that’s a wrap: office reveal

So, the office is done. Well, mostly done. There are still a few finishing touches I have planned, but for the most part this room is finished. You might remember what it looked like just a few weeks ago but now, it’s clean, it’s organized, you can actually walk through it without fearing for your life. Overall all, I’d call that a success.

Now, let’s take the tour!

The most obvious change is the fact that you can actually see the floors! (Carpet! Who knew?)

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I finally hung up all of the art and frames that we own. There’s still quick a bit of empty space (and yes, that one frame still has the advertisement photo in it), so we’ve got room to grow, but stuff is on the walls which is the main focus! When Josh and I graduated from college, his dad got us a double frame which now houses both of our diplomas which is pretty cool.

ffinished-office-makeover-4By the window is Josh’s workspace. Being a first year teacher, he is in here a lot, so it doesn’t stay neat for long, but he did put in some creative storage solutions like the hanging file folders and wire shelving next to his desk.finished-office-makeover-5

Here, you can see the curtains I designed with bleach pens and also one of the Christmas presents I got for Josh, a signed Source Fed poster (which is a news program we watch on YouTube that is hilarious, but still super informative!!)

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On the opposite wall is our family calendar (which we snagged on etsy) and more art.finished-office-makeover-1

This small bookcase serves as storage for binders and all office supplies.finished-office-makeover-7And, in the last turn, we’ve got the door and Josh’s keyboard. You can also see that we hung the curtains super high which makes the ceilings look taller and also takes up that empty visual space about the window and doors.finished-office-makeover-2I do want to add something in that space around the rest of the room, but I’m just not sure what yet. Maybe giant confetti shapes or something fun like that!

And that’s our office! Finally functional and a little bit stylish. Like I mentioned, there is room to improve and add over the duration of our time in 816, but just the progress we’ve made is so worth sharing!

Have you overhauled any rooms lately? Discovered any floors you didn’t know existed?

make this: diy embroidery hoop mobiles

Good morning and happy Monday! We’re another week into the new year, and for real, I am blowing through my to-do lists and resolutions. The office is coming along quite swimmingly and we’ll get the details and reveal up towards the end of the week! But today I’m sharing another super easy project that plays up my new true blue obsession! Last weekend, I decided it was time to take down the falling leaves installation we put up before Thanksgiving and replace it with something fresh and new.

And thus, these embroidery hoop mobiles were born! Ya’ll these are so easy to make but they look insanely cool. They’ve got a hint of mid-century cool mixed with a modern, fun color! They play up our big canvas art perfectly and I’m in love with them! So, I imagine you’re now asking yourself how one would go about creating the awesome-ness that is these mobiles. Well, have no fear because I’m going to tell you and in about 30 minutes you’ll have your own!

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All you need are embroidery hoops in 3 different sizes. You actually get two pieces from one embroidery hoop, so these are super inexpensive to make. I think the whole project cost me about $5.00.

So, I bought 6 embroidery hoops total from my local craft store to make four orbs and everything else, I already had at home. But, to complete the project, you’ll also need a hot glue gun, ribbon (for hanging), and craft paint and a paint brush

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First up, I took the embroidery hoops apart, removed the little screw that keeps the two hoops together, and hot glued the split hoop so it was one complete circle.

Next, I painted one of each size in a bright blue. I wanted to leave the majority of the hoops with the natural wood finish and go with just one pop of color for each orb but you could easily paint all of the hoops one or several colors depending on the look you’re going for!Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-(9)-copy

Then just hot glue your hoops together. I tried to make sure the brackets were at the very top of the orbs so you wouldn’t be able to see them jutting out while they hang. Start with your biggest hoop and hot glue the next size down to the very top at a perpendicular angle. Go down to your smallest hoop and turn it in a different direction so you get the orb effect.

Then just string them up! Keeping the brackets on the tops of the orbs makes this super easy! Just string ribbon of your choice through and attach to a dowel or shapely stick!

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Now, you’re ready to hang and admire! Another easy-peasy, inexpensive project in the books!

