Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Blogger: Entryway Organization from Winnie of Fam Och in the Yukon

Throughout your life, you have (at least I hope you do) that one person you can turn to for advice on any dilemma that may arise.  My constant advice columnist on the newspaper of my life is my sister, Winnie.  She can look at any problem of mine and systematically figure out a solution.  She's a major lefty in the brain department.  She also applies this to her ever so changing decor (she's part of a military change-is-a-way-of life family).  Winnie's style revolves around function and order, all the while, still looking faboosh!  I am so excited to share with you her first guest blog contribution: 

See how she turned her military housing entryway/mudroom from mundane to cheerful and organized!   Check out her must see blog post here if you need a little help organizing and styling your entryway!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipe for a Successful Luau Themed Party for a Herd of Nine Year Old Girls

Earlier this month, I threw my daughter (per her request) a Luau-themed birthday party.  As I mentioned before, her birthday falls right after Christmas.  I was in between projects (aren't I always?) and was on a strict budget.  Last year's Over-the-Top Marie Antoinette Masquerade Ball party we had for our little princess was definitely a party to remember.  My goal was not to top the glam, but to make it just as fun.  Luau is to Marie Antoinette as Apples is to Oranges.  There is no comparison.

The first order of business I had to tackle besides clearing out all signs of Christmas in my house was the menu:

Hawaiian Punch 
(2 flavors for those picky little 3rd graders)
Chips and Dip
Main Course:
Pre-cooked, just throw-in-the-oven Ham

Quick and Easy! 

You can buy this cupcake holder at Target for $19.99

Coconut cups from Oriental Trading.  Pineapple Straws from Everything a Dollar (entire pack of 20 was $1.00)

I found this seashell shaped chip and dip tray from the DI for $3.00

All decor is from Oriental Trading and Everything a Dollar.  I found all party favors including the buckets from  Everything a Dollar.  I purchased grass skirts for all the guests from Dilly Dally's for $4.00 a piece.

I planned on a beads and shells bracelet/necklace craft session for the girls to kill some time, but they had so much fun with all the other activities, we didn't even get to it!  I let each girl take a handful and cut them a piece of cord to make it at home.
 It wouldn't have been a Lil Miss Smitten party without time set aside for taking pictures, so I cleared my schedule for one night to make a beach themed photo booth.  With two presentation boards duct taped together from Walmart, a little paint, imagination and a few hours you've got yourself some unique wow factor.

Smiles required section

She's getting so big!

Do you see the little surfer dude we added?

Happy Birthday to You!!

Lil Miss Smitten and her cousin

After taking pictures with each of her guests, we took group pictures.  This picture was what they had most fun with.  I wonder why... hmmm..

It's game time!

A luau wouldn't be a luau without Limbo!

Freeze dance is a no-fail at any party

Conga Line Dancing
Once I ran out of game ideas and had some time to spare until the kiddos were all picked up by their parents, I let em go crazy!  They opted for more dancing and giggling.

One indicator that all the girls had a fantastic time was hearing when their parents came to pick them up:  "Can I stay just a little bit longer?  Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?"

Luau Party = Success


Friday, January 20, 2012

Almost Complete... Master Bedroom Update #2

I know, I know!  It's taking forever, it seems, but there has been MAJOR progress in my master suite (I like using that term because it makes it sound grande!).  We've installed our new flooring with which I am so *smitten* with!  We've also installed new baseboards and some new casing for around the doors.

I just finished revamping my dresser last night.  Sorry, you'll have to wait for the reveal to see the finished product.  Here's a hint though - I used Martha Stewart's Metallic Paint in Polished Silver.

The reason for the delay of the reveal is when we finished with the flooring, I noticed this:

The main wall color was ALL WRONG! So back to my Glidden paint swatch book to find my perfect color and fell in love with this:

The name of this perfect mix of greige is Chinchilla White.

Also wanted to share with you an inspiration photo that I've held in my brain for about a year now.  Last year, for my hubby's birthday, we took a trip down to Sin City and stayed at the fabulous Venetian Hotel and chose one of the Bella Suites as our room for rest and relaxation.

I won't be copying the look, but I'd like to borrow a bit of the ambience.  I need our bedroom to be a private sanctuary - a mini getaway from the rest of our home.   We aren't able to take as many vacations as we'd like, so incorporating a glam "hotel" vibe may just cure some of our cabin fever.

I have one more piece of exciting news for everyone!  My obsessed with all things organized, sister, Winnie from Family Och in the Yukon will be joining us once a month to share tips and tricks to maintaining an organized home and all the while still looking stylish and fab.  Keep your eyes peeled for this logo every month:


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Piping Tutorial from The Studious Stitch

One of my favorite things about jumping into the blogging world is making new bloggerific friends! I've traded ideas and tutorials with so many wonderful gals and guys out there.

The other week, I had stumbled upon a blog that was all about sewing projects. I am far from labeling myself a seamstress, so a big THANK YOU to Emily for creating The Studious Stitch! 

