Wednesday, December 29, 2010

[Paint] Color War

The day we closed on our house was the same day I painted our kitchen.  The kitchen was originally pinky lavender... and just terrible.   I had seen a blue kitchen with white cabinets in a Pottery Barn catalog and knew I had to have the same (even though our cabinets were honey oak at the time).

I found the PB Color in the catalog  - Benjamin Moore, New York State of Mind - at got to rolling.  (You can find all sorts of kitchen reno details here).  The color was a tad brighter than I had hoped, but I still got the look I was going for.

Husband on the other hand liked to refer to it as Painters Tape Blue (which I still defend it was not).  However, I did always agree I wish it was a tad more muted.

So last Sunday, before the snow storm hit, we ran to the paint store and decided to give it another go (only 2.5 years later).


This is swatch of my original color scheme.  I think online (or at least my monitor) the blue looks similar to what I wanted, not what I got.

Upper Left - Benjamin Moore, New York State of Mind

And an online photo of NYSoM.....
Photo Found Here

And a Photo from my own kitchen.... Maybe its the light we get, but it does photograph MUCH brighter than it looks I promise (Husband agrees)...
This view is a little more realistic....

We got inspiration for the new blue when I brought home this dish towel from Crate and Barrel last fall. It was the perfect grey'd out blue we originally wanted. 

Darjeeling Dishtowel - Crate and Barrel $1.95

So I took the dishtowel to Lowe's and swatched a bunch of colors that were similar, some more blue, some more grey and then we tested them against our current wall to see if it was more contrast than we wanted.  I found some old swatches in the junk drawer and that's where we found the perfect shade.  Ralph Lauren Canyon Blue.  The color was almost the same as the current, just a little more subdued. Perfect!

We went to Sherwin Williams and had them color match with their Duration paint.  We only needed a quart and since they were having an End of Year Sale, it only cost us $17.  We've learned over the years that the higher quality paints do really provide better coverage (ie, less coats and less time... and less sore muscles) and we definitely wanted that when working with a dark base to start. 

In progress (Canyon Blue at the bottom and edges)

All done!

Hysterical, it looks almost the same! 

In real life, I don't think anyone would notice a change, but the Husband and I definitely do.  I really wanted to keep the two blue walls because the rest of our house is so neutral.  I feel like if any room can have some vibrancy, it can be the kitchen.  I also love how crisp the white cabinets look against it.  These were my arguments to Husband on why we had to keep it blue and just find a less "bright" color.  I'm glad we were able to call truce on the "color war" and I'm stoked that he's happy with the new shade.

This was such a great project that we were able to complete together in a few hours.  It was nice to have something to do and I'm already making a list of new projects to tackle next year. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here is a close re-enactment of what happened in our house this morning.....  True Story.

Long story short.  For the 3rd time in two years, a bird flew into the dryer vent (on the 3rd floor exterior)... fell behind the dryer, yet this time... this bird freed itself through the foil coil that connects to the dryer and attempted a getaway throughout our house.

I will now die 5 years earlier than planned.

Really, Life?  Really?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

[Anthro] Retail Therapy

There are tons of different ways to cope with grief and finding therapy... naturally, a fav of mine is to buy myself something shiny and new.

Well... maybe not always shiny, but something new for sure.  Of course it doesn't solve any real problems, but the endorphin rush of swiping the magnetic strip on my credit card and hanging something in my closet is a sure fire way to bring a smile to my face, which at the beginning of this week was hard to find.

On Wednesday, I swung by Anthro to check out their giant Tag Sale.  All sale items were an additional 25% Off.  I originally went in with the purpose of picking up a gift for my Husband's Secret Santa.  Sure, it's probably wrong... me doing the shopping for his Secret Santa... but I just had a better idea for his pick.  He's actually doing the shopping for mine, so it's kind of fair in the end. Right?

Anyway, after getting the gift I decided to see if there were any deals I could take advantage of.  The husband had told me twice to get something to make me smile, I wasn't going to make him say it a 3rd time!

I got a pair of Lolly foldover yoga pants in black for just under $30, which were something on my recent "NEED" list.  I also grabbed a long sleeve tee for layering and a cute cotton chemise that I thought would double as a great bathing suit cover up in the Bahamas. 

