Friday, October 31, 2008

Painted Pumpkin Party

In celebration of TODAY, we are hosting a little painted pumpkin party! I scoured the globe in search of the perfect painted pumpkin and on the way, fell in love with some of the best spraypainted, fingerpainted, and theme painted little Jack's. These acrylic adorned wonders are not only fun to make - but a heck of a lot safer than handling cutlery!

On my adventure to find some of the best looking 'kins - I did find a gem of a project that will be just up my alley come next Halloween. It involves some dead little trees, some black spray paint, and a black painted pot with candy corn.

The best part about the spooky forest decorations is that I calculated it to cost under $10 for a pair of them (assuming you can find some branches for free in the woods). That is my kinda project! Perfect for hanging treats on just like in the BHG version.

Ok - back to the Pump party:

Gourd yourself with gold! These glowing wonders are perfect for a top a buffet, smooshed into a wreath with some moss, or stacked inside a tall vase for some sheeny fun. I love the traditional influence with the greens and oranges peaking out from beneath the golden veil. And how fabulous would a dinner party be with one of these minis holding your name card - it would be worth it's weight in gold I tell ya.

Neutral territory can be difficult to find in a pumpkin. But these muted colors could tie in your new pumpkin with any room of the house. Easy to do and uber-graphic with it's straight lines and cubed overcoat - this pumpkin is anything but square!

It's bewitching to paint pumps on pumps! And any cute shoes with ribbons are all I need to pump up the party. These are adorable and easy to boot! If I owned a shoe shop, I would line my front window with different size pumpkins with painted footwear on each one. Talk about a winning display - those shoes would be to die for!

Creatures of the night can crawl into your heart! These crafty little critters courtesy of are made from mini kins and are not for the easily scare-able. I can see myself walking into a room half asleep and totally attacking this wee little guy thinking a gargantuan mutant arachnid was loose in the house :)

Glitter me good! Even Martha loves these sparkly little suckers and we all must obey Martha...I hear she got some friends in the clink that will take you out if you try to argue!

Plaid, and painted, and polka-dots, oh my! This fantastic idea is a virtual variety show! Make a slew of different shapes, kinds and colors into a cohesive theme with the help of integrated hues. Not only do the colors collaborate but you can customize these for your own country style front porch.

And the last guest in the painted pumpkin party is totally cracked up! This lovely Jack looks spooky and chic all in one. Covered with crackling paint from a leftover project can make your pumpkin look old as time but fab for today. If only I could find my crackling paint I would do this project on minis for more harvest decor.
If you have some painted pumpkins you love (maybe your kids did Spongebob who is guarding your porch tonight or your two year old had fun fingerpainting his mini guard), and you would like to share - shoot me a photo via email. That would be the treat in my Trick-or-Treat!
Happy Halloween! Hope it is safe and fun for all of you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bower Power Giveaway

When I posted about Snapfish's fantastic photo book, I was giving away knowledge. Never in a million years did I think that it would result in a giveaway of quality goods. Seriously, I am not that generous. But Snapfish is! They have recognized that you guys might like a book of your own hence the giveaway! (uber cool points - Snapfish)

Alas, my dear readers, it is your lucky day. It is the day for the history books...a day to remember...a day to seize. It is a day for you to enter to receive a fantastic photo book of your own! And wait! Not just one of these great personalized memoirs are available - not two - BUT THREE are waiting for eligible winners! Seeing how I have ten readers now, your chances are 30% that you will be one of our champs. That's good odds people...real good.

First - what you must do to become eligible.

  • To enter this giveaway, you only have to leave a comment on this wee little blog. What about? Tell me what you would use this photo book, wedding photos, pictures of your kids artwork, random photos of your hubbies moles...whatever.

  • One additional entry is available if you post a ditty on your own blog about this giveaway - then hustle back to let me know you did the ditty. 'kay? I will be checking - so no cheating!

  • The comments will be printed and drawn from a basket by my 4-yr-old nephew Cole...don't try to sway him by sending goodies, toys or candies...that is just bad karma (and he can't read yet).

  • To receive this prize, you will have to send me the email address that you have a registered Snapfish account affiliated with. Don't have a Snapfish account? Go ahead and sign up for one (and while you're at it - say 'yes' to get notices for great deals) cause dude, sometimes they send '1 cent for a 4x6' promos out - ONE CENT! Or other cheapo deals & in this economy, you want photo prices to reflect the weight of the Olsen twins & be REAL low. So when you win, send me the email address and your account will be accredited with your prize by those fine fishy folks.

