Sunday, May 31, 2009

and the winner is....

Deidra from Team Ripka is the winner of my 100th blog post give-away. Hubby and I both went to high school with Deidra and she recently had the cutest little baby girl, Izzy. We can't wait to see her picture in this frame - we'd love to see some pictures.

My next give-away will be in October for my 1 year blogiversary and that give-away is sure to knock your socks off. This was a warm-up for everyone and I look forward to looking back at how this blog has evolved in only 1 short year. Congratulations Dee!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Curb Appeal in the City

After the Cubs game on Friday, we were walking back to our car and out of the corner of my eye I spotted the cutest little street that had some gorgeous architecture and curb appeal. I took a few pictures while we were walking and wondering to myself - how much do you think these homes cost? I think I know the answer but it's fun to dream every now and again.

This was the first one that caught my eye and I loved the black door and cream trim and the flowers were beautiful. Too bad the double stroller was in the way.

I loved the simplicity of this one with the red door. I've dreamed of owning a home with a red door but unfortunately that won't be happening because it would require painting the entire house. I love the black flower pots too.

The architecture and the details above this door was what had me swooning - how come we don't see this type of detail in the suburbs?

Another red door but this time it's a double door - double the ohh's and ahh's for this one.

We've been working on our front yard to add some much needed curb appeal and we are in the process of growing some new grass. We have some plans for the near future to built a new flower bed and plant some hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and some ground cover. We also have some shrubs that need to be dug up and replaced. I'll share with you those before and after's so stay tuned.

Cubs vs. Dodgers Game

David and I took the day off of work on Friday to head into the city for the Cubs vs. Dodgers game at Wrigley Field. I'm surprised I convinced my hubby to go because he is a die-hard Cardinals fan and really doesn't like the Cubs and that's putting it nicely. However he'll never turn down a day at the ballpark no matter who is playing.

We got into the city early and decided to go for some lunch before heading into the stadium. David had an idea of where he wanted to eat and he picked the restaurant based on a show he saw on the Food Network - Man vs. Food - I should have known. :)

We had a couple of cold brews and then the sandwiches for lunch which turned out to me the size of head, and I'm not kidding! The sandwich is made with the meat and cheese of your choice and then pile of french fries and then some cole slaw.

One look at the sandwich and David came up with his game plan to tackle this sandwich - just dive right in and that he did!

After we finally finished lunch and were able to physically move again, we headed to the ball park for an afternoon of baseball fun.

Here's the happy couple enjoying some time together before the game started.

I put my photography skills to use and look at the picture of the 2nd home run of the game. Imagine how close I could have gotten if I had a telephoto lens (hint, hint honey).

Lastly, can you see the flag at the very top of the scoreboard? It's the Cardinals flag flying high and mighty since they are in first place. Hubby told everyone that is why he went to the game, to look at the flag flying away.

Another great day in the city and I couldn't have spent it with anyone sweeter than my hubby. Gush, gush - isn't he the greatest?

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that the Cubs won 2 to 1.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Blogs I Adore - Centsational Girl

Kate from Centsational Girl is one fabulous lady and when I came across her blog, I began doing somersaults and cartwheels and wondering where she had been my whole life. She has an eye for quality but knows that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to decorate your home the way that you would like to. Kate lives in California and knows how to bargain hunt and cruise the local thrift stores and websites such as Craigslist to find her next project, bargain, or inspirational piece. I hope you stop by her blog for some inspiration and because I like to tease everyone, I've included a couple of her projects below for your viewing pleasure.

The first project below has me wanting to decorate a little girl's room in our house so that I can paint this adorable 3-D cherry tree in one of our guest rooms. Maybe all of my nieces will frequent the house more often so I have a good excuse to paint this (it's worth a try, right?). Kate has step-by-step instructions on her blog and after looking through it, it left me thinking - I can do that now that the steps have been broken down. Adding the shelves and the bird cage also had me swooning.

If the cherry tree wasn't enough to get your blood pumping then check out this recycled jewelry holder that was made from a broken picture frame. This was another project made for her daughter and I'm thinking she is one lucky little lady.

Last but not least was the custom counter stools that took this standard counter height stools from boring to custom using a little bit of foam, fabric, and batting. I think this is something I'll need to try later this summer, we have been looking for the right counter height stools for 2 1/2 years and I think this maybe the way to go. Stay tuned - I may have something up my sleeve.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DIY: Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

We have been wanting to purchase a new bedroom set for a while especially since we haven't ever had a headboard for our king size bed. After doing a little shopping we discovered how expensive a new bedroom set would cost and decided it would be best to keep the dresser and end tables and make our own headboard after seeing some really cool DIY headboards in blogland. Spending thousands on a bedroom set is not in the cards right now and it just seems like way too much money as well. Thanks to Freckles Chick recent headboard project post, I decided to dive right in and make my own today since my outdoor projects were on hold due to the lovely rain.