Since we’ve moved into our new apartment, 816, I think I’ve swapped out the hanging decorations in our dining room more than any other décor! It’s just so fun to think up new things to hang! First we had our no-sew paper strip mobiles, then the falling leaves, and now these fun embroidery hoop orbs!

What kind of hanging décor do you have in your house? Mostly light fixtures or do you get creative? I’d love more ideas and inspiration so share below!

so what makes an office awesome?

I figured that the before shots of the office we’re working with don’t really give a good idea of the aesthetic we’re going for.  Sometimes it’s hard to look past the disaster and see the end goal. So, I thought it would be fun to share a little glimpse into what we’re hoping will be the end result.

Office Inspiration copypainted bulletin circles/washi tape frames/confetti wall/stormwalking print

1. Painted bulletin circles – Perfect for organizing pending tasks or doing some real life ‘pinning’. I love them grouped together, but I also think it would be really cool to have a few spread throughout the room on different walls.

2. Washi tape frames – This is such a fantastic idea. Because, if you’ve ever put together a gallery wall of frames, you know that it can get a bit pricey if you’re buying new ones. And since I’m picturing the office walls full of fun art and posters, this is a cost effective way to make that happen! Not to mention, it spares the walls, it’s easy to remove, and there are so many cute options.

3. Giant confetti – Simple, basically free, super festive. That’s explanation enough right?

4. Quirky art – I already shared our nerd-tastic Lego Darth Vadar print on Monday but I think we need more awesomeness. This “Stormwalking” print just cracks me up and it would certainly brighten my day to walk into the office and see it. (Now I’m imaging what a Michael Jackson storm trooper would sound like on those high notes!! It’s a real shame that you can’t hear me trying to vocalize that right now!)

And that’s it. We’re not looking to add any new-fangled fancy organizational system or anything because we don’t plan on being in this apartment for more than another year or two. So, the goal is to make the space livable and enjoyable without adding a lot of stuff or spending a lot of money. I know you guys feel me on that!

Stay tuned next week to so some fun progress from the office and by the end of the month, we should wrap this thang up! (Yes, I did just use ‘thang’. I’m hip dammit!)

What makes your office/workspace awesome??

take cover! we’re tackling the office!

It’s the same no matter what apartment we’ve lived in. The office area is always a disaster and it’s never felt done. My biggest home related goal is to get our apartment, 816, whipped into shape and 100% complete before the summer. That way we have at least one solid year of living in a finished space before we have to pack up and move again. But before we start diving into the depths of paper stacks and craft supplies that currently fill our office, we should really reveal the damage… whatever. The worse the before pictures the better the after ones will look, right? Right?!

The primary function of this room is to store all of my craft supplies and holiday decorations and it serves as the primary workspace for Josh. All those papers on the random table in the middle of the room? Yup, that’s his students’ work, so you can imagine that we have a lot of papers going in and out of this space.

The Office - Before 1

Also, you’ll notice there is basically no design to this room. It is a beige box with no art, color, or even curtains. (Don’t worry, though. All of those are on the list!)

The Office - Before 2

If you can remember our “keeping it real post” from last summer, you’d know that the box in the corner below hasn’t moved an inch! It’s full of the art and frames that I wanted to fill the walls with.

The Office - Before 3

On the bright side, we did get our family calendar up, and a new addition is our House Savings Goal tracker! That’s right! We’re saving up to buy a house in a couple of years and this is just a fun way to keep us motivated to save! I also couldn’t resist snatching up that adorable Lego Darth Vadar print from iHEARTbricks on Etsy. It’s titled “Everyone’s a lover sometime” and it’s Vadar on a bicycle with some flowers! We’re Star Wars nerds in this house, so I just had to have it!The Office - Before 4

So, as you can very plainly see, we’ve got our work cut out for us. And it is my goal to get this room done before February! There, I said it. It’s out there. Now, I’ve got to make it happen!

Here’s our Office To-Do List!