BUT KATIE, what's at stake here? What do I win?

ooh this is the delicious part - you could win your very own 8"x8" custom cover book! That is a $28 value for, oh - typing a few words which costs NOTHING.

The book credit will be added to your account and all you have to do is arrange your fab photos in the layout of your dreams & WAHla! You will be hooked and have Bower Power to thank for your new addiction of customization and personalization.

And if that isn't good enough, or you are just in the enter-&-win mood, go to their website right now to Snapfish's photo contest. New Snapfish users even receive 30 free 4x6 prints!

On your mark, get set, GO SNAPFISH!

Blog Alert : Whatever

I just found a blog that I had to share. Not only is her house AHHmazing but she is super adorable and likes to shop goodwill! I could totally be friends with this woman! And her blog is chock full of photos that will make you cry, laugh and wish that you had her life!

Check out this amazing before and after of her guest bedroom/kid's playroom:

This room is enough to have me tearing up it is so gorg! Are you hooked? Wanna see some more?! Well, this gem of a lady sews:

and scrapbooks:

And in general rocks my socks off! Check Meg out at Whatever and tell me how much you just wanna be her! I am off to read her entire blog from start to finish :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Night Under the Stars Wedding

One year ago today, our dear friends Jade and Julia tied the knot. Since Julia and I were planning our weddings around the same time, a lot of the details were discussed over and over and are now ingrained in my memory for all of eternity. So because I can recall the smallest things with great accuracy, I thought I would share a recap of the fabulous event with you party animals. Let's celebrate the first anniversary of Jade & Julia's themed wedding "A night under the stars!"
The event took place at a venue called Villa Christina's which is right outside of Atlanta. The facility boasted of a restaurant in the lower level and a patio with a fire pit that opened up to a well-manicured garden. Since Julia asked me to be her 'wedding planner' I was lucky enough to attend a tasting with her & let me tell ya, it was fantastic! I normally don't eat fish - but I would go back there for their salmon...yum!
Upon entering the restaurant, a small table with a photo book acted as the guest book. It was a great way for them to add a personalized touch to the wedding and Jade & Julia actually still look at their guestbook (something a lot of brides tend NOT to do after their nuptials are over).
As you walk through the restaurant, ushers escorted you outside to the patio. The best looking one was this man named Jeremy something. I would take him home any day :) The large gazebo in the back was the scene of the crime - and the weather was perfect! Since they only had about 80-100 guests, each person got an up close and personal seat to view as the bride and groom become one.
Jade has two kids that are the definition of "little whipper-snappers"! And this was going to be a huge step for them as they got a new step-mom. However, the biggest difference was in Julia's lifestyle. Raised an only child, living alone and now getting for a ready-made family at the ripe old age of 24! Wow, right?!
The kids were great sports - beautiful Campbell was a wonderful flower girl (and she even wore a dress! gasp!) and Doss was the ideal Best Man. And boy did he look the part! Doss and his dad donned matching black suits, with matching green and ivory ties and I must say, they looked dashing! And speaking of duds...
Julia looked gorgeous in her gown! The dress' beaded bodice accentuated her tiny waist and the delicate shimmery jacket added modesty and classic elegance to her whole ensemble. Seeing it on the rack at David's Bridal, we would have never known that it would look this fantastic and flattering on. And the color selection of the flowers set off her skin tone perfectly.
This girl had not one but two dresses for her big day! After the dinner was served and the dancing began, Jules did a quick change into a beautiful White House Black Market dress complete with comfy flops. I love how she kept the veil on while she cut a rug! We wouldn't mistake her for a guest with that still screwed into her head (that's how they attach them, you know).
Carlyn, the maid of honor, wore a simple green dress from David's Bridal that fit perfectly into their 'garden' wedding color scheme. The fact that the MOH dress and the flower girl dress both came from the same store really took the guess work out of matching colors.
Flowers were from a big-box store and were super fab when they arrived. All they needed were some pearl accents and they were ready to go. I will always recommend flowers from Sam's Club or Costco after seeing what beautiful results are available. (plus they were WAY more affordable than a florist who charges an arm and a leg and a first born)
The hosting facility did her cake and it was so delicious! This was definitely my first time with 'flowering' a cake but since Jules gave me a picture of what she wanted it to look like, pluggin the stems into the icing seemed almost fun (fun when I didn't think about one wrong move ruining her confection masterpiece!)
My personal favorite touch was her 'stars' that were everywhere. She had us hang metal stars over the dance floor, the favors were star-shaped tealight candle and nametag holders, and the patio was glowing with the star punched luminaries that screamed "cute!" Even the guest book had clip art of stars next to photos of the couple in love.
Just to prove that I was there. This was the only picture I could find that I wasn't playing air guitar or making a confused face...or that didn't have my boyfriend in the background as he played air guitar. What can I say? We like air guitar :)

Julia slipped on a classy 40's inspired coat before her new hubbie whisked her away for some wedding night fun. Aren't they just a darling couple?