Light the Sky Chemise - no longer available online

It's fully lined and comes to my knee, so it definitely has more of a 'cover up' look than 'nightgown'.  I think it'll be perfect for stopping for lunch in between beach and pool time, instead of my usual gym shorts and tank top and it was only $22, instead of the full price $68. Upgrade.

I then walked away from the sale racks and was heading to the register when I spotted the ever loved Bianka Blouse, and with it, the new Vitalize Blouse... which is essentially the same top and just a new print.  I immediately thought it'd look adorable with skinnies, riding boots, and my navy Breezy Ride Cardigan.

Vitalize Blouse - Anthropologie $68

Vitalize Blouse

The only problem is getting the ruffly sleeves to fit inside the cardigan.  Any tips??

I also grabbed this boyfriend cardi from Moth.  The price was right (in terms of Anthro cardigans) and it's filling another void in my closet.  Most of my cardigans are hip length, so adding a nice comfy long one for all these cold days we've been having was a must.

Wrinkled Grandpa Cardigan - Anthropologie $78

I've been wearing the Lolly yoga pants (no longer available online) non-stop... I'm in them right now!  I'm still not sure if I'm going to keep the layering tee or the Vitalize blouse, but I'm glad I got them for the time being.   I haven't shopped since this Anthro sale back in early November and I ended returning half of those items once they arrived. 

Between buying these goodies, eating Christmas cookies, and sharing my thoughts here, I definitely am starting to feel more like myself.   Thank you readers for your kind words of support on my last post.  It's definitely been a difficult week, but it's nice to know I can come here and vent freely while being supported by such lovely ladies.

Friday, December 24, 2010

...a not so very merry christmas, BAH HUM BUG

Sometimes when Life hands you lemons... it's completely impossible to make lemonade.  I mean, what if Life doesn't hand you sugar?... What are you supposed to do then, swallow down some sour drink and pretend it tastes sweet???... Fake it?

Sometimes Life is greater than shopping, decorating, and cooking.... pretty much the fluff (and fun) I fill this slice of the internet with.... Sometimes Life sucks and you can't hide from it, it finds you, and shows you there is more than shopping, decorating, and cooking... more that is better, and more that is worse.

I've been absent, readers. 

Which you clearly noticed since I may have posted, oh like what, 6 posts in the last two months when I used to hit at least 6 a week?...  At first, I was hiding.  You see I'm a terrible liar.  I couldn't come here and write freely about random life happenings because I felt like you'd all see through that... that there was more going on and that I was hiding a secret.  So like I do in real life, I went into avoidance mode.  I filled my time cataloging future posts... and lots of them.  I had lists of ideas, new 'wishlists', and lots of stories to share.

This was supposed to be a great week.  It Christmas for heaven's sake!

I was going to finally share my secret, a Strawberry Swing Christmas Surprise!... if you will.  Instead, Life - that stupid bitch without the sugar - decided to be an Indian giver (apologies for the non-PC term) and she took it back. 

She took it back.  And worse, she took it back without even telling me.

Maybe she didn't see my Joy, as I was trying so hard to keep it contained and under wraps until the beginning of 2011, as I had poised 2011 to be the "BEST.YEAR.EVER."  But Joy was here. Like Katy Perry's Firework... it was burning inside me.  Colorful, bright... just waiting to explode.

And Life came over with a bucket of water and extinguished my light.

... and now it's dark.

And this time an extension cord won't fix the fact the outlet on the porch is blown and stretch to another to power my Christmas lights.

Regardless of my Bitter Betty attitude just hours before the big guy in the red suit arrives, undoubtedly without what I asked for, I still believe 2011 could be the BEST.YEAR.EVER.  Instead of the planned window shopping, home decorating, and wishlist making I thought I'd be making, we've already come up with some new ones to fill in their place.  

...retail therapy (natch), different home reno's, maybe even a different house... you never know.

But first up for 2011, a much needed getaway to Bahamas with the Husband.  

.... I'm sorry Readers for such a depressing post at Christmas, but from what I've learned over the past few years is that Life doesn't give a crap about holidays or happiness and also that you are a wonderfully supportive group of friends.

