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Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Rental Redesign: TV Stand Before

Happy Memorial Day!  You better believe I have coupons in hand and am hitting up Joanns/Michaels/Hobby Lobby!  I'm also hoping for a little pool time, though I'm not sure the weather is going to cooperate.  I hope you've been enjoying your long weekend.  Adam and I went to see Iron Man 2 at the drive-ins on Saturday.  It was perfect because we didn't even need a sitter.  Rilo just slept the whole time!  We're planning on going to the drive-ins throughout the summer!

Even though I didn't really need a TV stand, I saw this on Craigslist for $25 and had to have it.  I think it will really tie the room together and make it feel complete.  I had been using the ugly end table that the company provided but this will fit in better with the room.  Plus, I think after we refinish it, we will be able to resell it for much more than $25.  

 Sorry about the poor iPhone photo.  I'll take a better "before" soon.

It's going to need a bit of work...It has some scratches on the top.  Normally, I would paint this a fun color but for resale purposes, I think I'll go more neutral and do a chocolate brown.  I'm even considering just staining it.  I want to line the backs of the 3 shelves with some paper.  Again, I'm thinking a bit more traditional than my normal style.   I like these specialty/wrapping papers.





I'm liking the brown and gold options...They would tie in the gold in some of the frames hanging above the couch.

I'm about $30 away from reaching my $200 budget.  I have all of my main pieces and most likely will  use the rest on accessories! It already feels homey...Adam and I are loving how much more comfortable we feel in the apartment!  (To read more about what I'm doing and why, click here)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Graduation Party Inspiration Board

In a few days I'm headed to PA to be there for my sister's graduation and to help throw my sister's graduation party.  I threw together an inspiration board with a few of the ideas we'll be using.  Jess is going to be attending Towson University in Maryland.  Towson's colors are black and yellow so we decided to use those colors.  However, I didn't want it to look like a bumblebee, so I went with a houndstooth pattern to mix things up.

Poms from Pom Love.  Cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty.  Graduation caps from Bakerella.  Flower and book centerpiece from Style Me Pretty.  Cake from SweetQuinceCake.  Invitation by Me.

I've been collecting items/ideas for the party for the last month.  I can't wait to put it all together and see how it turns out!
Hope the weather where you are is nice and warm!  Enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

West Elm: The Store

I visit West Elm's website at least once a week and browse their catalog every time it comes in the mail, but I had never been into a store until yesterday.  It was nice to check out everything I like online  in person.  And I loved looking at all of their displays and setups.  Here are the things I really liked:

I think I've thought about getting this rug about once a month.  I really liked it in person.  The yellow version is also right up my alley.

Besides using these as serving trays, I think they would also be great in an office setting for paper storage.

I was in love with these frames...It took everything I had to leave without them.  The linen mattes are so perfect.  I'm already thinking of ways I could DIY these.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The No Dairy Challenge

In an effort to help little Rilo Jane, I have been eliminating dairy from my diet.  I am thinking the excessive amount she spits up is stemming from an allergy to milk protein.  I tried to avoid dairy the last few weeks and it seemed to start to make a difference. Then I had a few things with butter in them, and well, the poor little girl did not do too well the next few days. 

It sure is hard though.  Especially for the milk drinking, chocolate lover I am.  Everything has dairy in it!  Even things like granola bars!  I think just because I know I can't have dairy, I have been wanting things with dairy even more.  So here's where you come in... Does anyone have any good recipes for treats without any dairy?  Or any luck substituting other foods instead of certain dairy products?  I would love some more recommendations.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Rental Redesign: Nightstand & Lamp Before/After

The bedroom is coming along, slowly but surely.  The lamp below was marked as $5.99 at Tuesday Morning but rang up for $2.99!  Score!  The nightstand was from Salvation Army and was only $4.95. 

After a couple coats of spray paint on each, they now look like this:

The letters propped up will be going up on the wall soon!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Surprise Shower

Sami, one of the wives out here with us, is due with her first baby in a few weeks!  We decided to throw her a surprise baby shower.   I made up some invites (even though we all live in the same complex and see each other everyday).

I loved a recent photoshoot that Jessica Peterson did with Katie B.  She hung circles on string and I thought that would be a great idea for a baby shower decoration.  Here is the table with everything set up.

We had lots of yummy food, Chicago Root Beer and water bottles with Baby Porenta labels.

