Monday, February 23, 2009

Love Shine Down....on Good Grub!

As some of you may or may not know, our little house doesn't really have a dining room. Now, does a dining room really need to have a "room"? Ours definitely does; it's the kitchen.

Yup, our petite dining room resides in our kitchen. It's a small corner of it, just enough to squeeze the perfect round table for four (and sometimes up to a cozy 8, with a leaf), our four comfy chairs, lots of good food, and plenty of laughs. The hubby, my teenage brother, and I have dinner at our table every night and it's a tradition I really adore. The boys (Our dogs Enzo and Rosco) also like to sit by our feet and wait for extras. Bad boys.We share the days events and spend quality time together.

One of our house twin neighbors has her dining set up in a space of the living room, but I prefer mine in the kitchen; it's closer to the food!

Well, since our dining room is a part of the kitchen, I felt like it could use something extra to make it feel more like it's own space and also have special lighting for our private dinners for two on the weekends and special occasions. In order to do so on a fabuless budget, I had to work some magic.

Geared up with two little white hooks, a lamp cord from IKEA, a drum lampshade I already had, some extra white fabric, and a light bulb, I created a dining room lighting fixture! I'm not completely finished with it, but I'll give you the progress for now.

Little white hook from Home Depot. It's rubbery.

Now hung up looking halfway done.

Yup, I think it's centered.

I still need to place the other hook in the corner of the wall so that the rest of the cord isn't just hanging out. It will then fall behind the curtain and plug into the socket hiding behind it. I'm going to add a rooshed up/scrunchy-like(spelling??) cord cover in order to make it look a bit fancy. I thought about actually wiring into the recessed lighting, but decided against that for many reasons; one being that the light would not be centered above the table. Poop on that. I'll come back soon with updated pictures once I sew the cord cover and get the ladder out of the freezing garage in order to put in the second hook (I stood on the table for the first one).

Total cost: $7-ish. I actually think that might too high, but I'm being generous. $17-ish if including the cost of the shade. Yeah! Fabulous!

How About A Good Laugh?

Eric and I were leaving my favorite store when he saw something on the ground. The investigative man he is decided to pick it up. Turns out it was a little kiddie packet from some random restaurant. When we got home, I was suprised when the hubby pulled it out of his pocket. He cracks me up. Anyhoo, the little packet turned out to have quite a little surprise for us; some silly billy jokes that made me laugh so loud I snorted and.....

THIS!! It even had a space for your nose, holes for your eyes, and an opening for your mouth. Hillarious. We are so goofy.

Woo for Teachers!

Every year, our leadership class at school organizes what we call "Secret Pals." It's basically a little gift exchange between teachers and the students in the leadership class that year. It takes place during the whole week of Valentine's Day and it's truly one of the highlights of my school year. I get to find little gifts in my box every day for a whole week with the "big" gift on Friday. We also have a little luncheon and invite teachers and students to meet and introduce themselves to their secret pal. It's super cutie.

This year, I was the lucky recipient of TWO secret pals since we weren't able to get enough teachers to participate. I don't understand why...but either way, it worked out just fine.

This lovely grouping of flowers (some of my favorites) were one of the many wonderful gifts I received all week. I loved my secret pals. I was able to enjoy the flowers all week. During the quiet moments of my crazy days, I really enjoyed sitting at my desk just admiring their sunny personalities. They made me smile. =)

On days like the ones we're having; rain and all, what kinds of things make you smile?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Take A Seat...

...and be my guest on this fantastic voyage.

I love SKI WEEK! Yeah, I know. It doesn't snow around my parts and I don't live on the East coast...but I DON'T care. Ski week is here for me and all the kiddies and parents in Marin County that love to go skiing. Woo.

What ski week means to me is...

1. Lots of crafting.
2. Lots of sleeping in.
3. Lots of visits to the gym in the morning.
4. Lots of random fun and relaxing girl stuff.

It is in full effect and I've got one of my crafty projects for the week to show ya!

Presenting the Dolce Lounge Chair from Target.

Isn't she pretty?

I purchased this little lovely the moment I laid eyes on her. The shape is great, the legs are hot, and the texture of the fabric is divine. Now, this little lady has been residing in the living room for a little over a year now and has been given the name of "The Dog Chair." Yup, the boys think this is their chair and spend pretty much all day sleeping, jumping, scratching, and/or looking out the window perched on her back. All that work has left her a bit ragged. So sad.

