Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Extra Touch to Personalize My Front Door Wreath

I was shopping at Kohl's this afternoon when I found these "anitqued mirror" letter ornaments on sale. I had an additional 20% off coupon which made this find even better. I thought it would be neat to add a touch of personalization to my front door wreath by adding a monogram. What do you think? Is this too much or just the right final touch?

Wreath Before Monogram

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Christmas Decor for Our Front Door

I am not a big black Friday shopper, but I do try to make a point to stop by Home Depot for some specials on fresh holiday decor.  For the last several years, I have purchased 99 cent poinsettias and some five dollar garland to spruce up the house for the Christmas season.  This year I picked up (7) poinsettias and one strand of cedar garland.  My total out of pocket was just $12 +tax.   I plan to keep (3) poinsettias for myself and give the rest away.  In the past the poinsettias were just available in red but this year I was pleasantly surprised to find white and pink as well .  Once I was home with my goodies and got my boys to bed for nap time I started to work on the front door decor.

I took the five dollar garland and draped it over the front door using some 3M Command hooks (I love these things!).  I had some excess garland that I put aside to make a wreath. I had an old twig and pinecone/berry wreath that I purchased years ago.  I thought it would be nice to spruce this wreath up with a bit of white spray paint and the fresh cedar garland.

I just used some green floral wire to attach the fresh cedar to the existing wreath frame.

The last touch was to add some white lights to make the door sparkle in the cool evening air. Has anyone else found some bargains on Christmas decor this year?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reclaiming My Iron

As a do-it-yourselfer, you sometimes use items for purposes that you had not originally intended them for.  A good example of this is my iron (yes clothes iron).  Typically you think an iron should be used to get wrinkles out of clothes, but they can also be used to "melt" the outside edge of laminate to a countertop.  When we renovated our first kitchen in our condominum (see picture above), I did just that.  You can see more on our first kitchen renovation by clicking here.  We installed pre-fab countertops that we found at Home Depot.  The instructions for the edging piece was to use your iron to adhere the laminate edge.  The edge adhered well, but there was a black yucky residue left on my iron. 

With some shame, I am  just now getting to the "gunky yuck removal" (sadly, about four years have passed). In my defense, I didn't really think there would be anyway to get this stuff off.  For those who may be concerned about the appearance of my family's clothes, I have been using the iron without issue.  The residue was so well baked on that it didn't come off on our clothes, but recently this has been bothering me, and being too cheap to buy a new iron, I finally took the time to work on this.

In comes my " Bar Keeper's Friend" to the rescue.
The end a shiny (mainly) residue free iron once again!

Just a little elbow grease and this cleansing scrub and I am once again back on the road to household-chore redemption (we won't mention the dusty bunnies that I have yet to defeat).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Room for the Boys!

Photo Courtesy of Beth Duncan
I just found out that a friend/past co-worker is now expecting her first child (congratulations Michelle and Nathan).  In honor of such great news, I thought I would share some design ideas from my little ones' nurseries. 

Instead of a traditional changing table for my first son, I opted for a double dresser.  The height is perfect for me and the storage is beyond valuable.  The dresser is a find from the local "REAL WOOD" furniture store.  The alder wood dresser was purchased unfinished.  Gratefully, my Dad finished the dresser in a walnut stain for us.  The blue ceramic lamp was a bargain find at TJ Maxx.  The tree wall decal feels like it is sprouting out of the changing pad on the dresser.  I found the removable tree decal on sale at Kohl's.

One of my first sewing projects was roman shades for this room.  I found some leaf motif fabric to tie into the tree wall decal.  I added a chocolate polka dot border to frame the shades.

Fabric Detail, Roman Shade

I wanted to spell out my son's name above his crib. I found these stitched leather frames on a 50% sale at "HOBBY LOBBY". I also found some cardboard letters and type-print scrap book paper there. I wanted the letters to seem as though they had been thoughtfully "pulled" from the alphabet of type.

I liked the letters from Noah's room so much, that I decided to repeat this idea  for my second child.  Instead of individual frames, I opted for one long rectangle with multi-colored letters.

The kites on the wall were inspired by a "Pottery Barn Kids" catalog.  The catalog featured kites suspended from the ceiling to highlight their "Curious George" bedding.  I ordered the "PB Curious George" crib sheets and made my own fabric kites.  I attached the kites to the wall with "3-M Command Strips".

Some consistency in both nurseries is the wall paint and crib.  The paint color is "Crocodile Tears" by Olympic paint (purchased at Lowes).  The crib is "Graco's" Lauren crib.  I have the espresso finish in Noah's room and the black in Samuel's (the finishes look practically the same).  I can highly recommend this crib.  The crib converts to a toddler bed (this is what Noah is currently using) and eventually the back piece can be used as a headboard for a full/queen size bed.  At just a bit over a hundred dollards this crib is a great value.

I am currently planning ways to modify my two year old's room into more of a toddler space.  I am sure that I will post updates as this happens.

Garden Wrap Up

Well it is the middle of November, but my little garden is still sharing some surprises. Saturday I found that some of the carrots I planted from seed where ready to be harvested (one more ready than the other). Also, my mini sweet pepper plant finally yielded some goods a couple of weeks ago; sadly it has since been killed by the evening cold snaps.
In honor of my recent harvest items, I thought I would do a quick recap of all the veggies I was able to grow in my first little garden:

Romaine Lettuce
Sugar Snap Peas (delicious)
Tomatoes (lots and lots of them)
Cucumbers (only a couple)
Mini Sweet Peppers
and finally Carrots

I am already looking forward to planning and planting next year's garden.  I would love to hear  suggestions on other "easy to grow" crops that I should try.