brotherly love.

Boys have a lot of energy, so I'm told. So where better to do a photo shoot than a fenced in playground where these two adorable brothers could run footloose and fancy free.
They have been here many times before so they knew the lay of the land...I just got to sit back and capture them in action!

I got them to sit still for just a moment to grab a quick shot of those adorable faces and bright blue eyes!

After a lot of running, and climbing and sliding...and me running after them with a camera trying to be one step ahead...there was a well needed snack break.

Aren't they so cute sharing their snack!

After a quick break there was some dancing...

And a "hey lady did you just take a picture of me busting a move" face... why yes I did.

We ventured over to the school track where there were some cool stairs leading up to the announcers box. Another opportunity for them to climb.

I asked them if they would give each other a hug...this is what I got. Looks more like a wrestling match.

...oh boys. 

Back to the playground for another juice break. I love their little intense mouths working on getting that juice!

A few more trips down the slide...I hope they were ready for a nap. I sure know I was!


diy birch candle holders.

 I had to get creative this year with table decor for Christmas Eve dinner...since I didn't complete the task of having the dining room done in time like I thought I might. I wanted cheap free items to decorate the table (or should I say folding table covered in the table cloth from Avery's birthday party).

So I looked to the yard for ideas and inspiration. It all started one day when I went to chuck the mushy pumpkins into the woods (and slipped and fell on leaves and got pumpkin guts all over me...but that's another story) when I came across a fallen birch tree.

So I had Jeff grab the chain saw and cut up a few pieces of the tree and we brought them into the basement. With the table saw we cut a few pieces at varied lengths.

I knew I wanted to have them hold tea lights so we needed a 1.5" paddle drill bit in order to carve the right size hole into the tree.

Hole complete.

Added my tea lights and put them on the table for a nature inspired centerpiece. I love how they turned out and I got a lot of compliments on them. If you find a thicker piece of birch you could do multiple candle holes. I also made a few ornaments out of the scraps. We just cut thinner slices, drilled a hole through them and strung some twine to hang. 


merry & bright.



holiday cards on display.

I love getting mail the good old fashion way. Come holiday season I get extra excited to get those Christmas cards and photos! I'm always looking for a different way to display the thoughtful cards so we can enjoy them throughout the season.

I hung up the card we sent out last year for Avery's first Christmas...unfortunately this year I'm ashamed to say a 2011 Christmas card didn't happen even though I got her all dressed up and snapped some photos on our mini trip to Rhode Island last month.
Hey, there's always New Year's or Valentines Day...

Then it hit me. Why don't I hang them from tree branches much like I did for Avery's first birthday party. I got out my Potterybarn birch bark sleeve and placed some sparkly decorative balls on the branches.

Simple, easy Christmas decor!

How do you display your cards...I'm always looking for fun, new ideas!

Giddy with excitement.

Excited is an understatement!

I have been dying to try out Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint forever but no stockist within a 3 hour radius carried it until recently. I just picked up my first quart and can't wait to try it out tonight!

be back with results soon!


felt wreath.

I finally did it. 
I stopped "pinning" and decided to Pinterest Challenge myself. I decided to make a felt wreath. Now there are a lot of pretty DIY felt wreaths out there but some look more for the advanced crafter...a crafter with time. I needed something I could work on in my spare time and seeing that I don't have any spare time...I needed something like this!

Simple yet pretty.

Here is what you'll need:
wooden craft circle thingy (yes that is a technical term); mine is 12"
clear fishing line
a needle

For my felt I wanted to stick somewhat monochromatic and neutral like my Pinterest inspiration wreath. So I went with white, cream, camel and grey.
I ended up using about 28 sheets of felt. (2 trips to the craft store!) They are around .29 cents each.

I cut my felt into roughly 3" squares. Don't be fussy about it either. Perfection is NOT the name of the game here. Once everything was cut I found it easiest to sort my squares by color and as you can see my helper was undoing everything I did.

Thread your needle with the fishing line and grab random amounts and colors of the felt. Repeating a pattern may be cute but I was going for haphazard and random, much like myself. 

Once every square is strung you will have created garland.

Cut and tie off the fishing line and tie the two ends together to create a circle. Make sure it is as tight as you can get it because you don't want any gaps in between the felt.
Now grab your wooden circle crafting thingy and lay it on top of the felt circle. With some more fishing line string it through those holes on the wooden circle and around your felt wreath string.

 Are you still with me? Did I lose you? When I talk in my head to type it makes sense to me but I'm not the best are giving directions, or following them for that matter.

Once you've tied it in a few places flip it right side up and you will now need to fluff and buff your wreath. I had to reform my circle shape a bit and then I fluffed the felt and twisted a few pieces so the ends weren't all lined up.

Tie a pretty ribbon around it. Hang it up. Enjoy.


snow candles.