Congratulations you two - may you have many more happy anniversaries to come!

Well, that's it. The end. Oh - wait! I forgot something.

They lived happily ever after! The End.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Top Five Fall Must-Haves

My fall decor moolah has got to stretch like a cirque du soleil performer. I figure my decorations can't just last through Halloween, but have to keep me going strong till Thanksgiving. And that is why I choose Autumn-y items over the uber-cute Jack-o-lantern. Being that this is the first full fall season that Jeremy and I get to decorate our house together, it was really important to not go overboard (which is very easy to do when you see all the spooky, scary and super stuff they have in EVERY store).

In order to get the most out of each last dollar, I first did my research. I gathered tons of magazines from Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Target, etc. to identify the trends and traditions in Autumn decor. After categorizing the items that would be fabulous to adorn my house from September through November, I felt well-equipped when I went shopping. Granted, it is quite hard to resist those blow-up dancing turkeys when they look so fun in the store, but since I had a list and a dream, I knew I could pass on the tacky and go straight to the I-will-love-this-item-for-years-to-come.

And now this info gets to be shared with lovely ten readers (YES, I AM IN DOUBLE DIGITS!!) It's almost like I should have an acceptance speech. oh, really? you would like to hear that? ok! I would like to thank my brother for giving me a sense of humor by relentlessly tormenting me through middle school. I would like to thank Freckles Chick for putting me on her blog roll...I knew I reached the epitome of cool when I saw it happen. A big shoutout to my orthodontist, my eye doctor and my hairstylist in 7th grade - without you, I wouldn't be able to relate to the nerds in the movies. Thanks to the guy who dances in his car with me when I sit at the light on the way home - you really know how to do the hustle. And lastly my boyfriend, who listened to me 'get my words in' each night for the first eight months of our marriage (that was my pre-blog era) and never says no when I ask if my posts are funny (although sometimes I get a 'you could do better'). I love you all. Kisses (no tongue) and Thank you.

Now back to the post - these are the FIVE Must-Haves for Fall:

Yes, you lil bumkin, go get your pumpkin on. This is not just for Halloween anymore - it extends into Harvest season with style. Limit the number of carved 'kins you display after Oct 31st...unless you were coy enough to do fall-themed carvings - then display away. Also, be aware that different colored pumpkins are all the rage - red, white, gold all look fabulous on a table in November. Remember my white ones? I like to stay away from the clear versions cause it feels cluttered when I see the unmatching candies inside. And remember that buying real ones at your nearby church/school can help out a local farmer!

Acacia Pumpkin Trivet - Crate & Barrel $10
Pumpkin/Cinnamon Scented Pillar Candles - Crate & Barrel $6-9
Copper Pumpkins - Crate & Barrel $16-20

Berries are hot hot hot! Go traditional with a wreath, subtle with a few berry accents, or interpretive with a raspberry colored quilt - either way, your home will thank you for the extra punch of color and the warmth during the cold season. Bonus points for this fall fad as it carries right into the Christmas decor. Personally, I dig a smattering of berries around a glowing candle centerpiece.

Red Berries Dinnerware 16pc set - Bed Bath & Beyond $80
Better Homes and Gardens Nestor Coverlet Set - Walmart $65-75
Berry Wreath - Pier 1 $35

The best things in life are free. And baby, it doesn't get any free-er than leaves. Sure you could spend a pretty penny on the leaf-inspired decor items above but if you prefer to spend closer to the zero dollar amount, go to your friendly near-by branch and borrow some nature. Frame a pretty copper colored leaf for instant autumn art. Hot glue a variety of evergreen leaves to a styrofoam ball for a home-made topiary. Heck - tuck some golden hued leaves in a tray under a piece of glass or plexi for a instant fall infusion.