I decided to go with an upholstered headboard and when I saw the nail head trim detail on Freckles Chick's headboard, it was love at first sight. I've been drooling over many similar headboards at some of the nicer stores but they were well outside of our price range - a girl can dream though, right? You can find them at Restoration Hardware (mucho dinero), Williams Sonoma (muy mucho dinero), and even Crate and Barrel (muy muy much dinero) but they cost over a $1,000 for a king size! The hubby laughed but when I showed him I could do it myself for under a $100 bucks he was like wow - it looks like a bed at a high end hotel, I knew he loved it as much as I did.

Above: Williams Sonoma Version

Above: Restoration Hardware version

First I had to take some measurements and decided to go with a headboard size of 77" x 36" and decided to head to Calico Corners first to look at fabric and was that ever a trip! They have the most gorgeous fabrics that I have ever seen and some were quite pricey but there were also lots of affordable choices too.

Next I had to purchase the rest of the supplies and here's a breakdown:

  • 3 yards of Linen fabric from Calico Corners - $22.47 (it was 50% off - whoo hoo)
  • 3 yards of Quilter's batting - $13.31
  • Nail head trim - $14.99
  • Plywood 1/2" thick - $17.21 (Home Depot cut it for me for free)
  • Stapler and staples - $24.78
  • Grand Total = $92.76
After gathering all of the supplies it was time to get down to business and first I had to attach the Quilter's batting to the plywood using the staple gun. All you need to do is start from the middle and pull the batting tautly and staple away. (Warning - if you have a small dog you may want to have the hubby take him for a walk because the noise is very loud and scared the $%#@ out of him).

When it comes to the corners, just wrap it like a present and continue stapling away. Are you getting tired yet? hand sure was!

Ta da - the batting is done and now it's time to do the same thing with the fabric.

Now that you have the batting and the fabric done, it's time to move on to the most exciting part of all - the nail head trim! I truly believe that this will take your headboard from ho-hum to oh so luxe but it did take a lot more work than I originally thought. The trim requires that you only have to nail in every 5 nail heads so that saved some time but this is where I spent all of my time. You want to make sure that the trim is straight and using a ruler to measure was very helpful. Pounding the nails into the board required a lot more muscle than I thought and I bent about 15 nails in the process and had to do those over a few times. Otherwise it was really easy. (Above warning applies here too - small dogs don't like lots of pounding and a few screams of frustration that may occur during this step).

Ignore the corner above - since it wasn't perfect that corner will be going at the bottom of the headboard so you won't even see it. Wait a minute - did I put the trim all the way across the bottom where no one will see it???? I'm really frustrated now but at least I got to pick which end goes up and which goes down.

Look at that gorgeous fabric above. I'm so glad it matched the wall color so well and it matched our coverlet too. Not bad for going off of memory and a few prayers that it matched.

And here it is.....isn't it gorgeous? It's just leaning against the wall in this picture but we'll be hanging it up tomorrow night after we get the hanging hardware. I was just so excited to see what it looked like in the room that I couldn't wait another day. Since it's leaning against the wall, it won't be hung this high and will be lower. Gosh now I really need to get some artwork, a mirror, or something to hang above the bed now that we have an adult headboard. The hubby is really happy with it too and is already asking me to get some drapes to complete the make-over. I love it when he gets excited about my projects too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DIY: How we Built our Rain Barrel

We are following through on our Earth Day commitment to build and install a rain barrel this year so that we have rainwater for our veggie garden, plants/flowers, and pond without causing our water bill to double. Originally we were planning on purchasing an assembled rain barrel from our Township but then we found out that my grandpa had a bunch of 55 gallon barrels and was happy to give us one to make our own rain barrel. After reading this blog post at This Young House and some other DIY websites, I felt confident that the hubby and I could do this together quite easily.

After getting the 55 gallon barrel from my grandpa, we were waiting for some decent weather and some time from our busy work schedules to put it together. We found a lot of good websites with detailed instructions and after I made a 2 hour shopping trip to the Home Depot to get all of the parts - we were ready to roll.

We needed to cut a portion of the lid off because we needed a place for the water to go to get into the barrel. This should have been an easy thing to do, right?!?! Well if you know my hubby, he tends to jump right into things without thinking through all of the steps and I am the polar opposite, I ready everything there is first and then I begin to follow the steps methodically. Well 4 blades later, 3 hours of sawing, and 2 very frustrated people - we were able to get off the top.