 I know it's been seen all over Pinterest and other design sites but I was excited to tackle a little holiday DIY project and make some snow candles! It's a quick & simple project for any level DIY/crafter.

Here's what you'll need:

Epsom Salt (aka snow); mod podge; foam brush, a dish and item to put your snow on. I did 2 square vases left over from my wedding and 2 candles for my mom.

Simply apply the mod podge with the foam brush...don't be fussy, it dries clear. Then sprinkle it with your epsom salt. I thought I would be able to roll the candles but discovered that using my hands was the most effective way to go.

Ta-Da...pretty holiday candles that look like they were dipped in snow! I didn't get any photos of the glass vases because someone woke up from her nap...but I can tell you they look really pretty with the candle glowing inside them...like ice blocks.

I'll be back tomorrow with another craft I recently tackled.


bedside tables.

It's amazing what a fresh coat of white paint can do!

I've been holding onto this pair of nightstands for some time now. I was excited to get working on them as they have so much charm and character. I love that they have the open shelf underneath for extra storage, such as books or magazines so they won't clutter up the top surface.

I added some light distressing to them to highlight the carved details on the legs and front drawers and to bring some of the warm tones of the natural wood through.

The knobs are cute rubbed bronze stars. I love a little touch of the unexpected.

behind the scenes...

Anybody been working on some fun holiday projects? I have one I just finished up that I'll be sharing in the next few days.


powder room revamp.

I recently got the chance to help a client out with a little revamping of her powder room.
I love powder rooms. Maybe because of the name...but I feel like they are an opportunity to step a little outside of your design box and try something different. Although they are usually small spaces they can still pack a lot of punch!

Here are a few shots she sent me of the room how it currently stands. I LOVE the transom window above the door! She is obviously keeping the existing plumbing as they are in great condition and pretty...the room just needs a little life brought into it.

The pedestal sink is really pretty but with four kids a little storage for the basics would be helpful.

Great floors and woodwork detailing too. Her style in the rest of the house has a warm Tuscan feel. Lots of jewel tones and rich woods. I love this carved piece they have in there; it's staying just being moved around.

So here is what I came up with and why:

a / b / c / d / e / f / g

Like I said the rest of the house has warm neutral tones so I think the powder room is a good place to try something a little different so I proposed a warm blue-grey for the walls. The rug is what really ties everything together. It has the blue from the wall color but also it's complementing color orange which will play off nicely with her adjacent kitchen.

Updating the mirror with a barn wood style oval mirror brings some texture into the space and stands out nicely on the deep blue walls. And to showcase the mirror an equally beautiful pullman vanity light. The polished nickel finish adds a touch of sparkle to the space. An easy update to a Victorian inspired polished finish faucet on the pedestal sink would round out that side of the room.

On the wall where the existing wood carved piece is now I suggested a warm wood bookcase to display some pretty bathroom accessories like soaps, black + white photos and candles...but there is a drawer to store away that extra toilet paper!

Finally on the fifth wall...the ceiling I proposed adding some bead board or even a tin! The ceilings are about 9' high and it would add another great architectural detail. You would also be able to see it through the transom window from outside the space!


board + batten.

Finally a project to check off the list! I know it seems to be the trend lately but living in a new construction house with zero architectural elements and creativity you just have to add you own! And that is just what I did in our soon to be dining room!

Although we just purchased the supplies recently the room has been taped & the chalk line has been there for a few months now. I'm not going to go into all the nitty gritty of a how to because there are so many good ones already out there. I used this one courtesy of Censational Girl and adjusted the specs etc based off of our room.

Here are the before + afters!

We'd like to eventually knock out that wall to the left of the closet to open the room up to the living room...but for now it is what it is.

 Just a few quick tips that helped me along the way:

- The horizontal pieces are pre-primed to save time; they measure out at 3.5" x 10'

- The vertical pieces are cut from a 4x8 sheet of MDF; the guys at Home Depot did it for us and it saved us about $60 (instead of buying the pre-cut ones); they measure out at 2.5"

- The height of our board & batten is 5'

- The space between each vertical piece is 13.5" (we marked every 16" but you have to take into account the width of the plank)
13.5" wall space + 2.5" piece of wood = 16)

- we used nails and liquid nails where there were no studs to attached the boards

- I painted to walls white first

- I suggest priming & painting the sides of the boards before you hang them. After filling nail holes etc you'll need to paint the front pieces again to clean everything up but the sides are hard to do once they are attached to the wall

- We adjusted the spacing between some boards to make them look better visually. Save those "adjustments" for the corners so the general span of the wall looks symmetrical

Next up the horribly designed closet doors. Do you have some? Isn't it annoying to do the closet dance...I want something from this end...no, this end. I bet a man invented them!

I have a fun project in mind for them to actually make them cool!

Will the room be done in time for Christmas Eve dinner? At least done enough to eat in hopefully. Maybe some TV tables and lawn chairs? I kid....I think.
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