So, I decided she needed a makeover. A bright and cheery makeover in order to get rid of the dark winter blues. I dressed her up real nice. What do you think? Two yards of fabric at $8.99 minus 50% with a coupon to Joanns, some muslin to make a pattern, a little sewing, and voila...good as new!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is this a Dream?!

Okay, I know they have another HGTV Dream House this year, but I LOVE the Green Dream one from last year. Can I please have it now? You can find more pictures to drool over at HGTV Green Dream Home 2008

Is it Friday yet?

At this point in the week  I have my "easy" day at work. I teach only 3 classes today, one of them being Leadership, which, is usually very enjoyable; one is my favorite English class, and the other one is shortened because it's the last meeting with them for the week. It always makes me feel like it should be Friday. Then, I get home and realize I have ONE more day of work for the week. You'd think I'd be excited it was Friday. hhmmm....I like Thursdays almost as much as the weekends. 

I get to work early enough that I have some time to roam around the internet and find some inspiration for random things going on at home. It never hurts to tweak with the decor at home; especially if I can do it without spending any moola! 

On my search today, I found some great images and I thought I'd share. 

I'm totally feeling the whites right now. I'm feeling a need to brighten up our spaces. 

Uh oh. Lunch time is over. I have to get back to work. 

p.s. We have the chairs in the last picture at school/work. How chic is my school?!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our the corner of the street.

On top of painting the cabinets, I squeezed in some cleaning time this past weekend. Finally. That means I have some house shots for you all. If you looked at the entry about my inspiration for the house colors, you will notice that I absolutely love green. It's my favorite color. Along with green, I drool over brown, mustard yellow, burnt pumpkin orange, light blue, white, and accents of black. I really believe in mixing different textures and my home is a testament to that. Doing so gives the space different dimensions and a not-to-matchy-matchy feeling.

Anyhooo...the time I did squeeze in was not enough to also clean all the rooms, so I'll start by sharing the living room (I'm also not completely confident showing all the bedrooms since I'm not totally in charge of the decor in the hubby's (messy, don't tell him) office, and my teenage brother's (unbelievably disasterously messy room). I clean his room sometimes while he's gone to our mom's and it stays that way only until he arrives. oh well. Maybe if he actually leaves for college this year, I will have an actual guest room that stays clean. *dream.*

Italic That giant mirror used to be the ugly duckling in the bathroom.

As I previously mentioned, the hubby and I updated the bathrooms and that giant mirror there was blah and we were giving it away for free on craigslist when I decided I could keep it and use it for something. Mirrors that large are EXPENSIVE! Fifty-percent off of an awesome frame from Michael's and a free cut of the mirror at OSH and now we have a new mirror in the living room. Something to reflect more light is always appreciated.

Hey, that looks familiar.

I decided against putting the poster up where the mirror is. I just wasn't feeling it. I found the perfect spot on the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Perfect.

A glimpse of the fireplace I'm working on re-tiling. I'm still looking for tile I like.

I have something of an obsession for glass. On the mantle you can see my collection of apothecary jars. I just moved them into the bookshelf and am thinking about selling the large ones. Oh, and there's my lamp. I made it from a glass vase from Pottery Barn, a lamp kit from OSH, and a shade from Tarjay. =) I bought that coffee table, side table, and console from a thrift store. They were all brand new! I got the most fabulous deal on them. I'm such a bargain hunter. The mirror is from Ross.

What it looks like today.

I was looking for vases exactly like those and found them at trusty ol' Marshall's. I wanted to update the look and thought bringing in some cool new colored vases would do just that. I think I accomplished the look. That's a metal and glass green house of sorts right next to them.

We can't ignore the television.

There's the fabulous television I received as a gift from Oprah. Yes, the real Oprah. Love her. The rug I bought from Target's super wonderful design event last year. I think I paid $35 buckaroos. Yes! I made those large pillows on the floor. In case you didn't notice, I'm also a big fan of stripes. The bamboo blinds are a steal from Kmart (yes, I do sometimes shop there) and the curtains are from our local Tuesday Morning outlet store. Love dupioni. The curtain rods I found at Big Lots. Oh, that chair is from Target, too! Hmm...notice a trend? I never pay full price and I really look for a fabuLESS bargain.