In the spirit of Christmas, if you are able to, please do something extra nice for someone - a family member, friend, or even a stranger - in the next few days.  You never know what is happening in someone else's life and sometimes just a little extra generosity and love can put a smile on someone's face when they didn't even think it was possible. 

Wishing you all Christmas' that are Merry and Bright...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Off Beat Holiday Decor

Sure, you could easily decorate your whole house by getting sucked in at Target... how do I manage to leave the store $50 to $100 poorer every time... even when just buying toothpaste and deodorant??... but I love the charm of crafty decorations that aren't massed produced, nor able to be found in my neighbor's home.

Here are some of my favorite 'off-beat' Christmas decorations this season....

Holiday Pom-Pom Garland - Buy on Etsy HERE for $15

....or make your own with a tutorial HERE

Paper Wreath (from a dictionary) - Buy on Etsy HERE for $20

... or make your own, like Amy K's.... her tutorial HERE

Hand Painted Holiday Blocks - Buy on Etsy HERE and HERE for $21.95

Glitter Trees - Buy on Etsy HERE for $26

...or make your own, tutorial HERE!

Do you have any favorite DIY or custom made decorations?  Share links and ideas in the comments - I love inspiration!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

::tap tap tap:::

Is this thing on??

Hey there long lost friends!  I've returned from the crevice in the couch that has sucked me.... sucked me into numerous naps, a Dexter Season 1 (and now Season 2) marathon, and just general cold weather-all-I-want-to-do-is-wear-sweats-and-snuggle mood.

But I finally uploaded a bunch of pics, so it's time to finally get back and share some post turkey day recaps....

First up, the ever on going curtain debacle.  I finally took down the old valence the weekend before Turkey Day and hung the new rod, but that permanent butt mark in the couch grabbed me for a few Dexter dvds.... The Husband patched the old holes and painted them over while I ironed the new curtains (after washing).  We finally had them up Tuesday night, just in time for our company on Wednesday. 

Nothing like some home makeover procrastination....

The Before

The After

...and yes, the pups may be permanently stuck on that ottoman the way I am in our smooshy couch...

In all honesty, I like the curtains... but don't love them.  I think if the walls weren't the most boring color on the planet it'd change a lot of things, but it working for now.  If I find a set of great (yet, non-obnoxious) patterned drapes, I'll definitely replace the white Ikea set, but we didn't want to spend a ton and they are getting the job done for now....

We also got the new microfiber Parson dining chairs that I posted about here. Except we got a different set from Overstock (love $2.95 flat rate shipping) instead of BBB, since they were a bit smaller in dimensions and we hoped it'd be easier to fit all 6 chairs around the table.

The only issue is that the Parson chairs' height is less than the others.   Since they are at the head of the table, I feel like they should be higher, but small potatoes.  I'm digging the mixed and matched chair look (thanks for the inspiration Amy K!)

And lastly for the all-in-one recap post, the table setting pre-turkey scarf down.  We actually added a second table since we had 10 guests, but since I got busy with prepping all the grub I didn't snap a picture.
("Hi Sarah!... I'm the perfect centerpiece, Thank You IBFF!")

Hope Everyone is having a Happy Holiday Season!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Half-Assed Weekend

Sorry readers (again)... I've just been slacking terribly in keeping up with my posts.  Kinda half assed if you will... like everything we attempted to complete this weekend.

On Saturday I wanted to hang our Christmas lights up outside.  Almost 1/2 of our strands were duds.  I got pretty far with ones that worked than realize the connector outlet on them wasn't the type for a bigger prong for the other strands we had left and had to take them down and start over.  I eventually gave up and now need to go invest in more lights - so annoying!

I did get to hang the new curtain rod.  The husband patched the old holes, but we still didn't paint over the spackle.  I also did wash the new curtains, but never got around to hemming them. Sheesh.

I went grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, and only got through half my list before I started feeling gross and couldn't stand being in the crowded supermarket and left. Haha.

This trend needs to stop, nothing will ever get done!

Anyway, I figured since I needed some pictures to include in this post - because who likes posts without pictures?? I'd post some of my favorite/wanted items to do these half assed activities in - lounge clothes!

(since I never took pictures of my half assed light job, half assed curtain hanging, and half assed grocery shopping loot)...

half assed
half assed
half assed

... tehehe...

