Wednesday, December 18, 2013

D.I.Y.'ing it Through the Holidays

Can you even believe it? 

I feel like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving, and now it's already time to head back home once again for the holidays. I've been listening to Christmas music, adoring all the twinkling lights, and feeling extra spirited this year for some reason. Maybe it's because we're all getting older, but what I'm looking forward to the most this year is the people. Getting to visit with a special lady who now lives in Texas, and a beautiful couple coming in from Delaware (you know who you are!) just makes me giddy, and a permanent smile has been glued to my face all week. 

All three of my sisters are going to be in town for Christmas as well! Hanging out with them is something else I've been craving. Words don't even describe how much watching goofy home videos or just sitting around and talking with them means to me. 

But before all of the crazy traveling and parties begin, there are gifts to be wrapped!
This year I decided to make my own wrappings out of builders paper. We found our as Menards, so for around $11 we got 140 feet of paper! Sound the super savings alarm! Not only will this stuff last us through the holidays and then some, it's perfect to lay on the floor as a drop cloth while painting walls. 
Before wrapping the gifts up, I drew a funky pattern on the paper to make them a bit prettier. This was my absolute favorite part of this project! The variation of patterns you could come up with are endless. Depending on what the occasion is, you could customized each one with different designs. Or even just write the special someones name really big on it. Glue sequins, color a picture, write a love letter, any idea is perfect.
The tags are from a few leftover Christmas designs I did at work. I just printed them on paper, cut each one out with a circle paper punch, another quick punch at the top for the ribbon to go through, and done.
 I also grabbed some cotton string, and a few random spools of ribbon that were at Walmart for $1. They don't have a lot of ribbon on each one, but for a buck, they're totally worth it. 
Hopefully everyone enjoys their presents as much as I enjoyed wrapping them! 

I personally adore getting hand-made presents, it says "You are special enough to me that I took the time out of my insane life to make this for you!!!!!"  
If that isn't Christmas love, I don't know what is.

Anyone else trying to save some holiday green and DIY'ing their projects or gifts this year? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kitchen Reveal and Dancing Princesses

Did everyone survive the snow storm Friday? 
We were a bit buried by the end of the night, so it was good we didn't have any plans. 
We DID have a short little list of "must-get-done" items for the weekend though, one being to get those last few cabinets painted! 
Eric didn't have school Friday, so he had the whole day to himself. When I got home from work that day, he was so excited to show me this little cabinet painting system he rigged up in our basement. 
How awesome is this?! He hung the last few doors up with clothes hangers so he could paint both sides at the same time. Making sure to go with thin coats so there wasn't any dripping, they turned out perfect. 

So the moment you've all (OK maybe just me) been waiting for...
So fresh and inviting! Such a big difference from when we started. 
I'll have to keep you posted as to how tough they are to keep clean, I'm sure it'll be nothing a magic eraser can't handle every once in a while. Every time I walk into our kitchen I just smile, this was the biggest project we've done to the house so far, and the results make it all SO worth it! 
The rest of the weekend was filled with a bit more house organizing, Christmas decorating, and  I finally updated my chalk-board window for the holiday season. 

Saturday was also the night of the Bella Forza Fittness Pole and Arial Showcase! 
This was the second showcase I've performed in, and this year my whole family was able to come and watch! Even my Grandma H.! It was an absolute rush being able to perform with my BFF friends, and show off what our hard work and dedication is all for! Everyone did an stunning job and I am just so proud of all of us! 

I am so proud of this group! You can check out the rest of the performances from Saturday night on the Bella Forza Fitness Facebook page! 

Hope everyone else had a great weekend, just a few more until Christmas!!! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pantone Color of the Year 2014

Pantone has announced their color of the year for 2014, and it is....
Image from
How beautiful is this color?! The perfect blend of pink and purple that I believe will blend seamlessly from makeup, to fashion, to interiors.  

Images from Here and Here
Images from Here and Here
Images Here and Here
Image from Here

In other color related news, Pantone has also announced their 
Spring 2014 Fashion Color Report! 
Image from
Just LOOK at that spectrum of  fabulous colors. I can't wait for them to start popping up in weddings and fashion next season. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Decking Our Halls

I am a firm believer that Christmas does NOT start until AFTER Thanksgiving. No music is played, and not a single decoration is put up until the turkey has been devoured. I just feel so bad for Thanksgiving when everyone else has already  moved on to the next holiday without giving it a passing glance. It's such a fantastic day filled with love from family, tons of food, and the true joy of the Fall season. 

But! With that being said...
This year I was tremendously excited (as soon as it was acceptable of course) to get started  putting up our decorations. We have a WHOLE HOUSE to fill with holiday joy! 

During the "Must decorate all the rooms!" process, I did come to a few realizations:
1) Old houses do not have NEARLY enough electrical outlets to fulfill my twinkle-light visions.
2) It's not as much fun to decorate rooms that still have boxes strewn randomly inside them.
3) Why didn't the people who built the house 109 years ago think to put electricity outside! Geez.
4) We're going to need a LOT more decorations. 

So even though I could have done with about 10 more outlets, I still had an absolute blast putting up our decor. It has plenty of room to grow over the years, that's for sure!

