Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Congrats on dropping anchor!: Housewarming Gift Ideas

When I heard my sister and boyfriend were moving in together, I wanted to get them a little something. My sister, like me, appreciates a good theme so I thought it would be fun to go nautical  (surprise, surprise). Their home isn't in a beach town though, so I don't want to get nautical gifts that may not fit with their home. Here are some of the things I thought of:

one Scouts Honor Co. card
two Chelsey Emery custom address stamp
three Steveston Wine Co. merlot
four Crane & Co. anchor stationery
five homemade cookie inspiration via Martha Stewart Weddings 
six Anchor & Arrow anchor wine stopper

We decided to go more nautical with the wrapping and note in the card than the actual gift, but I sttill think it was fun to tie it into a theme. We went with the Scout's Honor Co. card, a Chelsey Emery address stamp and found a pretty navy and white pillow from a local shop that will go well with their new living room design. We received a lot of wine when we moved in, which was greatly appreciated, but I figured it would be fun to do a little something different for my sister and her bf. I do think the Stevenston Wine Co. merlot would pair perfectly withe the Anchor & Arrow wine stopper as a gift, so I'm keeping this in mind for the future. I also love home made cookies and stationery. All being held in the back of my mind for future gift giving.

What are your favorite housewarming gifts to give or receive?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Art: Custom State Art Print

One of our friends, Meghan, recently gifted us with a really nice gift- a piece of art for our home!


We've been in our home for over three years now and haven't really put up a lot of art, even though I think homes look so much better with it. I just have a hard time choosing art for our home, so we have lots of bare walls or art that has yet to be hung.  I was so excited when we received the custom print that works perfect in our guestroom, which currently has bare walls. It's a print of Rhode Island, with a heart over Newport, where we were married. It has our names and wedding date on the bottom. If you've followed along since our wedding, you've probably noticed I love sentimental touches, so this was the perfect gift. I love how it looks in our guest room. It even inspired me to add a few pops of pink to go with the little heart on the print. Thanks Meg!

Have you received any personal items you were really excited to display in your home?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bathroom Inspiration: What to do with the walls?

At this point, we've pretty much picked out everything for the bathroom, but we have yet to decide on the walls. Originally we were going to tile halfway up, then we talked about just painting the walls, then we talked about grass cloth wallpaper, or some combo between these.

We' both really love grass cloth wallpaper. I really love variations of gray or greige. Now that we are going more neutral and simple in our bathroom reno, I like the idea of adding subtle details like the texture of a grass cloth wallpaper.  I originally wanted to do a patterned wallpaper and Jim wanted to do a  darker charcoal paint, but I think this will have a greater impact while allowing the room to stay light and airy.

I really love what was done in this space:
We're on the fence though because there is a lot of moisture in the room since it's so small. We also don't know if it's worth it to higher someone to wallpaper such a small area. We thought about doing it ourselves, but if we're paying for everything else in the reno, we don't want to mess it up with this one last piece if we make a mistake with something we aren't familiar with. 
 
Would you go tile, paint, wallpaper (grass cloth), or some combo of these if you were us?
 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Neutral Nautical - Bathroom Accessories



one Serena & Lily AHOY Bath Mat 
two Serena & LilY Fouta Bath Towels -Dove Grey 
three Wayfair.com Zodax Anchors Away Wall Hook 
four Serena & Lily Beacon Sconce - White 
five West Elm Stripe Shower Curtain - Feather Gray 
six Anthropologie Shoreline Mirror 

 Now that we've decided to go with more classic styles and less details in the main design of the bathroom, I've been looking for fun accents to add some personality to the space.

No matter how many times I tell myself we don't live near the ocean, I still can't seem to stop myself from falling for nautical details. I can already see Jim saying no, but I'm really wishing we could add some of these touches like the AHOY bath mat. We really just need to move closer to the water. A girl can dream?

Are you drawn to any specific style? Do you notice certain themes popping up throughout your home?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated To-Do List

Each January, I tend to make lists of what I want to accomplish over the next year. This year, the house is a big focus. It was put on the back burner in 2013, but in 2014 there is a lot to be done.Since moving into the house, we've kept a list of things we've wanted to accomplish. We've made great progress, but have a lot of the bigger (more expensive) projects left. We're really excited that we're going to start working on one of these (the bathroom) soon! Here's everything we hope to accomplish with the 2014 projects highlighted. The darker the shade of green, the more likely it will get checked off this list by the end of 2014.

