Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making New Friends

Wow, I am being such a bad, bad blogger. I am so very sorry. I worked so hard to create a little community here and am so grateful for all of my followers, and now I have disappeared on you all. I haven't been feeling my best lately. I've also been traveling to be with family. And to top it off April and May are my 2 busiest months of the year at work. I will be headed to Orlando this week for business. Whew! I promise to try to be better, but if you don't see much of me til later in May please forgive me.

A while back Wendy from Relatively Unique graciously invited me along to a day of lunching, thrifting and antiquing in Lancaster, PA with some other bloggers. I truly wanted go, but I couldn't afford missing an entire workday this time of year. So I was incredibly happy when the week of the gathering Wendy let me know they had decided to venture to King of Prussia instead. That's my stomping ground! So I was able to meet the ladies for lunch!

I forgot my camera! How unblogger of me! So I stole this pic from Wendy's blog.

(left to right)
Wendy from Relatively Unique (taking the pic!)

These ladies were all so sweet and welcoming to me. I wish I could have gone shopping with them! Dang job! But I hear they had a blast, so be sure to check out their blogs to see their scores!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Deckin' out a Deck with Bernadette!

I am incredibly happy to introduce you all to an uber talented friend of mine, Bernadette Uzcategui.
Bernadette is a fabulous on-location photographer in the Philadelphia/Main Line area specializing in pet, newborn, baby, children and family photography.
Please take a moment to visit Bernadette's site here.

When I saw Bernadette's deck prepped and ready for the summer, I asked her to be a guest blogger so that all of you can be as impressed as I am! So without further ado, here is the lovely Bernadette!

My back deck.

A place for oversized squirrels to scurry and mock my dog? Check.
A place for pollen+leaves+bugs to collect and hang out? Check.
Place for me to relax and put my feet up while enjoying the sunshine? Not so much!

With the turn of the season and the gorgeous sunshine filtering through the blossoming trees, I decided it was time for a mini-makeover. I have a 2.5 year old running around, so quick-turnaround was a big part makeover!
I decided to start with the basics: clean the deck. Go figure! A can of OxiClean and a brush broom did the trick!
Next: A table. I had an old vintage iron table base in my basement that I have been lugging around since college, so I pulled that up, along with a salvaged wooden YMCA sign and a HUGE piece of glass that used to be my tabletop…again, in college!

All of my furniture was the same: basic wooden chairs from IKEA. But I needed a real color POP. That is where one of my favorite design stores of all time comes in: Target. Seriously, everything that you see in the after shots that is aqua is from none other that Target! IKEA is the second contributor to the final look: the red accents including the cute lantern on the table are from IKEA.

I completed the festive look with some string lights around the fence to give us a glow while entertaining in the evening and some palms, which I am seriously hoping that I can keep alive this year! I threw weather-proof rug down for the kiddos to play and vio-la! A budget-friendly space where I can sit and enjoy in less than 3 hours!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Finally Hung the Crates!

So that took longer than I meant for it to take! But they are up and that's all that matters. And I am so happy with them!

The stool was Goodwill find. Sorry no before pics (they got lost on my cell phone) but it was originally  green and very banged up. I sanded it a ton, primed it with flat paint and topped it off with ORB. Honestly, it looks mostly black unless you get real close.

I wanted to only use large nails to hang the crates, but that meant I couldn't put the heavy white plates I had bought to go in one of them. And of course it threw the whole "filling" plan. I had to get creative and shop the house. Here's what I came up with:
Top Crate: 2 flameless candles (so I can actually have them "lit" in the crate!) and a fabric napkin.
Middle Crate: taper candle tied together with jute, a cookbook, and more fabric napkins.
Bottom Crate: Faux plants (that were in my hutch).

I didn't have room to use the smallest crate, so I had to find a new place for it along with the white plates I had bought to use as filler. Can you spot where the ended up?