  • Go through and organize all of my craft supplies in a logical/sane order.
  • Whip up some DIY curtains for the lone window
  • Literally fill the walls with all of our fun art/posters/nerdiness
  • Sort through and determine the necessity of everything in this room!
  • Implement some systems to make Josh’s work easier in this room
  • Add a fun and bright backing to the little book case

Just six “simple” tasks standing in the way of an awesome office. Here we go!

Is there a room in your home that always feels undone? Let’s tackle it this year!!

christmas is for the birds

Christmas is inching closer and closer, which means it’s time to get cracking on our fun Christmas to-do list! One of the items we listed was making some cute bird seed ornaments for the tiny trees outside of our apartment. We are lucky enough to have our patio look out into an actual nature seen (as opposed to a well-frequented doggy business area like at our last place!), so I thought we’d take the opportunity to enjoy it and maybe tempt some pretty birds to hang out with us!

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I found this super easy tutorial over at saltwater-kids and it worked out wonderfully! It was a simple project that took less than an hour (not including drying time) and I’m so pleased with the finished product. I made sure to really spray my cookie cutters with a non-stick cooking spray to ensure they would come out intact and I also let them dry over night, just to be safe.

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I chose fun shapes from my plethora of cookie cutters to make them more interesting. I’ve got hearts, leaves, acorns, and stars. Maybe the birds have a shape preference, who knows? But at least we’re prepared!

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I ended up with a few to many to pile onto our tree, so I set of with some ribbon and a few birdy ornaments in hand and put them on some other trees around the complex as well. Hopefully, other families nearby will enjoy some flying friends!Bird Seed Ornaments (13) copySo, we added a little Christmas cheer to our small outdoor area and got another fun item crossed of our to-do list! I also ordered my last Christmas present today and will be mailing our Christmas cards out tomorrow! I am on a roll!!

How are you doing this holiday season? Are you getting things done ahead of time or do you end up partaking in the last minute rush? And what kind of outdoor decorating do you do for the holidays? I’m curious! (especially if you live in an apartment!!)

christmas crafts: easy diy painted wood ornaments

I usually try to do at least one DIY ornament every year to add to our collection of special ornaments. This year I jumped on the crafty train early and I made two types of DIY ornaments. On my Christmas to do list, I shared this photo as inspiration for a cool, customizable DIY ornament made from small wood discs.

Ya’ll, this project is super easy and they look adorable on our tree! And the whole thing was so inexpensive that you could make change up your color scheme from year to year.

A tutorial is almost unnecessary, but here it is anyways.

You’ll need small wooden discs (I picked mine up from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon!), craft paint in whatever colors you desire, paint brushes, and tape. Depending on how you plan to hang them, you also might need to have a drill handy.

Disc Ornament 1

The first thing I did was use different size tape pieces to create fun patterns on the discs.

Disc Ornament 3

Next, add your paint. I did about two coats on each disc just to make sure everything was covered.
Disc Ornament 4

Peel of the tape and you’re almost home!

As an extra measure, you could also add a thin layer of Mod Podge over both sides of the dried ornament just to give it a little bit more of a sheen.

I used our drill to make a small hole towards to the top of the ornament so we could add hooks. One tip here; take your time drilling the holes. The discs are pretty thin to begin with and you don’t want to split the wood, so move at a slower pace with consistent medium pressure.

Now just hang and enjoy!

Wood Disc Ornament Combo copy

I also whipped up a few more discs in fun bright colors and added magnets to the back for some fun, year-round fridge decorations! A few live in our kitchen and I gave a few to John and Sherry of Young House Love at the Dallas book signing as a little “welcome to Texas and also we should be friends” gift.

Do you partake in DIY ornaments? What are your favorite ones? Share below!

I’m also sharing over at Hi Sugarplum for the Christmas Craft party! Join in!!

Holiday

let’s get merry & bright!

It’s time to share our Christmas decor! Truth be told, I’ve had the apartment decorated for almost two weeks now, but I try to keep up my whole sanity front, so I’ve waited to debut our decorations until today.

