July 19, 2014

Craving some Color

Lately I've been feelin' reeeeeal itchy. (Not like I've got head lice or scabies or anything like that, silly.)

I've been craving more bold color and pattern in my home, but if you know anything about me, you'll know I am deathly afraid of color. Afraid of making another mistake. And I'm certainly afraid of risky patterns.

I've made so many mistakes in the past regarding paint decisions I am severely embarrassed to say to my husband, "I think we should try out a dark green in our bedroom." Because I already said that about the navy blue, the blue-green gray, the greenish-gold, and now our overly blue-grayish bedroom.

(It's that new pretty duvet! Ever since I brought it home and put it on my bed our room has felt entirely too blue.)

And my storage closet is full of unused curtains that I purchased or made, only to discard them for plain old twin sheets I turned into drapes on the cheap. All because I'm afraid of the risky pattern or color.

Our bedroom needs a punch of color - it is seriously so drab. I always thought I wanted my bedroom to be Bright & Airy, almost spa-like, but unless we cut through our left side exterior wall and install a window, it is NOT going to be Bright & Airy. So what do you do when you have a room lacking natural light?

You hug those shadows with a deep shade of color! 

Here's my current inspiration: Chez V with her One Room Challenge! The first time I laid eyes on this room i literally gasped out loud! It has everything a girl could ever want.... a little chintz, but not too much, a cheetah print (in the form of a ceramic figure), pink & orange artwork, a crystal chandelier, pretty linens, and a deep shade on the walls, and textured bamboo shades. Ahhhhhhhh.

I mean, isn't it just wonderful?! This room also reminds me of Emily Henderson's old Guest Room. I remember when she first posted the progress on this space and I remember thinking how pretty and shiny the semi-gloss paint was on the walls:

I also LOVE the deeper, more neutrality of this room, which feels richer and more sophisticated because of the textured linen curtains, the fur on the bed, the very muted deep green on the walls, and the glamorous furniture and shiny mirror, courtesy of Rue Magazine:

I mean, doesn't my room look bland to you?

I guess it is feeling "washed out." Oui? It also needs some more layering though art and accessories. Oh, and my bookshelf needs some love, too. It is seriously lacking since I moved all my magazines.

Well, I'll start thinking about some minor changes I can start working on and we'll see where we end up! I'm ready to take risks because 'Brave' is my word for 2014, and since we are already halfway through this year, I need to step up to the ledge and jump off. (You know I meant figuratively, right?)

(I'm also taking risks in my personal life, and I am planning a post about that right now!)

May you embrace some color and patterns in your life : )


July 11, 2014

Pretty Patterns and Pillows

So I came back to Blogger. I very much like it here. : )

Today is a Fabulous Friday because it means I get to pick up my twin daughters from my ex-husband's house! We have shared legal custody of my girls; they spend one week with their father and one week with me. In other words, I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like with them. (I can only imagine how they must feel about missed time with their parents.)

I spent years guilting myself into believing I was the worst mother in the history of America when I should have been building myself up and capitalizing on the small amounts of time I got to spend with my girls instead of tearing myself down on a daily basis. (A story for another time when I am feeling more comfortable talking about my personal life.)

Last weekend we stopped by one of my most favorite stores, Marshall's. And do you know why I love Marshall's so much? Because there is a HomeGoods inside. I am a sucker for shiny & pretty things, and house decor in general, and HomeGoods is the ultimate glory-hole for all of those things.

While rummaging around in their racks (I swear to you , this is the only store where I do that!) I found a queen duvet set for $29.00. Seriously. 

And then I found the cutest queen sheet set for $40, which is an even better price than anything comparable in quality at Target. (You see, this is why I love HomeGoods. It's like a nicer Ross.)

I was looking for patterned sheets and these were perfect! I don't even care if they are "too busy" with the patterned duvet... I love them! And they feel so wonderful when we sink in to bed at night.