Outside (front)-
Purchase and install new front door and screen door
Remove walkway and step and add new walkway going to driveway
New mailbox
Buff and paint awning
Remove rotting trees and add new trees
Remove overgrown bushes and add new bushes
Add flowers out front
Purchase door mat
Add urns on either side of front door with flowers or greenery
New shutters
Fix broken siding
Choose and install new front step

Outside (back)-
Remove pebbled patio and add a deck or new patio
Paint back door
New shutters
Create fire pit area
Remove rotting trees
Remove old fence, purchase and install new fence
Add a raised garden
Purchase patio furniture

Kitchen-
Complete reno - new cabinets, counters, back splash and appliances.
Paint

Dining Area-
New door to patio
New door to garage
Paint
Add art
Add hardwood flooring
New furniture

Entry way
New coat closet door
Paint hallway
Purchase a rug
Purchase something to hold keys, mail and winter wear

Master Bedroom
Paint
Purchase bedding and accessories
Purchase and hang artwork

Guest room
Paint
Purchase bed, bedding and accessories
Purchase and hang art work

Office/craft room
Paint
Update closet- paint and add shelving
Purchase office furniture and craft storage

Garage
Move oil tank outside of garage
Add more storage

Bathroom
Complete reno

Living Room
Paint
Purchase and hang art

Did you plan to do a lot of work after purchasing your home? How long did it take to tackle the bulk of it? What projects are you planning to do this year?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Small Bathroom Tip: Large Tile Goes a Long Way!

Our biggest home project in 2014 is a bathroom reno. We don't have the time or skills to do it ourselves, so the biggest thing we'll have to do is make some decisions. We have wanted a bathroom reno from the moment we first saw our home. It's been well over three years and we're just about ready to  get things started!
I have been pinning away bathroom inspiration along the way and really thought I had definite ideas in mind. I've been really drawn to black and white spaces, marble anything, detailed tile work and bold patterned walls. I pretty much like bathrooms that have classic touches, but a couple of bold elements.
Once we started shopping for materials, I learned that what I love in other people's bathrooms probably won't work best for ours. We have a very small bathroom. We don't want to highlight that it's so small, so the sales person we've been working with has been great at giving us tips throughout the process and one tip was a great way on how to make the space appear larger. I mentioned I'm drawn to detail tile work, when we were looking at tile, I immediately went for a black and white basket weave tile design. When we started discussing the size of the space, the sales person explained that going with a smaller or more intricate pattern would immediately draw eyes down when looking at the bathroom. It would make the space appear much smaller. She recommended going for larger tile on the floor in a more neutral tone. So while I absolutely love it and it works well in a gorgeous space like the bathroom below from Houzz.com, As I started looking though many of my pinterest inspiration pics , I realized that my eyes did in fact go right to the floor when looking at the rooms.






Going with a larger tile like the one below, also from Houzz.com, makes a narrow space appear wider than a smaller design. I never would have thought of this on our own, so I'm really enjoying the tips we've been receiving from professionals.


Our sales person recommended adding more detail or a fun pattern on the shower curtain. I think this advice will really impact our design in a positive way and as a bonus, the larger tile will save us money!

what's the best tip you learned while renovating a room? Any other tips for a small bathroom?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

B is for Babies

It seems like a lot of people I know are starting to make announcements that cute little babies are on the way. I'm looking forward to meeting the little guys. Over the summer I went to a baby shower for one of my college friends and last weekend I went to the shower of one of my many cousins.
 
It's been a great excuse to use up some of my old scrapbooking supplies. Growing up I decided that I needed to document absolutely everything through scrapbooks, so I've built up a pretty healthy collection of craft papers and supplies that are just gathering dust with the exception of making cards every once in awhile. Once photo books came out through sites like my publisher, I kind of gave it up.
 
I used some of my old papers recently to make some bunting to use as ribbon for my college friend's baby shower gift and made a matching card. 


I also used my Silhouette machine (it's a machine that cuts paper into shapes and letters) for probably the first time ever for my cousin's baby shower gift wrapping. Jim bought it for me our first Christmas after we got married. He thought I'd like it because leading up to our wedding I spent a lot of time crafting - we had a heavy DIY wedding. It was super thoughtful, but after the wedding I didn't have any reason to use it. Until apparently now. Going forward I think all of our friends will get monogrammed baby gift wrapping. I don't think that's what Jim expected I'd use it for, but at least I'm using it now, right?
 
So thank you babies for giving me an excuse to craft again and giving me a reason to use the thoughtful gift from my husband (3 years later).

Baby showers are also a great chance to see the awesome crafting skills of my talented friends and family. At my cousin's (technically cousin-in-law) baby shower, her sister-in-laws, sisters and mom and mom in-law put threw the most adorable event. There were so many sweet details. There was a lot of thought and love put into it. How sweet is this little poem at each guest's seat?
 
I also loved the centerpieces. One of the hosts, my cousin M, wanted to have baby block centerpieces. When she couldn't find them pre-made, she decided to go the DIY route and created these beautiful centerpieces getting the supplies at A.C. Moore and ordering bulk hydrangeas through BJs. They came out awesome. There were so many other thoughtful details like homemade chocolate covered Oreo favors made by the mom-to-be's sister in law. 
It was a lot of fun to spend time celebrating the soon to be baby and spending time with friends and family in such a pretty setting.

I'm apparently on the watch list for the next in line to have a baby. I guess that happens when you're about to hit three years of marriage and inching closer to 30. For now, I'm just enjoying celebrating other people's babies.

Are you and your friends in the baby stage? Any tips on using up old scrapbook paper or cool ideas on things to make with a silhouette machine?