Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Southern Style Home Placemats

Truth be told, I don’t gussy up my table for meals. Unless you count using something other than paper plates for lunch. Then I would consider it gussied. However, I recently received a set of quilted placemats and napkins from Judy, and I was compelled to take it up a notch.

lilac centerpiece

Judy’s shop offers a number of items for your home, and as I’ve said before—when I find something/someplace I like, I want to share it with you! She was so patient with me (and my indecisiveness), yet she was quick and professional (note: no indecisiveness) when I finally figured out the direction I was going.

I couldn’t help but do a little photo shoot of them. Of course, the neighbor’s 10-foot lilac bush was screaming for a little photo action, too.

blue white placemats

It’s at moments like these that I wonder if I’m the only one who sets oddly insignificant goals for themselves. Since I don’t really fancy the table up too much, it’s not like I had a storage room full of accessories. My goal? Don’t buy anything for it. Uhhhh ok.

quilted placemats

I almost succeeded. Wanna know how? The tablecloth is a sheet I had upstairs. The centerpiece—a.k.a. la-la-lovely lilacs—free from neighbor. The dishes? Dollar Store—4 plates, $4.00. Everything else I had on hand.

reversible placemats

I’m so angry at myself for not showing the reverse side of the placemats and napkins! Hello…it was the whole reason I chose them in the first place! The picture below will take you right to the ones I have.Reversible placemats

I’m over-the-moon happy with them, and I can’t help but recognize it if I feel I receive good service. If you’re on the lookout for table dressings or home decor in general (and I know you are!), head on over to Southern Style Home Decor.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend in Review

No spray paint was involved and besides organizing them, no glue guns were used either. However, it was a busy weekend! In an effort to give a “holla!” to all the hard-working women out there (can you tell I’ve been listening to a lot of Beyonce this weekend?), I thought I’d share a little picture tour of my accomplishments.

Two kinds of people will appreciate this picture. 1. Anyone who lives in Michigan—no more boots! 2. Anyone who fights the daily war with shoes.

boot storage

Just pretend this picture’s obvious. I washed rugs this weekend. I hate washing rugs. It’s a little disenchanting because now that means I have to tackle the floor underneath them, but at least that part is done.

Target rug

I spent no less than three Beyonce songs (told ya) and two Justin Bieber songs (don’t judge) turning this…

Pintuck duvet

into this… More to come on this one.

pintuck duvet cover

There was a lot of this over the weekend. Why, exactly, did we think it would be such a great idea to have some land?

colonial home

When summerizing the deck, my husband found this adorable little bird’s nest.

blue eggs

Well, I guess little is a relative term here. It’s not the first time, though. Remember??

birds nest

What are the kids doing while we’re slaving away? This. Don’t ask.

cardboard play

Hopefully your weekend was as productive, yet more normal than ours! Orrrr…maybe you’re like us and this is normal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easy Curtain Fix

I’m in love with my new Ikea curtains for the master bedroom. However, had I known the trouble they would give me,  I may not have purchased them. That’s not true. I love them that much. Tell me if you can relate to the picture below.

Ikea anita

They are insanely wide, because they’re meant for pleat hooks (which I didn’t know at the time of purchase). I tried the pleat hooks. And then I tried the pleat hooks 4 more times. I ended up wanting to murder every pleat hook ever made. Sooo I went with the ring clips. After a few attempts at trying to figure out how to gather them so they didn’t look overly awkward, I thought I had found it. I didn’t.

Ikea Anita curtain

I didn’t like how much lower the curtains were. The ceilings are vaulted in this room, so the extra several inches really made a difference in the height. Bummer. Let’s try one more solution.

Ikea curtain

I laid the curtain out flat and tied a ribbon around a long screwdriver.

screwdriver ribbon

Using the screwdriver as the guide, it was incredibly easy to slide the ribbon right through the rod pocket—especially because the back portion was a plastic liner meant for the pleat hooks. The ones I want to murder.

feed ribbon through

Once the ribbon was through, I had to be careful not to lose one of the ends. I slid it back onto the curtain rod and gathered the ribbon.