There they are! Now...what to use as filler in this little crate? It is quite small.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Embroidery Hoop Hamper

Laundry Bag + Embroidery Hoop= Hanging Hamper

I saw this idea over at ohdeedoh. The idea came from Martha Strewart...who else?
We don't have a good place to put a hamper. Our bathrooms are too small to take up valuable room with one. And while we have one in the hallway upstairs where our laundry closet is, I hate having it out in the open and taking up room in the small hallway. So I am going to be on the look out for cute laundry bags. Oooohhh...maybe even monogrammed/personalized ones! I will pick up large embroidery hoops at a craft store. Then I will add hooks to the back of our bedroom and bathroom doors. I'll report back as to how it goes!

How and where do you coral your dirty clothes?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spiderman, Spiderman!

 My son is OBSESSED with superheros. Batman, Ironman, Green Lantern, Superman, etc. But his first love is Spiderman. The obsession began before he even turned 2. Way earlier than I expected. And while many obsessions for children come and go, my son is now over 3 still going strong. He has several superhero shirts and basically wants to wear one every day. He is currently asleep upstairs in his batman PJs, complete with cape.

I have been eying the spiderman bedding at Pottery Barn Kids for some time now. My son's room is already light blue and dark blue, so I wouldn't have to do anything else at all.

It's now 20% off online and I soooo want to order it. I won't buy it all...just too much.
But I was thinking I could just get the duvet and a sham and match it with solid sheets. (And of course my son already has spiderman sheets from Target!) If I get the duvet, do you think filling it with a regular twin bedspread would be OK? I don't want to have to buy a down insert.

Now I just need the hubster to approve...

Monday, April 5, 2010

10 Minute Clean Up

I love 10-minute-clean-ups. It's an easy way to feel like you've accomplished a big task, but without the big work. I try to find at least one 10-minute-clean-up project a week. Today, I chose my son's kitchen areas--his drawer and cabinet. Both had gotten wildly out of hand!





So much better in just 10 minutes! I purged and got rid of several sippy cups that my son is too old for now or that had taken such a beating it was time to trash them. This opened up a shelf in the cabinet that allowed me to move his plates and bowls in, which meant I was able to get them out of our cabinet. I love using ziploc bags in organization of drawers. It's a great way to get lots of little places in one place, and the clear bags allow you to see what you are looking for quickly.

I also have a nightly 10-minute-clean-up ritual. I walk through the first floor and do one last clean up before we go up to bed. Straighten the pillows on the couch, put away blankets, file mail, stow away toys, clean out the sink, etc. This means that clutter doesn't pile up as quickly, and we come down to a clean house in the morning!

Do you have any quick clean up routines? Any tips you can share?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekend Challenge (Easter)

 This cold has totally kicked my behind! I had so many plans for this week that just didn't happen, such as:
* Take my son to see the Easter Bunny
* Mail Easter packages to nephew, Godson, etc.
* Clean house top to bottom for Easter
* Finalize Easter tablescape and place settings for Easter

Yeah, none of those things happened. I finally got the packages mailed this morning, but they won't get there in time for Easter now. And I waved the white flag on Easter. I surrendered. My inlaws are taking over.

I host Easter every year. It's "my" holiday, and I always enjoy it. But this year time got away from me and being sick this week completely messed me up. So when my husband's parents called and graciously offered to host this year, I shocked my husband and said,  "Yes, and thank you". See, I tend to be a perfectionist who wants to fit it ALL in. I want to be a mommy, wife, career woman, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, crafter, decorator, etc. And not only do I want to be all those things, but I want to do them all at the same time, to the very, very best of my ability. And sometimes I get overwhelmed. If I had hosted Easter this year the next 3 days would have been all about cleaning, decorating, etc...till I dropped and cried. I decided to instead give in and cop out.

So now my weekend challenges can be:
* Enjoy a cook out with friends tonight
* Enjoy time with my husband and son
* Work on our flower beds
* Take our son to a movie
* Play Easter Bunny
* Go to church
* Enjoy Easter morning
* Relax

And something tells me I will accomplish all that and more! :)

Happy Easter!

PS: I'll leave with a few pics of the Easter eggs my son dyed with his cousins while I was in bed sick.