That's the couch I wish I could replace with a creamy slip covered one from some place like Pottery Barn. Maybe next year. That ottoman opens up, is super velvety brown, and cost me $25 bucks at Target. I think they may have mislabeled that one. They still have it...for $60! More stripes anyone? I made those using my super quick sewing technique. I'll have to show you how later.

Now, if I could only figure out how to work our camera. It has way too many options for photos and I don't ever really know which option to go with. I want bright pictures....what am I to do? Any help? Oh, the flash...yeeaaahhh...not good. What kind of settings?

Next up...the completed kitchen/dining room!

What's one of your secret thrifty shopping locales?

Ta da....a "new" kitchen!

I'm almost finished!!! I have four little cabinet doors to prime and paint and at this stage, I've started to lag. I really want to finish the kitchen, but I'm soo tired. I literally spent over 12 HOURS working on the top cabinets on Saturday. You'd think I'd be back to proper working condition by now, but lack of sleep and lots of work at work has prevented me from feeling like I'm in tip-top shape to continue by big project.

My goal was to finish working on the cabinets before my ski week break at work next week. A logical person would think that having a whole week off from work would be the best time to get such a project done; but not me. I want and need a break without major house jobs. I'll get to enjoy going to the gym everyday (yay!), sleeping in, hanging out with the doggies, and working on little house crafts. That all sounds divine.

Let me quit the blabbing and show you the fabulous before and after pictures!

Since my teenage brother thinks he can mess with anything I own, he decided to remove all the pictures I had on my camera and video record himself playing the guitar. nice. Thus, I don't have all the pictures I took before I began the kitchen. In the first picture you can see the loveliness that were the cabinets.

Just a small glimpse of the oak cabinets. At this point (a week before starting the top cabinets), I primed one bottom cabinet frame to test.

Yay! Painted! Love it.

Woo. All done with the bottom, minus the new hardware.

Now, for the top!

First coat of paint. Excuse the mess.

How about some hardware? Still waiting on new matching hinges and the little doors.

At this point, I've added all the shiny new brushed nickel pulls on the cabinets. I've been checking the mail like the matching hinges will magically appear after I check it once. Alas, that has not been the case. I'm crossing my fingers they get here tomorrow. The hubby and I hung up the doors quickly and some are not level because I'm waiting for the hinges to arrive.

Also, since our local Home Depot Yardbirds is closing, I'm getting a new faucet! Yup, just waiting till everything is 50% off.

A special thank you to my wonderful hubby for helping me with the sanding and letting me buy a small sander.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Busy as a bee!

Yup, I've been livin' the vida loca this past week. I've actually only made dinner once this week; which is to prove that I have in fact been busy as a bee. My camera's battery has also been on the verge of dying and because of my lack of time and unwillingness to get my charger out, I haven't been taking as many photos to load of my current work. I sincerely apologize. It actually makes me sad to neglect my little baby blog. That means I won't have any proof to show my future grandchildren all the super crafty and hard work I put into my life. hehe. =)

Anyhow, since I can't upload any pictures of my kitchen-in-progress (which I'm loving, by the way), my new hung up poster, and a new arrangement with my "new" refurbished bathroom mirror in a fabulous frame, I figured you could all use some decorating eye candy. I'm a whore for it. 
center island kitchenliving roomdogs
All images above courtesy of Domingo Magazine

Now, introducing the inspiration for our current little cottage. 
Keenan Living room
Keenan Living room
Keenan entry
Keenan letters

Keenan Living room
Obviously, I wish I had all that cool furniture (especially those chairs)
 and the orange, oh, and the fabric!
Love it...a girl can dream. 
All images, of course, from Cottage Living

When the hubby and I bought our house, I found these images in the (then) current issue of Cottage Living and just fell in love. I carried that issue around like my life depended on it. I even drove to a little paint shop miles from home to check out the exact paint color on those walls (of course, it's never the same in person), but my living room is in real life, green just like that. Now, I have no idea where that magazine went. It *poof* disappeared into thin air. I miss it. Where can I get one now? I think it was the October of 07 issue. So, every so often I check out the website to again be in awe of that space. Hey, now I can just check my blog! woo. 

I seriously need to clean my house and take some pictures of it so you can all see. Maybe during ski week!

Where do you find inspiration for your decorating?