The problem was that the plastic near the edge of the barrel is VERY thick and wouldn't cut easily which is why you want to cut about 1 inch in from the edge (it was in the instructions but - well let's just say the hubby likes to jump in and not read). Getting the top off was quite the victory and we celebrated by eating dinner and putting the project to rest for the night.
The next morning we were back at it again and were able to drill the hole and install the faucet with no major problems.

The tricky part is sealing the inside and we didn't cut the hole on the top of the barrel large enough to easily reach our arms in to get it as tight as we needed so we cut a larger hole and also used some caulk to seal it as well.

Next we installed an overflow assembly to the top of the barrel to drain the excess water away from the foundation of the house in the rainstorms that overfill the barrel. I know it doesn't look pretty but it's pouring right now and I went outside with a flashlight to investigate and it's working properly - gotta love that!
All we needed to do to finish her off was to put screen over the top and we secured it with some twine and decided it may not be strong enough so we also used some duct tape. I know it looks weird but it really is working but I only wish we had white duct tape instead of the silver - they actually sell it in different colors including white.

Last but not least, we had to cut the gutter and direct it to drain into our lovely barrel.

Here she is ready to rock and roll - come on rain, bring it on. Isn't she lovely?

We got a little drizzle of rain overnight and she is already 1/3 full and I was so excited to put her to use and water our flowers with the fresh rainwater.

It was so rewarding to work on this project with my hubby even though we got off to a bumpy start. We are very different and like to tackle projects differently but in the end, we accomplished our goal together and our plants are reaping the rewards with some fresh rainwater.

It started raining again tonight so I ran outside with a flashlight to look at the rain barrel in action and discovered that it's already plump full and the overflow is in action too. Did you know that a 1000 sq ft roof yields 600 gallons per inch of rain and what better way to conserve water than to install a rain barrel at your house. Have we inspired you to install one? We sure hope so, your plants and mother earth will thank you.

Another Birthday Card Creation

My sister-in-law Julie is quite a hoot and always sends the funniest birthday cards to David and I so I decided to do a little something different for her card this year. I came up with this idea to make a card that looked like a bikini clad woman and I like the way it came out. It's a bit different but I'm sure she will laugh when she opens it up. Happy Birthday Julie!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogs I Adore - My Sweet Savannah

Melanie from My Sweet Savannah has the cutest blog and I actually first ran into her on the Rate My Space website a few months ago. Her rooms on the Rate My Space website are gorgeous and have been viewed by tons of people so when I came across her blog I was super-uber-excited!

Whether she is making goodies for her Etsy store.....

Decorating her home with some free botanical prints....

or making some Raspberry Orange Muffins......

I'm sure you'll find her blog to be plump full of ideas, recipes, and techniques to try. I hope you stop by her blog because I'm sure you'll adore her blog as much as I do.

Celebrating my 100th Post - Giveaway

Note: Picture Frame only - other decorations not included
Must supply own picture too :)

I can't believe that this is my 100th post and I've been agonizing all week about what I am going to do which is why it's taken me so long to post this. When I started this blog I thought it would be a great way to keep my friends and family up to date on what is going on but I realized over time that this has become an outlet for me and more of an online journal. While I know that many readers don't know me personally, I enjoy sharing with others my many creative projects and things that I'm loving. Blogging for me is like writing in a journal and has become a bit of an addiction for me.

To celebrate my 100th post, it's time for my 1st giveaway! I'm giving away this modern picture frame in black that I picked up from Target. The rules to enter are simple:
  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you enjoy most about blogs. (I know this may be a challenge for some of my family and friends but I know you can do it.)
  2. If you "follow" my blog and leave a comment your name goes into the raffle 3 times so this is a great way to increase your odds.
  3. Winners will be drawn on Friday, May 29th and you can only enter once per email address.
  4. Will ship only to the continental U.S. (sorry Hawaii and Alaska)

Rules are pretty simple aren't they? I'm really look forward to hearing from all of you out there. Good luck!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wishing You Love Card Creation

For Mother's Day I made the above card for my Mom and my MIL which included my favorite floral stamp set, Fifth Avenue Floral, and favorite ink colors. The colors included Chocolate chip, Kiwi Kiss, and Baja Blue. The floral card was accompanied by hanging flowers to tie in the theme. I haven't share a creation with you for a while so I thought it was time to share my latest fave.

Road Trip to Council Bluffs

1 Fun Road Trip

2 hotels

3 days/3 states

4 children = 3 nephews + 1 niece

5 gas fill-ups

6 meals

7 family members made the drive

8 magazines read in the car

'09 Abraham Lincoln High School Graduation