We were going to fill out these little "Wishes for Baby" sheets, but my printer decided to crash when printing them out.  They were inspired from here.

I was trying to hold a crying baby and take photos, which doesn't exactly work out too well.  Here is the Mom-to-be right after she walked in.  She was definitely surprised!

And some of the other wives, who are going to love me for these photos!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I need some art prints to put in some of my frames.  I have decided to find some that I took and have them printed.  Isn't it strange that we rarely get prints anymore?  At least for me, I can't really remember the last time I had photos printed!  Here's what I'm thinking.

I might also print off some of the free artwork available on Indie Fixx.

Does anyone else have problems with scheduling posts?  Sometimes my posts revert back to drafts, even though I hit publish.  I read that this has been an issue with Blogger for awhile now.  It's very annoying!   

We have some exciting things planned this weekend.  More about that on Monday.  Plus I can't wait to show the progress to our rooms! Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perfect Timing

I FINALLY found end tables and a coffee table for the living room.  I've searched out Salvation Army several times and have been checking Craigslist daily.  I could not find anything under $100!  Finally I found someone who was moving and was desperate to get rid of their set.  So I got 3 huge pieces for $30. 

We are in the process of painting the dinged up wood a nice ivory color.  Each piece has a glass top and I've been brainstorming ideas for what I could do to jazz up the tops.  Today I was checking All Things Thrifty and Brooke just happened to post a tutorial on etching glass.  What perfect timing!

I love this idea, however I'm a little nervous to do something so permanent when I plan on reselling the items at the end of the summer.  I have a few other ideas I'm mulling in my head, but would love other suggestions if anyone has any!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Would You Like to Live...


{found via AT}

This is one of the strangest, yet most interesting buildings I've ever seen.  It doesn't look real!  This is being built in the Netherlands.  I think I would take the blue one...just to be different.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From a Bed Sheet to a Dress

After a good couple of washings, I turned the Salvation Army bedsheet in to a cute little dress for Rilo Jane.  I don't think I'm quite done with it...I want to polish it up a little bit but I love it so far.  I used one of her other dresses for a sizing guide.  The bottom piece of the dress is from the elastic of the sheet.  I attached it by sewing onto the original seam of the elastic.

I really love the print.  It has dahlias which are my favorite!  I think there is enough material left for a shirt for me!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Rental Redesign: Chair Before and After

 These are the chairs I picked up at a yard sale last week for $7.  They weren't really a necessary item that I needed for the room, but I loved their look.  We hope to take them home with us!  So far they have only been recovered, but I plan on picking up some tung oil to make the wood look like new.

In their before state, these chairs were sporting the leopard look.  One had a pink leopard print cover and the other had this green color pictured below.

I really shouldn't be posting this, because it is a terrible picture!  In their after state, they have a nice green/gold silk fabric.

I'll have to take nicer pictures of them, where they are not backlit, when the room is almost together.  I plan to have the room about 80% by the end of the week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Circus Room

Spotted this circus themed room on OhDeeDoh and loooooved it.  It's not often that I like themed rooms, but this room is done so well.  It was done by designer Kate Dixon for the 41st Symphony Show House.  The ferris wheel is for toy storage and it actually works!  More pictures and details here and here.

I will be wrapping up a few of my Rental Redesign projects, as well as some sewing projects.  Hope to share them next week!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I've picked up almost 9 frames for under $20 out here.  I've been trying to decide what to do with them, so I turned to Martha for some inspiration.


Wow, I love the look of these frames.  I can't believe all it took was a little craft glue and some dry beans.

I've always wanted to do an artless frame collection.

I picked up some silver decorative paper at Tuesday Morning for $1.00.   I could use it to create mats for our bedroom.  So many great ideas.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Downers Grove

Downers Grove is a cute little town right near the suburb we are living in.  It's the kind of town I want to end up in.  Quaint and charming...small and full of character...but still surrounded but lots of larger towns/cities.  I fell in love with the town while driving through it last week and asked Adam to walk around it with me on Mother's Day.

There are lots of old houses that have been very well-kept.  It also has newer houses that were built to look like older homes.  Take a look:

This house was for sale.  It was built in 1898 but had been updated recently with all new modern amenities.  It was huge!!

This was a lamp post in the front of someone's yard.

And then my battery died...So these next few are iPhone photos.