Leaves Pillow in gray - Target $17
Flocked Leaf Place Mats set of 6 - Pottery Barn $70
Margo Leaf Plate - Crate & Barrel $9

Fill 'er up the all-natural way. Take your glass vase and stuff with your favorite fall filler. Love the idea of a variety of different sized jars filled with walnuts, acorns, pinecones, or even apples. Display your harvest naturals on your mantel, buffet, or dining room table for the biggest kerpow. Extra points if you find a branch in the woods and convince your hubby to replicate the PB wood slices with his chop saw.
Turkeys aren't just for the birds anymore. These feathered friends will add some wildlife to your home interior without that whole nasty avian flu problem. Plus I hear that ceramic turkeys won't bite. I am really diggin the is sometimes the littlest accessories that will transform your plain-jane white dinnerware into a chic monochromatic harvest table setting.

So write these down and then go getcha some harvest duds to make your home a bit more fall-ready and your bank account a bit more padded. And if you have noticed an autumn trend that surpasses my five must-haves, please do share with other nine readers :) It'll put a put a little grin on all our moolah-lovin faces.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wood ya if ya coulda?

Wood is hot right now. Hotter than Miley Cyrus in a middle school pep rally. Hotter than tatoos of phrases in obscure languages. Hotter than the Katie Holmes bob. (gasp!) Well, maybe not hotter than the bob. But - it is the must have home accessory and the number of wood inspired pieces are growing like weeds in all the stores.

Some of the items that I found span the wide range from modern and mass-produced to getcha-axe-out and try to make it at home. Seriously, I do not promote cutting down trees - but for these grainy pieces I totally wood (get it...wood?!).

Pottery barn, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, and 2Modern all have great faux bois items, some all-natural accents and some modern twiggy home decor must-haves that are just the fix for bringing a little nature into your abode. I'm totally pining over the candles. (haha - pine - I think I just wet myself!)

The thing is - sometimes these great trends become available even when you aren't looking. Take for instance this great floor lamp I found at our BB&B this past week. She was all boxed up in the clearance section...imagine being the tree that made that shade...packaged in a box that could be made of her cousin. The shame. The horror. But on the flip side, her cousin did a good job protecting her cause that shade was in mint condition. It's wonderful how BB&B has a way of bringing families together.

Isn't she just gorgeous! I googled her when I got home to really see how much cash I really saved. And yes, it was a bundle. Wanna guess how much? Ok - she retails online for $140. I got this beauty for $20 plus some change for taxes and such. I know - I am too darn lucky.

This is her with the light on. It's like she is back in the forest with the morning sun shining through the branches. It is beautiful. I don't think this will be her permanent home but for now, I love how this lamp makes me feel moderny and woodsy all in one.

Do you have any tree-inspired pieces in your home? Have you collected sticks to put in a pot for some all-natural decor? Would ya decorate with a little wood? I wood. (I kill me)

The Great Wall of Dry(na?)

Our basement drywall is finally up!

Last night, we decided that we were just gonna knock it out. We were like the Mohammad Ali's of gypsum board! Seriously, the resemblance was uncanny. Yeah me and Ali, we both wear gloves for protection. We both mutilated our opponents until they looked like something else entirely. We both moved with butterfly like speed. And we both have the shakes now (mine because I have no upper body strength and lifting those pieces was killer work).

So now on to the before and afters - cause I know that is the full sized snickers in your trick-or-treat baggie :)

Before : the entrance into the "bedroom" is on your far right
After: Upon entering the room, the side of the closet will be the first thing you see - maybe this would be room for some great Etsy art?!
Before : the wall needed some TLC in terms of water blockin, insulatin, and roughin in some studs and dry wall.
After : the new closet is ready to host a pair of doors and some shelving.
Before : you could peer through to the soon-to-be-man-den.
After : you can still see through to the man-den but only part of it. I think the bed will look perfect under the window.
Before : all the action in the bedroom would be visible from all angles - yikes!

After : the door to the man-den is the last step to giving this bedroom some much needed privacy. C'mon ya'll - nobody wants to see guests in their skiveys!

So what do you think? Did we knock you out with this reno or was it just stinging (like a bee)? Either way, hopefully you can comment on how impressed you are that we are movin with lightening speed...while I go take some Motrin for my achey arms and back :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Ikea Gimme's

Ikea is a dangerous place. Seriously. Walking in, you must be armed with a specific list of items that you need. And stick to your list people! Also, wear comfortable shoes. This is vital because at any moment you must start a dead sprint for the door. This is to keep you from purchasing the entire store. Jeremy and I can not go in there unprepared or we will reap the consequences of a $250 bill for items we didn't even know we HAD to have. Each item is THAT fabulous! The Scandinavian superstore preys on your greatest weakness - a condition known to the Berenstain Bears as "The Gimme's".