Shapeshifting Sweats Cardi - Anthropologie $78

Seventh Day Loungers - Anthropologie $58

Final Course Pullover - Anthropologie $68

Anyone else out there having touble getting it done??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[Home Decorating] Bay Window Part 2 of 3

Wow... where have I been?

Can tell you where I haven't - shopping!

I've been so wrapped up in getting the house in "visitor" condition that I haven't had time to shop or blog about shopping - my wallet thanks me.  Of course "visitor" condition is always more than just dusting, vacuuming, and changing the sheets in the guest room.  My visitor condition always includes some last minute home renovations.

We ordered the bay window curtain rod and finally went and got curtains last weekend (ok, so I've been shopping a little). 

Umbra Solutions Bayview Black Window Set - Bed Bath and Beyond $49.99

Ritva Curtains (2 Panels) - Ikea $19.99 (woohoo)

Since we had a little issue with another bird flying into our dryer vent, our dryer has been out of commission.  Now that it's back up and running, I'll wash the curtains tonight, before I measure where to hang the curtain rod.  I am afraid the curtains will be too wide at 57", if that's the case I think cutting them in half and using some iron-on hem tape will do just the trick and get up 4 panels instead of two (like the BBB stock photo above)

I'll be back later with a Poll to get your opinions of what you like better, the current set up or the new.  I'll also share some polyvores of how I've been dressing recently, since the camera battery died and I haven't recharged it yet... oops.

(catch up on the original bay window post here)

Friday, November 12, 2010

[Anthro] Recycling Bianka

Like many of you, I placed a nice little (lie.) order when Anthropologie had their sale two weeks ago (luckily I was able to resist this week's).  Part of my order included earrings, which sadly I returned.   They were bigger than I expected and just weren't what I was looking for. 

However, if you have ever ordered a small accessory from Anthropologie you may have noticed that they come cutely bagged in fun and reusable fabric baggies.

I was pleasantly surprised - like the dork I am - when the bag was made of the same print as the blue motif Bianka Blouse that I tried on here....

So, even though I passed on the blouse... it still looks like I got my own little piece of Bianka...

Happy Friday Readers!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

[Window Shopping] GAP Give and Get 30% Off Picks

I'm here!!

...and back just in time to make my GAP picks for the weekend Give and Get 30% Promotion.  Since the holiday season is upon us, what better excuse to get some shopping done early while getting a nice bargain?

Here we go....
Forever skinny jeans (saturated dark wash) - GAP $69.50 $48.65

Classic trench coat  - GAP $69.99 $48.99

Fair isle pocket scarf  - GAP $29.50 $20.65

Pro Fleece bunny hat  - Gap Kids $19.50 $13.75
(so cute if you're shopping for any kids)

(make your daughter, or niece, or friend's daughter into a mini Rachel Zoe.... I. Die.)

Plaid double-layer shirt - GAP $49.50 $34.65
(for the husbands and boyfriends.. or brothers, etc)

Merino half-zip sweater - GAP $59.50 $41.65

Little Twig baby basics set - BabyGap $34.99 $24.49
(perfect gift for my friend who just had her baby this week - squee)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 8, 2010

[Sale] Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

I'm still browsing through some of the offerings  - and trying to refrain from the impulse of sale shopping, but I had to share this item....

Trouve Double Knit Leggings are 33% off... I've heard great things about these leggings, but have continuously passed on buying them because I don't wear leggings that much.  I think for $24.90, I'll finally pick them up!

Trouvé Double Knit Leggings - Nordstrom $24.90

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

[Holidays] Table Setting Ideas

I love that the holidays are upon us.  You already know I went crazy picking things up for Thanksgiving Dinner, but look at these cute ideas I found at (natch).

Pinecone Turkey

Pom-Pom Tom Turkey

Trivia Turkey
(such a cute idea if you are hosting two families for the first time)

Printed Linens

Glimmer and Shine
(perfect for anyone who loves some sparkle)

Modern and Simple

Harvest Napkin Ties
(I still need 4 more napkin rings - I think I found my solution!)

Beaded Napkin Ring
(even easier than the acorn option above!)

Do you have a creative table setting in mind? 

Find the rest of Martha's creative ideas HERE