Last summer I came across the glittery-burlap 'Mr. & Mrs.' lumbar pillow, but I passed it up because I bought other pillows instead. Well, I've been thinking about that one pillow I passed over for an entire year. My last few trips turned up nothing when I went looking for my coveted pillow, but I spotted one last weekend! 

And this is why making your bed everyday isn't only a terrifc habit, but sweet satisfaction:

It's like a simple Before & After!

We have nothing in our home that reflects our marriage, other than a framed photograph, and I've been wanting something, anything, that refers to us as husband and wife. That's why this pillow was perfect!

Our growing framed photograph table with our one wedding photo:

I have to say it, though. I am so over gallery walls. They were intriguing in 2009, wonderful in 2010, popular in 2011 & 2012, overdone in 2013, and annoying in 2014. So that's that. I'm going old school and choosing beautiful, higher quality frames to display photos on a table with a toddler at home.

And nothing screams "A Toddler Lives Here" better than some crayons on your walls or door casings!

I wouldn't trade them for the world, though!
Well, I suppose that's enough rambling for today...
Hope you get to enjoy every inch of your weekend : )


July 9, 2014

Dining Nook Bidness

So, I used to have my blog over at Blogger. But then I was all, "Hey, if you're gonna do something, go all the way!" And then I got myself some hosting and installed some free wordpress.org. I miss Blogger and it's easy customization. Wordpress has been terrific in other areas, but I just don't want to sit down and learn html and CSS and purchasing a custom design is not in my budget.

The past few days I've been knee-deep in tweaking designs and I'm still not happy. Besides, I have no readers! No need to get away from myself! Whining aside, I'll figure it out. : )

In design news, remember how I mentioned I re-painted my hallway white? Well, I also painted my kitchen and re-arranged and finally put up my old accessories/tchotkes/antiques I used to have on a little shelf in here.

This is what I started with:

As you can see, I stripped this small area down to nothing a few months ago. It was a dark-ish gray and I painted it into a pale ivory, which was another color match disaster! It was supposed to be Sherwin-Williams' Steamed Milk, but it looked more like a linen white.

Paint aside, it's the tile that makes it hard for me to feel good about any paint on the wall; it crashes with everything I've ever chosen. I imagine the orange-y beige-ish tile would look great with a brown, but I don't want chocolate brown walls in my kitchen. So I said, "to hell with it!" and painted the walls white, per my husband's suggestion!

I added a shelf I had from my girls' room, which was sitting in the back room collecting dust. I put back up my old accessories and hung some cheap art (that I loved!) and some pretty patterned curtains.

I was even considering painting beneath the chair rail. Maybe something bold like a bright blue, a coral, a terra cotta, or a green...? It could be divine or it could be loud:

What do you think? Also, my shelves were looking a bit off with so many small things. I kept tweaking and added some artwork from around the house and framed my old Joel Dewberry Aviary fat quarter I've had in my stash since 2009. Seriously though, it was about time to use that piece of fabric!

I also moved a bamboo shade from my living room to add more warmth and texture. (It was making my living room super dark.)

Here is our small little nook in some natural light:

And now on to this side of the room, my small kitchen:

Small changes that ultimately create a big impact are my favorite "makeovers." And I know my photographs show a small room with a small shelf, and things don't feel proportionate, but when you're standing in this tiny space, it feels just right.

And QUIET. I'm very happy with our dining nook! If it's sunny enough in the next few days maybe I could take you on a shelfie tour of my favorite things!

What small updates have you been working on lately?


July 6, 2014

Wonderful Times Ten.

So the past week has been absolutely wonderful! Here's a nice list telling you all about it:

  1. I'm on summer break from classes at my college. I've had no assignments, papers, quizzes, or chapters to read the past two weeks. Awesome.

  2. We started a fun & rewarding Token Economy at our home called Lynch Bucks, complete with real money and a chore chart/calender. (It is perfect for regulating screen time and video games!!)