This year, we went simple and with a more non-traditional color scheme (which I’m loving!). Christmas Decor  (1) copy

We kept our cute little Christmas tree and also the DIY ruffled tree skirt I made last year. One tip I have for making a tree look great is to really pile on the ornaments, so that’s what we did. Ours is pre-lit so we don’t have to worry about lights, but if you lighting your tree it’s best to start with those first.

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Next, move on to garlands and greenery to fill in any empty looking spots. I found these great green poinsettias at Michael’s to add some extra interest to our tree.

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And lastly, bling out your tree with as many ornaments as you can fit. Another good tip is to have ornaments of different sizes. Our tree has a full range of ornament sizes and shapes like traditional balls, icicles, and our special ornaments that make it fun and interesting to look it.

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I picked up two new stockings from Target. I’ve been love the chunky knit trend that’s been coming up a lot lately and the colors on these were perfect. They tie in fantastically with our current décor which makes everything look festive but still cohesive.

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I also whipped up a tiny Christmas vignette complete with a glittery reindeer. Because, what’s the holidays without some glitter, right? A small vase of candles and a dapper red and white bow make it undeniably Christmas. And make sure you stick around because I’ll have a tutorial on the cute glittery reindeer canvas art coming to TLC soon!

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In the dining room, I added some tear drop shaped ornaments to our falling leaves installation. I thought about taking all of the leaves down and doing all ornaments. But the leaves are still have that great holiday color and they make the whole thing super light which takes the stress off of the fishing line we used to hang the branch.

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And, of course, we also have our card display frame and a jolly Christmas print which I showed a sneak peek of in this post about not having a mantle. Seriously the card display frame was super easy too. Just ribbon taped around the frame (tightly!) and mini clothes pins to hang cards. Free and cute!2012 Holiday Decor

2012 Holiday Decor (2)

So we kept it cheap and simple, but we still got a lot of bang for our holiday buck with this year’s decorations.

How is your house shaping up for the holidays? Do you stick with the same decorations each year or mix it up?

diy: falling leaves installation

Yesterday, I shared our fresh take on fall décor and now we’re back to share the tutorial on the amazing Falling Leaf installation we created to celebrate the autumn months! Seriously, this is probably my favorite holiday project to date.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a similar version!

  • Dollar store silk leaves (Since you’re painting them, they don’t have to be high quality. I just looked for a shape that I liked.)
  • Craft paint (I used a plum and burgundy color)
  • Paint brushes
  • Mod podge
  • Glitter
  • Fishing line
  • A cool looking branch (You could probably get a nice, smooth decorative one from a craft store, but I just tracked mine down from outside. You can’t beat 100% free.)

The first thing I did was paint the leaves. Most have two coats so they show a solid color but I did leave a few the prettier ones with just one coat to get that marble-y colored goodness.

 For the glittery ones, I used a foam brush to apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the leaf and then pressed it into a plate full of glitter. With this, you’ll want to make sure to push all of the edges into the glitter to make sure everything is covered. I stopped here, but if you wanted to add a layer of anti-glitter rain protection, you could use a clear spray sealant to keep the glitter in place.

After all my leaves had dried, I used a needle to thread a length of fishing line through the leaves. I tried to mix up the location of the string so that the leaves would be ‘falling’ in a more whimsical fashion (not just all point straight down).

 Once you finished stringing your leaves, you can start tying them to your branch. The easiest way to do this is to hang the branch somewhere temporarily and then add the leaves. Less tangling and it’s easier to see make sure your leaves are spread out.

Now, it’s time to hang! We used our track lighting to our benefit and hung the branch from there using more fishing line and binder rings! They just slip right over the light. You could also use ceiling hooks to create the same affect. The whole project weighs less than a pound so it’s not creating a huge strain on the light fixture and it can easily be removed after the season ends.

 Isn’t it lovely? The leaves sway lazily in the breeze from our AC and the colors just scream autumn!

