room as well.  As soon as they were up, I knew the finials were perfect.


They add a lot of interest to the space and I am really happy with the color.
The  only unfortunate thing is that for whatever reason, I didn't actually read the drapes' dimensions.  Since the ones I'd purchased for my bedroom were the same company, I assumed they were the same... I was wrong.  :(  
But I can totally solve that with the addition of a band of fabric at the bottom. 
I'll be on the lookout for a nice linen-like fabric in a coordinating grey or turquoise color. 
In the meantime, I really like how they are adding a little something to the room!
Tomorrow, I will be sharing a little more pattern that I've added to the space!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dining Room Table Makeover

I am incredibly excited to reveal the "new" Dining Room table today!!


The Dining Set was the first one I ever purchased when I moved out on my own for the first time.  It's served me well the last 9ish years, but the glossy, dark espresso like finish had started chipping and peeling and it was looking a little worse for wear.  Plus, the "espresso" was really more of a cherry now and I just wasn't really feeling it anymore.

Sure it looked good from far, but definitely far from good!
So I usually tried to mask a lot of the wear with a centerpiece and/or some type of table linens. 
My recent desire to lighten things up had grown stronger and stronger....
I wasn't exact sure what I wanted the new table to look like, but I knew that starting with a clean slate would be the best place to start.  I had toyed with the idea of painting it a glossy white, or possibly staining it a light grey, kind of like a whitewashed finish.  But I figured we'd start with the chairs sanded down and see how I like it. 
Since I have a very strong aversion to sandpaper, I had to enlist the efforts of my mom to do the  sanding. She got the chairs done one at a time, over the last few months since she would just take one back home with her every time she'd visit.
Once all 4 were complete, I really liked the look!
So this week she came to visit to tackle the table.  We initially thought it was solid wood, unfortunately, just the legs were solid, the top had a veneer on a pressed board finish, which meant it chipped off very easily. 
One side is still a fair bit darker than the other, where my mom thinks the stain might have been left on a little longer. She was hesitant to keep going too much on it, as she was worried she'd just gouge the table surface far too much.  I actually don't mind it too much, plus figure that it'll wear down a bit with plates and everything rubbing on it. 
It looks a lot lighter in person actually....
I was a little leery at first but now I absolutely LOVE it!!
Its super rustic looking which I love. 
I quickly added a little burlap runner and simply placed a few new fall décor purchases for the meantime. 
I'm thinking eventually I will want to coat it with a wax or sealer just to protect the top. But otherwise, I like the new look.  It has drastically changed the look of the Dining Space and I'm super happy about it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Recent Target Finds

I was at Target  the other day for something and of course had to peruse the home decor and furniture sections. My store didn't have much in stock, but here are a few things that caught my eye:

I have a feeling I've posted these dining chairs before, but I love them! I love the color, the nailhead detail and the great price! 

They also have barstools but I'm partial to those tufted teal ones for a pop of fun color in an all white kitchen! 

Continuing on in that teal linen fabric is this sleek little chair and ottoman combo! They kinda remind me of an 80s waiting room but I like them anyhow! The slim profile is nice for small spaces and that ottoman could be uber versatile!

Love these lamp bases! Very Restoration Hardware-esque. At what I can only assume is like 80 times cheaper :) 

It's hard to see in this photo but these shades have a gold lurex-like thread running thru them for just the slightest metallic surprise! I was looking at them for the office lamps but think they might not be enough of a statement for a lucite base!

I also liked this ombré version and the gold foil leaf print option! I actually ended up picking up  the gold leaf ones for my office, which I will show you soon!
What about you? What have been your favorite Target finds lately? 

Stuff & Things...

While I realize I haven't shared with you any photos of the outdoor spaces from this summer yet, the weather has been crap lately - we had snow on Monday, and rain practically every day since!  So I will hopefully get around to that this weekend if things smarten up.  But without further ado, some insight into what I have been working on inside!

Just over a year ago, an incident led to me needing to replace the powder room door.  I managed to get a great deal through work for the same profile doors I have (and love) throughout the rest of the house. Unfortunately, the door was unpainted and unprimed - no problem I said, I'll get right on that!

Since it's install, I've scowled at the door, apologized to guests and warned them "the door isn't dirty, its unpainted..." as I've sent them on their way to the powder room.  I couldn't take it one more second, and last week, armed with some White Russians, my iPhone and a wireless stereo, I decided to paint the damn thing.  At 9:30 p.m. on a Tuesday......

Here is the BEFORE:
You can see how ugly and not bright white it was...  you can also see on the left side there, dirty fingerprints from the guys who carried the door for me.... the shame!



 It's hard to tell in the pics (nighttime) but it is an exact match to the trim!!  So fresh and clean now!!

As well, months and months ago, after the friend I had staying with me moved out, I decided I was going to refresh my office.  I opted not to move some of the old furniture back in, and then didn't do a single thing else.  Last week, when I realized I'd picked up a temporary contract that would have me working from home a few nights a week, I realized it was high time I got back to work on the office.  While it's not quite ready for a full reveal, here's one of the quick projects I completed.

A while back, I redid a corkboard to be a pretty little live Pinterest board for my office.  The only thing was it didn't have any hanging hardware on the back.  After about 2 years of having it leaning against the wall (and then also crashing down behind the deck and destroying the baseboard), I got fed up and rectified that.

Here's a super easy way to add hardware to anything you want to hang.

1.  Pick up these handy little self-levelling picture hangers from Home Depot


2. Flip over the item you need to add hardware to 

3.  Use a measuring tape to mark the centre

4.  Place the middle of the hardware thing over the dot you marked and then hammer in the little nails they provide.  (I busted out my jewelry making tools and used needle nose pliers to hold the nail so I didn't hammer my fingers)

5.  Flip your piece over, hammer a nail or screw into the wall (I used an anchor for mine since the board is heavy and with pinning and unpinning items to it, I figured it would be smarter to make it secure).  Hang on wall

I won't show an overall shot as I am still working on the rest of the space, but it will be coming soon!
There's lot going on in the house right now, project wise, (it's an absolute mess right now!), so stay tuned as I have lots of posts coming!!