  3. We are finally over that virus. I know, I know, I can't stop talking about this awful virus, but I was still overly tired and recovering a week later from it. It really hit us hard and it is glorious to feel well again.

  4. I re-painted the hallway and the kitchen WHITE. Behr's White Truffle is the creamiest, prettiest white in my home! It's not too cold, has the slightest taupe undertones, and works well with my ceilings, which are painted Sherwin-Williams' Marshmallow.

  5. Because I finished the kitchen I was able to hang up my shelf and display all the pretty treasures my husband and I inherited from our families over the years. It's a wonderful feeling to finally do that after they've been in storage!

  6. We celebrated Independence Day at my parent's home, where we ate grilled burgers, chatted about whatever, and my youngest daughter got to go swimming in their pool!

  7. I got to go shopping with NO KIDS at my favorite stores! I stopped by Pier1, where everything is expensive, Garden Ridge, where some things are creepy, World Market, where most items are overpriced, and HomeGoods, where everything is just right. Oh, and I can't forget my other favorite, Kirkland's, where it always smells great.

  8. We finally organized our laundry/storage room! We hung up some shelves, organized the tools, sprayed for bugs, and patted ourselves on the backs for a job well-done.

  9. Last night my husband and I went on a date; we sat down at an Indian restaurant and stuffed ourselves with naan and chicken tikka masala. Then we walked around Target to aid digestion & choose a movie to watch when we got home. It was a classic Dinner & a Movie kind of night, the best kind! We chose Life of Pi, which we hadn't seen yet, and it was terrific! (I cried, I always do, can't help it y'all!)

  10. This next week(?) we will be celebrating our FOURTH summer in our home A.K.A three years! The years have flown by and I am honored to have a place to call Home. Sure, our gutters are clogged, our HVAC died, our floors need leveling & refinishing, our kitchen needs updating, our dishwasher broke, our refrigerator is too big for our tiny kitchen, and the hall bathroom doesn't work. But goodness gracious, our roof is in great condition and it is safe inside!

Funny how my lists always turn into huge paragraphs! I suppose I'm not writing enough to space out everything I want to say : )

I used to hate our house. Yet somehow, it has become my Sanctuary & Haven for my family. I love this feeling; I've never really been settled long enough in my adult life to have this connection and it is wonderful! (A story for another day!)

Hope you're having the best times ever, too.


June 30, 2014

Feeling Better.

Finally! It took a week, but we finally recovered.

Naturally, I've been feeling out of shape and in desperate need of exercise since we came down with the virus. Today I put on my compression pants and got to work!

It feels terribly good to drip sweat and flood my brain with endorphins! And yes, I know I need to vacuum my rug, but who has time for that? I've got a house full of kids, a blog post to write, exercise to catch up on, sticky floors that need mopping, and a hallway to paint white.

Speaking of painting, I re-painted my living room for the umpteenth time. I liked my last shade, but it never felt like me, you know what I mean?

Say 'ello to Behr's Wheat Bread! My last shade was a color match gone wrong, but I'm too lame to actually take my paint back to the store and complain or whatever. I'd rather suffer silently and pretend that I like it for a while, then paint it again later. (Yeah, I know, it's a terrible way to live. Trust me, it's a struggle.)

It was supposed to be Sherwin-Wiliams' Fragile Beauty, but turned out to be a buttery linen/navajo white instead. I mean, it was nice, but wasn't what I had wanted. Be careful when people say you can color match any shade anywhere because you cannot!

And to finalize that point that I love the new shade, I even hung stuff back on the walls! Like our The Darjeeling Limited poster : )

Also grabbed this pretty mirror from the broken hall bathroom we currently aren't using and hung it up in our entryway! I mean, what's the point of that pretty mirror hanging out all by herself in a dark bathroom with a leaky bathtub and rotted floors? Exactly.

I also made some cheap new curtains from $5 twin sheets and some hem tape. I used to have ivory curtains made from sheets, but I got tired of them.

Well, back to painting my hallway!

What projects are you currently working on around your house?