Home Goals 2012


I saw this little gem on Pinterest from The Nester and I thought it would be a really great idea to make an actually list of things I want to accomplish in our home this year. Of course, we still live in a relatively small apartment, so I’m definitely limited in the changes I can make. But my husband and I are both incredibly similar when it comes to home design (thank goodness, right?). We both ache for change about every 6-9 months. (I did mention my adventures in making over our bedroom this summer right?)

So, this list will outline a few of the cosmetic changes I would love to see happen in our home this year.

1. Change up our photo wall. Right now our small gallery wall is 100% dedicated to photos and memorabilia of our wedding. It has been unchanged since I put it on the wall and I’m ready for a little mix up. I’m thinking about changing up the layout, adding some different frames (possibly in a different color?), and adding some different things in the frames.

2. Style up the coffee table. The coffee table is definitely considered one of the most used drop zones in our home. At a glance, you’ll see stacks of magazines, an old basket for keys and such, and my laptop (which serves as our TV for movie nights and such. It always feels cluttered and I’d like to take the time to dress it up a little. Maybe a new basket for out-the-door necessities or a tray to hold some books and coasters. Also, a few fun pops of color would look really great.

3. Purge! I’ve been on an organizing kick for the past month or so, getting all of our documents in order, but I’ve also been eyeing quite a few things that need to go. I’ve always craved a home filled with meaningful items and necessities rather than a home cluttered with things to collect dust and never be used. While, there isn’t really a whole lot in our home that doesn’t get used regularly, I still want to go through and make sure that our belongings are important to use in function and/or meaning.

And there you have it. So far I’ve established a few good resolutions and now a list of goals for our little home. I’ve got quite the busy year ahead of me.

What about you? Do you have a list of things you’d like to get done in your home? Or any other aspect of your life, for that matter? Join in!


Book of the Month: A Practical Wedding

As I mentioned in this previous post, I’ve got a few New Years Resolutions to be working on. One of which is to read at least 12 books this year. While I’m not going down a specific list, I do have a couple of books prepped and ready. One of which is A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene, writer of the same titled blog. Sure, I’m not planning a wedding anymore, but I couldn’t wait to support this book (I even got it on pre-order) because I love everything it stands for. Weddings don’t have to be some insanity-inducing, stressful event. They should be meaningful and, if possible, as chill as possible. I’m about 50 pages in right now, and I’ve already cried once, so you can tell it’s going to be good.

If you are planning a wedding, or maybe you just want a really amazing, genuine book to read, I would seriously recommend this. I’m even planning on gifting it to any and all of my friends who get engaged.

buy here!

New Years Resoultions 2012 ed.

It’s that time. Well, it has been that time for the past few days but, I’m finally ready to nail to down some commitments to my resolutions for 2012. To be honest, I’ve never been too successful with resolutions. As I’m sure a lot of people can relate, I often start out really enthusiastic only to deliberately give up or completely forget about these goals. But, I don’t think that means I shouldn’t make resolutions. I feel that it’s important to always have goals and, with college graduation right around the corner, I’m feeling really confident that I will have success in completing this year’s commitments. So without further delay, I present my 2012 resolutions.

1. Read 12 books. Ideally, one per month of course. Fiction or non-fiction, as long as I’m setting aside some time for recreational reading. I used to love curling up on the couch with a book and now I feel like I either don’t have time to read or would rather be sleeping. But, I miss reading and I can’t wait to pick it up again.

2. 52 blog posts (at least). Good news for the blog! More content! Especially through the last few months, I have been slacking, which is sad because I love this blog and I want to continue to build it up with quality posts. So be on the look out for at least one post for week. Hopefully more though!

3. Run a 5K. Eek. This is by far the scariest of all of my resolutions. I’ve never really been into running, but I feel like setting this as a goal will keep me motivated to get healthy. Completing a 5K would be such an amazing accomplishment.

4. Get organized. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have this on their list? I have been working hard on getting our household management, meal planning, and finances under control in the past month and my goal is just to keep plugging along until we’ve got some good systems in place (posts on this coming for sure!).

5. Take more pictures. So I tallied up the number of Facebook pictures I posted in 2011. 45. Pretty pathetic. I know I probably took a few more than what I posted on FB but I need to get better about using my fancy new camera. I’m guessing I’ll be super thankful when I’m 70.

So, there you have it. A quick run down (and written commitment) of my 2012 resolutions. A good variety of goals for different aspects of my life. Here we go!

What are your resolutions? Any frequent flier resolutions that are on the list every year? Share below!

