Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Affordable Moroccan Rug


arrived Thursday! I LOVE it.  I love ethnic print rugs and natural fibers but they are usually so dang expensive. And I am so dang cheap.  Ever since we moved into our house in 2005, I've been buying cheap rug after cheap rug.  Seriously we must have had at least 4 rugs, all under $60 a piece.  Well it adds up and I haven't been in love with a one of 'em!  So lately I've been prioritizing my home a little higher in the budget and the husband agreed that I could spend the money I make doing this on home stuff.  That made my heart happy and motivated me to squeeze in more writing whenever I can!  I've searched and googled and binged and Pinterested (I'm well aware that is not a real word ;) over and over and couldn't find a rug I liked for much less than $300.  But lucky for me I subscribe to Live the Fancy Life (Love you Jessica)! I've mentioned her blog herehere, and here (and probably elsewhere that I can't remember).  Anyway, she blogged about this rug here.  As I was contemplating her rug purchase she posted an Overstock sales alert which was the kick in the butt I needed.  I finally took the plunge and ordered the rug and I'm so glad I did.

I am in love with 98% of the Dhurrie rugs at Shades of Light and guess which one is there?  and for $279 no less?!  Yes, the exact one I ordered and paid much less for (at 15% off the already low Overstock price!)  In fact, I pinned the exact rug (in peacock blue) 3 weeks ago and didn't even realize it was the same one.  I loved "seeing" it in Jessica's house first and while I love the peacock blue shade, I like that the cobalt blue is more neutral and can be paired with so many different (and fun-- teal, yellow, coral, orange, pink!) colors.  I can be so indecisive--I have a really hard time pulling the trigger on large purchases (usually Joe does it for me but he is so not into decorating--as long as there is a big screen plasma TV in the room, it's "done" in his mind), and then regret the purchase after I make it so I'm very glad that in this case I have zero buyers' remorse.

Seriously, thanks for the tip Jessica!  

What about you?  Have you made any big (I consider anything over $100 a big purchase!) lately?  Did you love it or regret it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spray Paint is Magic.


I love spray paint.  It’s funny; I used to make fun of my mom for wanting to spray paint everything in the house, but now I understand why. It’s so easy to completely transform something ordinary to something amazing with a few quick coats of spray paint.  

I spray painted a couple of projects a while ago that I meant to blog and never did.  One was a pair of awesome lamps.  I found them at Family Outfitters (where I got this chair and this dresser) for $2 apiece.  Yes, you read that right!  They didn’t have shades but seriously for that price, I figured I could buy paint and lampshades and still end up on top.  In fact, I saw a very similar style of lamp at Target (tried to find an image online but couldn't) and it cost $49.99 without a shade!  I purchased the lamp shades from HomeGoods for $14.99 apiece.  So a few cans of spray paint, 2 $2 lamps, and 2 $14.99 shades and I have a pair of lovely table lamps.

I always forget to take a good "before" picture...

sorry for the crappy cell phone shot.  and ignore my table and lack of styling. ick.
This is the after.  But soon, you might have an after, after.  This was a project I did last summer and now that I’m starting to re-do my living room (more on that in future posts), I’m getting a better sense of what colors I want to use.  Suddenly, white seems so boring.  I also bought these lampshades Saturday.  I’d seen them at Target a few days before that and fell in love with them…but I wasn’t sure (I’m SO indecisive which makes decorating just a tad difficult).  Then I saw them featured in In Style and realized I had to have them.  Yes, I’m totally impressionable to glossy, pretty marketing. 

I realized after I got home they are the wrong type of shade (Why me GOD?!)  but I’m not giving up hope just yet.  I’m going to take a closer look at the lamps and see if I can finagle something. So there you have it.  I hope I can because I LOVE this shade and I really think re-painting the lamps in a bright glossy color + these stylish shades = super cool lamps. 

