Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making a Grand Entrance

I see all of these ideas online and not sure how to adapt them to my rooms. Most ideas I see are how to make a room look bigger or create a sense of space – whereas my house already has the space! I have been struggling to figure out what to do with my entry way. It is MASSIVE. The front entrance wall is over 15 feet long and high enough to have a second story.  I have had my eye on this table for awhile from pottery barn –Tivoli. I actually need a table this long – 84inches- or two console tables to fill this space. At $650 with the shipping I have been trying to figure out an more economical option in the meantime.

So here is what I have so far. I had a smaller console table from PB from my first place years ago that has been placed in the entry way (at only 39 inches you can see why I need a longer piece!). To make the visual impact bigger, I just added the couple of extra dining chairs from the breakfast nook when I got the Ballard chairs from Craigslist!

For the wall, awhile back I found this big mirror on craigslist as well for $50, but it started out gold….which is NOT my style….

A spray paint can of oil rubbed bronze later made it stand out better!

For the side art, I turned to Graham and Brown wallpaper samples! $3 for a large sample! Frames are just from IKEA.

Lastly, just a couple of accessories from HomeGoods and Ikea for the table runner make this my entry way so far. Inside I hold all of my decorating magazines!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cleaning up – Shaklee products!

At my tea party this weekend I had a friend mention my house is so clean – well of course I cleaned a bunch before they all came over (and give credit to B for helping a lot as well!) Though, I think what she was really referring to was how decluttered it was and then clean! I have made a habit of going to goodwill monthly to make donations so that I do not have too much “stuff” but also with this past year cutting back I just did not buy too much stuff. My living rooms do not have too much furniture in them and combined with less stuff it appears more clean.

But…..I still did clean. I have been big fan of  Mrs Meyers (the smell is just so great, see here for that post!) but after trying the Shaklee get clean products I am a convert. I still have some Mrs Meyers to clean the floors, I just love the lemon scent, but now with the ease of Shaklee I am actually cleaning more!

Why I am loving Shaklee:

Disinfectant – I had been using all natural products, but not all were disinfectants. Not all of Shaklee are disinfectants but the basic G is.  I don’t know about you, but the flu is everywhere at work so now I am using the disinfectant wipes at work on my desk and everywhere at home! It just gives me peace of mind. So far so good as the flu has missed me!

Cheaper – I found when I use my other products than Shaklee, I try to make it last. One, because I am lazy and do not feel like going to the store to get more and two, because I do not feel like spending $4-5 on a new bottle. Just this morning I went on a cleaning frenzy with the disinfectant since B has a cold, and just used a ton of it – then went to the kitchen to make a new bottle with the concentrate. Wow – easy! I did not need to worry about running out and now being able to clean the whole house. I can just use the concentrate to make more!

Natural – Sure, bleach is cheap but I get a headache from using it. I went natural for a couple of reasons (better for the environment consciously) but besides that the real reason was not having that chemical smell in the house. We used to have the house cleaned a couple of weeks and when I came home my nose would itch and my head would hurt. That cannot be right! Now with these products I feel great afterward! If I decide to not use gloves (which I hate to use BTW) I do not think the product will burn off my skin.

Multipurpose – When I was using the “other” products again back when we had a cleaning service there were many bottles to buy. They requested certain brands in the house. Now I have four bottles (three with different concentrates of the same product H2 for general cleaning, windows and degreasing and then one for disinfectant) and then scour off (which smells like bubblegum!). These products do just about anything I want in the house to clean.

Now, I am not a distributor or connected to anything, just giving info on what seems to be working for me! This website, House of Grace, has all the info how to use all of these products so check it out!

Here is what I use:

And how easy it is to make more using the concentrate!

Just the concentrates

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tea Party!

I had a wonderful day today with 5 of my girlfriends to have a tea party! I first fell in love with the idea of tea parties when I was a girl and got Samantha from the American Girls collection. In her books from the Victorian era were pictures of tea parties and I wanted to be just like her (and when I am now finally old enough to buy her tea party set she has been discontinued boo!) My mom was nice enough to take me to tea several times when I was younger. Now that I am older, I am so happy that I can hold my own tea parties! Several years ago I found a great tea set at goodwill for 10 I am sure donated by some nice old lady and I am very grateful to put these pretty set to good use.

For this party I first spent some time making tissue pom pom decorations from the Martha Stewart website. I made the theme blue and yellow, to match the blue flowers on tea cups.
The Menu:
  • Cucumber, chive and cream cheese sandwiches cut into rectangles
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into rectangles
  • artichoke dip and brie cheese with crackers
  • Scones with lemon curd, jam and Devonshire cream
  • Blueberries and strawberries
  • Mini-cupcakes
  • Chocolate cookies
  • Scones
  • Fruit tarts
  • Bellinis
  • Black Dragon Pearl tea and Youthberry herbal tea from Teavana
  • Sugar cubes, honey, cream, and lemon slices for the tea
I cheated on the cooking – thanks for the local AJ’s and Trader Joes for some of these items! I did make the devonshire cream myself and all the sandwiches. If I plan better next time I will make it from scratch! Trader Joes has a great lemon curd if you are looking for that!

Really though – the party is all about the tea. A local Teavana opened up close to where I live and I got the loose leaf tea and a couple of new strainers! I used to use the ball type strainers, but these new ones are much better!

Here are a few pics of the party! Thanks to my girl Kelly who brought over some cute cupcakes and now inspired me to make something from Bakerella!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Project ADD – making an action plan!

So this is what my house looks like right now….. alittle project ADD maybe? Anyone else relate to this? I start working on one project, then start buying stuff for another project, oh and then it is a holiday so I have to decorate for that right?

Let’s see – first I have my half built shelves from a month ago…. Oh and the tools I bought to make all of those awesome furniture pieces off Ana whites website….from Decemeber… that are in unopened boxes…….

Then the new sewing machine that so far has only been used to learn how to thread it (thank goodness I have two dinner tables!)

Oh and then I was going to start working on decorating the laundry room so I bought a curtain rod that has been sitting there for weeks.

I will spare you the clutter room pics that I really have been meaning to get to one of these days!

So with that in mind…I am getting refocused and making a list. Because when I have a list I have direction and purpose and sometimes the projects actually get done and my house does not look like a hurricane happened. So this is my goal – to make a plan for each room and start on ONE room. I was really getting overwhelmed and not sure where to start. Doing one project at a time in mutiple rooms makes me feel like I got nothing done, I want to complete a room and make it pretty. I will get that and post for later this week, but since I need a small purpose to start with my immediate goal is to actualy sew something with that new sewing machine. Getting to that now! :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

I love to hit up thrift stores, but some time it is hit and miss. Here are a couple of items I have found over the last week!

First - a future project. I have been seeing many wingback chairs around the blog world and on my lunch break I just happened across this beauty for $10 at savers! Time to learn how to upolster!

I have a vision of it turning out something like this from Pottery Barn - which goes for $749 BTW!

Then on another thrift trip I found the indoor tree I was looking for! These usually go for hundreds, and the others I had seen at the thrift stores were not in the best condition. This must have just come in to the store (it pays to go on lunch breaks!) and was found for $40. Yippee! I have super high ceilings so I need items that fill the room and add height.

And on another note......I spent an over an hour last night just trying to learn to thread my sewing machine! Really regretting never taking Home Ec in high school! I will just have a LONG learning curve. Any websites to suggest for beginning simple sewing projects??

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