Since our master bedroom transformation, the boyfriend and I have made a mental note to get our patooties down to Ikea to trade in some of our stuff. But first I had to scour the Ikea website to prepare my list. List in pocket, I finally got around to actually driving there this week.

Originally, we bought too many curtain sets for our wall-o-cacooniness and I had no receipt, so that means thirty dollars of store credit. I headed up to the kitchen section to buy some of these. Sorry Katie, this item is sold out. Darn. What else is on the list?

Down to the pillow section I headed. You see, we have two pillows on our couch that were pillow-cover-less. Jeremy hates hiding the tags. And I told him that if we ripped them off, the pillow police would come get us :)

These silk pillow covers immediately caught my eye. Aren't they just yummy? And at $7.99 for a cover - they won't break the bank. Oh and the fabulous part - they come in several different you could definitely find a color combo that would work in your own home AND they look way more high-quality in person than on the website.

Since my current lumbar pillow is from Ikea - it was easy to play mix and match while in the store. I was getting really excited as I dreamed of pillow combos that would give our leather chairs a bit of a softer edge.

Cover firmly in place, the pillow has texture overflowing and is just what the doctor ordered for my den. The crinkly silk has a subtle classiness to it and the color is warm and worldly all in one.

And here is the finished product - a softer place to rest your Ikea-worn patootie, a more finished and polished look for our den chairs, and all for $0. Of course, I still don't have my wine a second trip will have to wait till I have $300 in my account for spending. Yes, I know the wine racks only cost $8...but hey, why fight the gimme's?!!?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Switch Twitch

Sometimes I look around my house and think "Something has got to change!". I get this twitch, this strange sensation that something needs to be different...and that if it doesn't happen then the universe will collapse. It is the same as if High School Musical had never been filmed. Somehow the planet earth needs it to keep turning. This happened recently when I entered into my dining room.

I love my dining room. I love my dining room all by itself. Sure, there is work that needs to be done. Sure, it houses handme-downs and mismatched wood furniture. Sure, the room screams olive green. Sure, it doesn't go with the rest of the house...particularly the living room (that is only a hop, skip, and a foyer away). WAIT! What?!! Doesn't go with the living room?! (This is a reenactment of my thought process...welcome to my brain) It absolutely needs to have some kinda cohesion with the living room and all adjoining rooms - right?!
Do you see what I mean about the world stopping on it's axis? So I decided to let the room get a mini redo. First up... the gold-framed art.

The art is a painting passed down to us from Jeremy's it absolutely has to stay in the house. Jeremy thinks it is a boy with a gun. The rest of the world says it is a girl with a broom. Patatoes, potatoes.

So off the wall it came. And into our shmancy master bedroom it went.

I kinda like how it brings out a warm golden glow of the furniture which is a great contrast to our cool bluegreen walls.

And the other thing is - I love how it mixes with the 'new' art that was already in the room. It's like seeing a grandpa at a hot club for swing-dance night. Pretty soon, everyone wants to bust a move with the old fart. The vintage piece has street cred and the new art has energy and mass appeal. The Ikea posters framed out and hung across from our bed lead your eye straight to our inherited art, which is great because this highlighted piece isn't going to be found in every single home across America and Sweden.

Next up - scroll down and check out those too-tiny chandelier shades. See how the bulb is exposed and could potentially cause retina burns?

Also note that this room takes the saying 'go green' to a whole new meaning. It is what I imagine living with a Ninja Turtles would be like - sewer hued. Green here, green there, green everywhere!

Now the chandie gets a whole new sleeker and more modern look with a quick switch. These Pottery Barn linen shades are clean, the perfect size and a bit more in tune with our living room. Also, note the switcheroo of the placemats, napkins, and chargers to reflect a fresher, lighter feeling. I know - I ain't supposed to do this till the spring - but until I can repaint, I gotta have a little dining room diet & lighten this big girl up.

And my final switch for the night - the curtains. I seriously lucked out and found Ikea curtains that actually matched the shades. Plus this quick little change helped break up all that putrid color and made the room feel more hand-in-hand with our living room.

So these minor changes definitely helped me satisfy my twitch for a switch...disaster averted, Zac Efron is ok, and my dining room is a bit less traditional and a bit more my style. WHEW!