The only purchase I made for this project was the leaves which I snagged from the Dollar Tree for $2.00. Everything else I had on hand. It took a few hours total and, since I’m pretty lacking in the height department, my super awesome husband helped me with the hanging steps.

 And it’s done. A pretty easy project with a huge payoff.

 Do you ever use outdoor materials like branches, leaves, or maybe pine cones in your home for decoration? What are some big impact projects you’ve done with tiny price tag? I’d love to see them!

a fresh take on fall decor

I am wasting no time getting into the spirit of fall and Thanksgiving. Of course, for me, the hour after Thanksgiving dinner is when Christmas decorations start being flung all over the place, so if I don’t get moving on fall themed decorations, they won’t stand a chance.

Fall has always been the hardest season for me to decorate around. It’s by far my favorite time of year but I’ve always had a hard time finding a style that I liked. Usually, I stay away from the muted and/or dusty colors but this year I was determined to find something I liked. In the past, Josh and I have always stayed in our home for Thanksgiving because the holiday is too short for us to justify traveling. So, I cook up a scaled down meal and we spend the evening together, but, for the first time since we’ve lived on our own, Josh and I will be having guests this Thanksgiving! Josh’s sister, Rachel, and her boyfriend will be joining us and that really put a fire under me to get moving on the decorating front.

Using Pinterest as my most-trusted ally, I found some color combos that I loved and some projects that I could easily adapt for the season and, well, I think I’ve found a Fall look that I really love!

I think the end result is a very modern take on the traditional colors and themes.

Our rotating empty frame now houses a super fun garland using different shapes to keep it interesting. And, I made the garland using the same method I used on the paper strip mobiles that usually hang in the dining room!  Next to that I put an adorable print in a surprisingly nice $5.00 Wal-Mart frame.

And, without a doubt, the main feature of this room now is this falling leaves installation that I DIY’d for $2.00. Yes, two measly dollars turned into something so awesome I can’t help but smile! Cranberry, plum, and gold glittered leaves are falling in the dining room and they just make the whole space feel more festive!

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing the full tutorial for this project, and it is so simple so be sure to stop back by! All together, I spent under $5.00 for all of my fall decor. Seems like that home spending embargo kind of stuck!

What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for? Is there any holiday that you have a hard time finding styles you like! I’m curious! Share below.

window shopping: anthropologie

I’ll admit it; before yesterday, I had never stepped foot in Anthropologie. Not because I don’t admire their style and aesthetic, but because I’ve never lived in a city that had one and they are ungodly expensive. But yesterday, I decided to venture out of the house before cabin-fever-craziness set in and explore Dallas a little. I first stopped at World Market with my b-day coupon in hand to scour the summer sales and came home with some adorable and bright patio seating! (More on that soon).

After that, I just headed down the same road to see the sights. I didn’t even know I was in route to pass Anthro until I saw it and immediately turned into the shopping center. Turns out, I just drove into the seriously high-end area of Dallas. Stores like Chanel, Dianne von Furstenberg, and Christian Louboutin caught me eye and made me realize I’d only ever seen these stores in the movies!

Of course, on a casual outing, I didn’t really feel properly attired to visit those stores, but I did step in Anthropologie to see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what I loved:

My first Instagram pic! Am I horribly lame for just now getting into this? Probably.

These colorful bowls would be perfect for dips and desserts. I imagine the gorgeous patterns would make even vanilla ice cream look stylish!

These beautiful decorating books caught my eye. They have definitely been added to my ‘books to buy’ list, but I’ll probably be picking them up from Amazon.

I thought this instillation was really neat and could easily be replicated in your own home! Hanging from the strings are simply paint stirrers! They were painted and then hung to match the pattern above it. You would easily grab a piece of wood, paint a simple striped or geometric pattern on it, maybe add a glossy top coat, drill equally spaced holes, and hang the coordinating paint stirrers (maybe with twine or even yarn to match the colors). I bet if you used paint you had leftover from other home projects, you could complete this project for a steal!

Do you shop often at Anthropologie or just go to gaze lovingly? And, where are you on the Instagram train? I’d love to hear from you!