Next, my look for less mirror…

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pinterest Picture Project: "Itty Bitty Pieces"

This weekend I actually got two tasks accomplished that were on my creative to-do list (you know- the one that doesn't include "sort mail," "go to the post office," or "clean out the junk drawer." i.e. the FUN one!).  One I blogged here.  The other I pinned before Nadia was even born.  The image is copyrighted but you can view it here. When Nadia was about a week old I made a point to take photos of all her little sweet "pieces" with this photo in mind.  Of course I never edited them or collected them into a collage until now.  Here is the final image:

I'll admit it's nowhere near as gorgeous as my inspiration image but then I am not a professional photographer!  And anyway I'm certain when I look at this photo in years to come I'll be so amazed at how tiny and perfect my Nadia was that I won't have time to think about the original image.  It helped that I used a couple of images from this shoot.  She's amazing and you can see the difference between her baby photography and mine!  Well worth the money.  I'm using this image in Nadia's baby book that I finally started last weekend (yes, she's 7 months old.  But at least I'm doing it!).

A few pointers if you'd like to create a collage like this:
1. Take photos of all the little parts and try to make them all about the same size.  I tried to get her lips, nose, ears, hands, feet, hairline, profile, face, and belly button...
2.  Get really close!
3. Take the photos on a solid surface.  If I'd collected these images when I took them, I would have re-taken them.  She was lying on her play mat which has a 'busy' pattern and kind of made creating this collage harder than it would have been otherwise.
4. I put this collage together in picnik.  Obviously if you're adept at adobe or other photo editing software you can use that.  As a side note picnik is closing on April 19th. (boo!).  I've heard that picmonkey is a good alternative.
4. To see my other tips for [amateur] baby photography, click here.

I took these when Nadia was just a week or so old but you could do the same thing at a later stage in the baby's life- just realize as she gets older it will get more difficult.  If I tried to do this now, she'd be grabbing the camera and trying to eat it!

Thanks for the idea Heidi!
If you try this, let me know!  I'd love to see it and maybe feature it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Do you ever get this uncontrollable need to create something?  I used to have those feelings from time to time and now they are all the time and directly related to Pinterest.  All of those fabulous DIY pins....just waiting for me to actually bring them to fruition.  Well this weekend both girls were sleeping AND I had an extra "day," since my husband had Friday off- I felt like I had a few minutes to spare (I know- wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles)*.  I needed a quick DIY project that I had all the components for.  Enter this pin.  This project is awesome because it doesn't require much.  A soap dispenser, glue, a hammer and nail, and a mason jar.  Check, check, check, and check.  Even if you don't have an extra soap dispenser or a mason jar lying around, both are super cheap and accessible. You can get mason jars for a little over a dollar a pop here.

I actually have tons of mason jars in my garage.  I passed up a handful at a thrift store at a great price and later kicked myself.  But because of that, the next time I saw them at a cheap price, I snagged them ALL up.  Literally 3 cases.  Yes, I'm impulsive and crazy.  I bought the soap dispenser at the dollar store knowing I'd want to tackle this project in the near future.




I consulted this tutorial to make my soap dispenser.  And for once, it was actually as easy as Linda made it seem.

  • I basically put a nail through the center of the lid (with the lid attached to the jar) to start my hole.
  • Next, I used pliers to pull the hole back and make it bigger.
  • Third, I stuck the pump in and glued the dispenser on with a glue gun.
  • Lastly, I filled with soap and admired my handy work. :)


I'm still considering if I want to paint the jar and/or dispenser or leave it as is.  I love that it was so simple but I also like the original pinned version and that is looks a bit more polished.  I'd also love to find some of the blue ball jars like the one in this pin.  I did a quick search on eBay, but I'm cheap and hoping to find one for a couple of bucks at a yard sale or thrift store instead.  Oh and one more thing, if you want to skip painting the dispenser you can find just the pumps here.

So what do you think?  To paint or not to paint?
What Pinterest Project have you completed lately?

*PS- did you catch the Fiddler on the Roof (my favorite movie of all time) reference? :)
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