Christmas Storage – Easy DIY Methods

We all know how excited I was to put up our Christmas decorations. In fact, I was pretty sneaky about getting it up early. But, now I’m getting excited about organizing the way I store all of our holiday decor. What a conundrum!
Once again, it was pinterest to the rescue with some great, simple, and cheap organization ideas, the number one being storing your ornaments in plastic cups that have been glued to cardboard. This makes sense for a multitude of reasons, the best being that they won’t be rolling around, hitting eachother in storage, if you keep the hooks on, they won’t get tangled up, and you can remove the whole board they’re attached to for easy decorating, rather than going back and forth with a few ornaments at a time. So here is a peek at my Christmas storage:

As you can see, I just hot glued the shorter plastic cups to layers of cardboard that fit the storage container. I purchased these particular containers from Wal-Mart about two years ago. They are made up of a strong fabric, so they weren’t doing much to protect my ornaments from damage. And even though these ornaments or the “shatter-proof” kind, I still want to keep them in good shape. The cups provide each ornament with a cozy space that keeps them ding free. On the top layer, I also added a separate cup for ornament hooks. This way they are always by the ornaments and easy access.

Here’s a peek at the layers. With three stacks, it holds 50 ornaments, which is my entire collection of these silver, gold, and glittery ball ornaments.

For my more special and breakable ornaments, I purchased a storage container with a hard, plastic shell. Each ornament still has its own space and is protected from damage.

For the rest of my Chrismas decor, like the tree skirt and topper, I used another red, fabric storage bin. To give my decorations some more protection, I fashioned a foam core insert to create a hard shell. I just cut it to size and hot-glued the frame together. Easy peasy! It zips right up and all of my other decorations are in one easy spot.

So, there you have it. A rundown of my holiday storage plus some super easy (and inexpensive) tips to retrofit your current storage for more protection.

Do you get excited about organizing holiday storage? Just me? Bueller? Do you have any other tips or tricks for easy storage?? Share below!

Happy New Year!

How did 2012 get here so quickly? It seemed like it moved so fast. Josh and I are already preparing for a crazy year. Lots of big things are happening.

But as a nod to 2011, I wanted to create a cute, simplified memory of 2011 to share with our families and to have as a keepsake. Of course, Pinterest has continued to serve as inspiration for so many projects I’m doing these days, so it only made sense for me to turn to some of my past pins to accomplish this particular task.

And, instantly I fell in love with these adorable newsletters.

images here and here

What an adorable way to share you year! So I whipped up our own little version using photoshop. I kept the format very similar to both examples but tailored it to our little family. As a poor college couple, we obviously didn’t need a travel map of the world, but we did include some fun achievements from 2011.

I especially love the little married couple. Adorable! And I also wanted to add a “coming soon” section to hint at big events happening in 2012. As you can tell, it’s going to be a big one.

How do you share your news with family? What are you looking forward to the most in 2012?

Our Christmas Tree + DIY Ruffled Tree Skirt

I’ll admit, I put up our Christmas decorations in a very sneaky fashion. Josh said I couldn’t put up any Christmas related decor until after Thanksgiving (something like “one holiday at a time” or whatever). So, on Wednesday I started messing around with a winter mantle (nothing overtly Christmas-y), then, on Thursday, I put up our stockings. But it wasn’t until I had our Christmas tree out of the box that Josh even noticed I was being so sneaky. Yes, I’m good.

I just get so excited about Christmas. Mostly because I bought the majority of our decorations on super sale after last Christmas. I’ve waited a whole year to put up our new stuff. So, here are some beautiful, glowy pictures of our Christmas Tree!

Another, reason I’m so excited about this year’s tree is because our old tree was about 2 feet tall and it held about 5 ornaments before it started looking weird. But we’re moving up… to a 4.5 foot tall pre-lit awesome tree. Love!

As far as ornaments go, I’ve got a pretty nice system going on. Josh and I have a small (but growing) collection of meaningful ornaments, that include an ornament from the second Christmas we were dating (2007), an ornament from our first married Christmas together (2010), and this year I added an adorable and inexpensive Texas cookie-cutter fashioned into a Christmas ornament.

All other ornaments are simple ball ornaments that were left over from our wedding. They are all silver and gold and really let our special ornaments stand out. For garland, I used some leftover fabric strips from our Christmas skirt. Simple and still inexpensive.

Our tree skirt is one of the holiday items I’m most proud of. I found this great tutorial here on Pinterest. In the past, I’ve always favored bright and colorful Christmas decor, but this year I really got into neutral and metallic decoration, so this tree skirt immediately drew my attention. Plus, it’s a no-sew project. Basically, just strips of fabric hot glued to a tree skirt. It took me a few hours to complete and the burned fingers were totally worth it! Take a peek.

So, there you have it. There are a lot more Christmas posts to come including gift wrapping, our winter mantle, and a super easy tutorial on temporarily changing up those cone trees that are so popular now. Stay tuned!

Do you have your Christmas decorations up yet? Or are you waiting for December? Do you go with a theme or color scheme for decor? I’d love to know! And also, I’m on Pinterest!

Gift Wrapping Inspiration

I am seriously getting into Christmas decor early this year. (Sorry Thanksgiving!) And thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been saving lots of inspiration for pretty presents. While continuing with the never-ending mission to simplify our lives and saving money, I’ve decided to quit buying wrapping paper and stick with kraft paper. There are so many different ways to customize simple paper, not only for Christmas, but for all other occasions.