How to gather a curtain

After moving it around to the width I desired, I tied a little knot behind the curtain. No one will ever see it—including my husband who nearly ripped the curtain off the rod trying to move it. Grr.

curtain solution

And the final product? Perfectly gathered curtains at the height I wanted! Yippee! I really wanted to use these as the light block for this room too (and get rid of the shades), but I’m completely happy with them staying gathered. For now?

gray curtains

I can’t possibly be the only one with all these random curtain problems, right? Well, just in case I’m not, hopefully this is a solution for you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lightscoop: My New Favorite!

Before I say anything else, you need to know that I received no compensation for this post. I’m simply madly in love with this new gadget, and you MUST know about it!

The other day I was stalking perusing Tatertots and Jello, and Jen mentioned this product. It’s called Lightscoop, and it changes the way you’ll take pictures with a flash for-eh-vah.


Truth be told, I shoot everything in manual mode. My friend has the same camera as me, and she shoots entirely in automatic. What a shame, right? But I get it. Some people are just overwhelmed by it all, so they stick with what’s easy. Because there are some situations where you might need a flash, this is just the gadget for you.

All of my “before” shots are first. They are all shot in automatic mode, and each one of them called for a flash to be used—even though they were all shot during the day.

Lightscoop beforeLightscoop after 

Notice how the befores don’t give off the right coloring, and they’re bouncing light all over the place? Eww.

Lightscoop before Lightscoop after

Here’s my bed-headed little one on the computer. I peruse Tatertots and Jello. She peruses new American Girl dolls. Notice the washed out couch? The over-reflected hair? Check out the after!

lightscoop beforelightscoop after

I still can’t get over the next one. Shot during the day (around 12:30?). I think I pushed the flash up on this one, so I don’t know that automatic would have called for it. However, look what the Lightscoop did just 7.3 seconds later. Incredible.

lightscoop beforelightscoop after 

And finally, my needs-a-haircut son. He doesn’t peruse. Not when he’s watching Star Wars. He also doesn’t wear a shirt. Like ever. As he puts it, “I need my muscles to breath.” Here’s the before…


And here’s the after. Looks like they were shot at entirely different times, right? The coloring is SO much better.


I’m not a super impulsive buyer (my indecisiveness is a curse, I tell ya!), but as soon as I saw that this bad boy was only $30, I scooped one right up. (Pun intended.)


Easy to install, inexpensive, and spectacular results! Can’t beat that! I put a link to their site on the logo.  Let me know if you take the plunge! I’m anxious to hear if you love it too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DIY Bookshelves

Disclaimer: This is a long post. With a lot of pictures. I venture to say it’s taking me longer to get this post around than it was to actually do the project. With the cabinet finally finished, I realized that my daughter really needed some more room for her books. I didn’t want to fill that pretty thing with all books, so I had to come up with something.

So here’s the something.

DIY bookshelves

I will admit that it’s the first project involving wood/nails/labor that I’ve done completely by myself. Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive, but it turned out better than I expected.

DIY bookshelf

As the books were being placed on the shelves, my little one kept saying, “Hey! I forgot about that book!” “Oooh, I wanna read that one!” Mission. Accomplished.

front facing bookshelf   DIY bookshelf

How about a tutorial for this oh-so-easy project? The first stop was to Lowes for some primed MDF strips. I spent more money with the primed version; However, I know you could do this for less money. I knew I’d be painting it light, so I didn’t want to worry about priming it. Worth the money, really.

MDF with wood glue

I drew a small bead of wood glue along the edges to be nailed and held it for a few seconds. It offered some support and kept things from shifting while I was nailing them together.

how to build bookshelves

I knew I wanted three shelves, and they measured out around 27” each. This meant I needed an 8 foot piece of each. I took the three pieces up to the wood-cutter guy (official name) at Lowes and had him cut them. Yeehaw! How easy is that?

how to make bookshelves

After painting them (including the exposed edges), my husband screwed them into some studs on the wall. I didn’t bother hiding the screws. Who’s gonna see them?

DIY bookshelves

Because the beauty of this project is really in the color of the books, I wanted the shelves to be as simple and streamlined as possible. Luckily, that was also the easiest to build.

front facing bookshelves

And of course, it wouldn’t be a success unless this goofball liked them. I think she approves.

green beanbag

Supply breakdown:

  • 8 feet, 1x6 (three shelves at @ 27” each)
  • 8 feet 1x4
  • 8 feet 1x2…………………………….Total of $28.00
  • Wood Glue $2.97
  • Nails/nail gun, paint—already had
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