I love making my own pillow covers because 1) It's easy and 2) I can make them as unique as I want them to be and 3) It's a lot cheaper than buying premade ones at most stores.  However, I have been struggling with making my own piping.  There's something about matching piping that makes a pillow more elegant, but it's the one thing that has made me want to chuck my sewing machine through the window.  I asked Emily for some tips on how to go about this.  To my surprise, she happily agreed to post a quick tutorial on how to make your own piping. 

Check it out here if you need help like I do!

Hmmmm... maybe I can apply this to the sofa slipcover  that I plan on making soon.


Dreams of a Slip Covered Sofa

Happy Thursday!  How is everyone?  Since my last post, I have been busy busy busy!  I tend to overbook myself with new projects, chores and errands.  I'm still working on my Master Bedroom Project, which will soon be complete - for the time being.  I will always have a million plans tucked away in my vault aka: my brain and I just can't get to all of them at once.

One idea that I've been playing around with is making my own slipcover for our family room sofa.   I've been gravitating towards white or gray for the color.  I change my mind so much and these colors are now my go to neutrals to ground a room. 

Here are a few of my daydreams...
via Decor Pad

via Master Shops

via Alice Lane Home
I've been dreaming about this since last summer, but to be honest with you, I'm scared that I'll screw it up.  I can reupholster a chair or sofa with my trusty staple gun or put together a fabulous pillow cover, but making my own slipcover is in a league of its own.  BUT...  I have made a goal for myself this year to take more chances.  Once I gather up more courage, I'll be heading over to Jo-Ann to pick out the perfect fabric (that's hopefully on sale).

Have you ever made your own sofa slipcover?  Any thoughts?  Tips?


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Master Bedroom Update

It's been an oddly warm winter so far, here in Utah - filled with sunshine and zero snow.  It's ideal for me because I have become deathly afraid of driving when the roads turn slick with ice.  It's the perfect weather for running around, which is exactly what I've been doing.  Finding the flooring, bedding and accents for our Master Bedroom consists of trips to many stores (sometimes multiple trips to the same store) and endlessly going through my paint swatch book trying to find my 10 of the 60-30-10 rule that I follow.  Paint books are a great tool for entire room color schemes - not just paint.

via wowpaintinganddecorating.com

I wanted to give you a sneak peak of the "chosen ones" - This can be altered at any given moment.  I do change my mind quite a bit, but for now, I'm pretty excited about this color scheme.

I'll be using different shades and textures with these fabulous picks. So far it's coming together wonderfully.

Here's the flooring I picked out.  This web picture I saved on my phone doesn't do this flooring any justice.  It more of a grey undertone. I'm so *smitten* with it!

Give me about a week or two and I promise to have the reveal ready.  So pumped to finally have a beautiful room for the hubby and me!


Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Revisited

Happy 2012, y'all!  I must say 2011 was a bit of a challenge for me.  There were many ups and downs, friends gained, friends lost (hopefully not forever), A LOT of inner searching and trying to find the real me.  I am naturally a very restless person and tend to change my mind every minute or so (the inner searching part was a bit difficult - After 30 years on this Earth, I don't think I'll ever be done with that particular challenge).

Here's what I did learn:

Material Things:

When there's not as much cash flow, I need to be thankful for what I do have and stop pondering on what I'm not able to buy:

A wonderful family that will tough it out with me no matter the obstacles. (That includes the extended fam that live miles away who still is offers unwavering support when times are trying)
A home that I can call my own.


Friends grow apart... sad, but simple.
True Blue friends will not judge, they love you as you are, always.

Inner Searching:

When you reach 30, it's only natural to ask oneself:  Have I accomplished what I thought I would at this point of my life?  Were those goals realistic?
The answer?  No, my life with all its bumps and curves along the way, changed course from left to right.  Was this a bad thing?  Absolutely not!  I feel I have accomplished so much more - the goals are just different.  I love my life now and so happy that it didn't turn out as my option #1 goal.
I will always strive to be better - Just in my nature.
I have realized with my ever so changing hobbies and ideas that they always round right back to art and interior decorating.  I've always been passionate about both and have decided to stick with it, always incorporating them into what my new "obsession" may be.  Who knows where it will take me!

As I end on that note, I wanted to give you a recap of my DIY accomplishments for 2011 (A few you haven't seen yet)  Just click on the link to see full post...  I've got quite a few makeover plans for 2012.  I can't wait to share them all with you!




















Here's a few projects that I didn't post:


These are now sitting at my fave consignment store in downtown Ogden: Tookiloo

Chinoise Inspired Antique Chairs Reupholstered


 Quick Paint and Mod-Podged Fabric Tray
I made this very quickly for my Mom while she was visiting from the Philippines
 Side Table Makeover


Upcoming Projects:

Formal Living Room Revamp: Create Storage Makeover

Family Room Facelift: Because I'm Bored

Thank you all for your support!  Without your kind words and encouragement, I think I would have given up on all of my projects.