Here are some of my favorites below:

Silk ribbon in any color would be beautiful with this bow!

Tutorial on this gorgeous bow here.

Simple customizations for kraft paper wrapping. Use things you already have around the house! Doilies, yarn, or scraps of left over ribbon. The possibilities are endless! I especially love the little star bunting on the bottom!

Fun customizations here

Fabric scraps for wrapping and rosettes! Probably free if you have lots of leftover fabric pieces from other projects. Simple and beautiful.

Found on Babble.

Super simple newspaper and twine. And a simple gift tag solution: single initials.

Not only are these options more beautiful than traditional wrapping paper, but they are simple, and in most cases free! (What beats free around Christmas? I think nothing!) And even though it might be a little silly, I just love the look of coordinating presents! Make the tree look even more beautiful. So, while I’m not allowed to put out Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving (“one holiday at a time” is Josh’s policy) I’m fine just preparing for a great holiday season.

What is your favorite way to wrap gifts? Do you like coordinating colors, paper, and ribbon or is a mix-and-match style more your thing?

DIY Holiday Wreath – Inspired by Pinterest

So, I finally joined the Pinterest train, and I am in love! It is so much fun. There is so much inspiration for DIY projects, crafts, parties, and home design. Seriously, it’s heaven.

But, like many bloggers, I don’t want to pin stuff and never actually create anything. So I set out to create a few of my favorites and first up, I made a holiday wreath. Usually, I’m not really really a fan of traditional fall decor. My home design preferences are usually brighter and color colors like blue and greens and the warm tones of fall doesn’t really fit, in my opinion. But these two wreaths below, I love!

From Here

From Here

I love the berries and deep reds of the first wreath and, of course, the flower rosettes of the second. So here’s my combination.

I picked up an inexpensive wreath from Wal-Mart and some clearance fabric scraps from Hobby Lobby to make fabric rosettes. A few episodes of “The Office” later, I had enough to cover about half of the wreath and start hot gluing them on. The berries were already owned from last Christmas so I threaded them in. I also used a left over shred to make a rustic bow for the top.

I used some left over cream ribbon to hang the wreath on an upside down 3M hook. Removable and I already had it in the house! (I also learned this trick on Pinterest!)

I think I’ve found my ideal fall decor. Deep wine reds with neutrals tied in. Gorgeous! And not only does this wreath look great for fall, but it could also easily transition into a Christmas wreath with a few tweaks like more metallic accents and a bunting message like in the second inspiration picture. I love it!

All together, I spent about $8.00 total. Yes! Tutorials for both inspriation pictures can be found in their links. Check back later this week for some more Pinterest inspired craft projects!

Check In + Update = Check Up?

Hello October! Where has the time gone? My lack of updates has definitely not been from a lack of content but from an increase of craziness in our schedules! What with events, school, homework, and regular work, Josh and I are always on the move. Sadly, I just haven’t had the time or energy I need to get this blog moving.

So, here’s an update, and to make it less boring, I decided to unload some of my recent iPhone pictures for fun.

Graduation looms just 7 months in the distance, so it’s easy to understand that school is hard. Lots of projects and coursework keep me busy these day. Whenever possible, I like to sleep. Sometimes, Scribble (our pet rat who is actually quite adorable) joins me.

Date nights are few and far between, but recently Josh and I did squeeze in a lame-o date about a week ago where we trolled the mall, Barnes & Noble, and got some frozen yogurt. Of course, we made sure to swing by our local Spencer’s to laugh at stupid gifts and trashy Halloween costumes. Check out this cowboy hat made from beer can boxes. One word: classy.

And here is Josh to model it for us.

But, we have still squeezed in time to plan for another Halloween party this month (check out last year’s here.) We’re definitely experimenting with a different theme this year. In the past, I’ve never dressed up as anything creepy so I’m getting my zombie gear ready for this party. But not, creepy zombie, cute zombie. Is there such a thing? Stay tuned. But on another note, there are a lot of adorable Halloween decorations out this year! Check out these adorable stair mice I found at Michael’s. Perhaps, a future DIY project?

And lastly, being surrounded by people at all hours of the day has landed me a fun sickness. For the past few days, I’ve been stranded on the couch. And while, yes, that is usually considered rest, but being sick is really draining. So, while I haven’t been producing blog content, I have been reading a lot. I just love the blog-0-sphere! So many amazing people and wonderful ideas.

One of my favorite discoveries this month has been Design Seeds. There you’ll find all of the most amazing color palettes you can imagine! Based on beautiful, original photography, these color palettes would make it so much easier to plan a room on! Just pick your favorite, take it to the local paint star, and let the fun begin! Check out one of my favorites below:

sushi hues here

There! We’re all caught up! Now, let the real blogging continue. I’ve got some really cool posts coming up like a fun chair makeover, some super easy Halloween projects, and the long awaited kitchen makeover!