The first thing I did was put together my new wreath I got at JoAnn Fabrcs. All of the pieces were 60% off, and I just kinda of placed the gold where I thought looked nice then tied it down with some floral wire. 
Of course we had to put up our nativity scene, complete with festive balls. 
Swapped out the mini pumpkins and leaves for some super sparkly ornaments! 
Eric finished putting up our new TV last night just so I could decorate our mantel. And can I add how adorable our little fire looks under the stockings!!!! Picture perfect :)
And last, but of course not least, we finally decorated our tree! 
Yes we have two TVs in our living room right now. 

While all of this holiday cheer was going on inside, this is what was happening outside.
But this is just as exciting because that was the LAST COAT OF PAINT!!!! We even were able to bring in the drawers and get those back in the kitchen. 

So what is tonight's goal?
You bet I went there! 

Anyone else deck out their home with some serious holiday cheer? Seeing every one's lights and decor is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. 
Let the Christmas season BEGIN! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bar-Stool Makeover & A New Kitchen Color

Another weekend in the bag! 
Eric and I were able to cross a handful of things off of our to-do list these past couple days, and it feels GREAT! There was painting, upholstering, decorating, and of course more painting. 

One of my goals was to hang this banner I found on Pinterest (you can download it HERE). I printed the PDF on card stock, cut out each letter, hole punched, and strung them up with some orange twine I had. Nothing fancy by any means, but it makes me smile and feel a little bit more thankful this season. 

Another project I've been itching to do is recover our current bar-stools with more attractive fabric. Overall it was a pretty basic process. I just took the stools apart and unscrewed the seats from the base. After cutting out the new fabric so it would wrap around the seat completely it was a matter of stapling, stapling, and more stapling. 
So much better!!!
 I've been hanging onto this fabric for ages after finding it in the remnant sale bin at Hobby Lobby. Seriously, that is the best place to look for bits of fabric that can be used for random crafts. Such a bargain! 
Proof that the right outfit fabric can be the difference between drab and fab! 

And if you're paying attention you've noticed that our kitchen is no longer cream, it's now a beautiful seaside blue! 

The color is actually called Kensington Green by Benjamin Moore, even though it's not even close to green. 
I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. I think the texture on the walls isn't as noticeable  and the tin back-splash that was there when we moved in looks better than ever. Big shout out to my sister Janel who was bored last Sunday, and just decided to drive down to Cincy for the day. She helped  get the second coat on, and also another coat on the cabinet doors.
She's the man :) 
Eric is guesstimating that we can get the last few coats of paint on the doors early this week, and maybe have them hung Thursday! So here's to wishful thinking and hopes to actually showing you guys pictures that don't display everything we own. On the plus side, if you ever visit us you'll know where to get a glass or dish if you would need one! 
Anyone else get any major projects done this weekend? 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

From Wood to WHITE!

Good morning everyone! 
Can you all believe today is the 30th and tomorrow is HALLOWEEN!? October is GONE, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are a knockin' on the door. It really hit me when I was talking to my parents, and when asked the next time we would be home our response was "well I guess Thanksgiving..." Dang! Fall is just whizzing on by. 
We've been super busy this month, gone almost every weekend for parties, little trips, or other obligations. All fun things I assure you, but it definitely is the reason why I feel like I've blinked and this month is already over. 
Since we've been gone a lot, our home projects have kind of been put on hold. We've discovered that after working all day, the last thing we want to do when we get home is start painting something. Weekends are our main days to tackle projects, so hopefully November will let us get a few more things off of our "to-do" list. 

One thing we have gotten done is  painting our cabinets! 
Remember when I posted this picture in our Wellman Weekend Warriors post? 
My mother and sister-in-law were troopers, taking down all of the doors and sanding them. 
Our next step was getting everything out of the kitchen. 
It seemed like I had just finished unpacking and putting everything in those cabinets, and here we go taking everything out and putting in the dinning room. 
Having to walk in here a million times while making dinner was SUPER FUN, I tell you what... 
Anywhoo....after a few coats of Sherwin Williams Simply White (with some sanding in between) we were in business. 
What a difference! As soon as we put the first coat on, Eric stepped back and was like, "we need to paint these walls ASAP" and I agree. The white cabinets and the cream walls are just way to washed out together. 
So now we're all taped up and ready to paint! These walls are textured, and after a few suggestions from friends (THANKS!) we purchased extra thick/fluffy rollers which should help the paint cover better.
I would love to say that we're ready to call our kitchen cabinet project done....but the doors and drawers are still out in the rec-room. I've only finished one coat (and 4 doors still need that) but don't fret cabinets! You won't be hanging naked for much longer! 
Lastly a little before and after, because that's just too much fun :D
The white is just so fresh! I am giddy just thinking about what the final kitchen reveal will look like. 
Stay tuned! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkins with some GLAM!

Yesterday I was featured on my friend Michaela's blog, Happy Apple, to show how I decorated my pumpkins this year. So I thought I would also share that post with all of you! 
If you're anything like me, you want EVERYTHING to do with decorating for Fall and Halloween, but want NOTHING to do with the mess that is carving pumpkins. There are a lot of options out there for alternative pumpkin decorating (be sure to check out Pinterest) ranging from paint, sequins, leggings, plastic spiders, push pins, googly-eyes, you name it! 

For my pumpkins this year I chose paint and fabric as my main two mediums. 
Inline image 1
Inline image 2For my first little pumpkin I tried to replicate the "gold-dipped" look that is all over the place. I was able to tape off an area and paint with gold acrylic paint. If I were to do this project again, I think a gold spray paint would be an easier option than painting on with acrylic. 
Inline image 3
My second pumpkin is a simple little herringbone pattern. Fun story about this little guy! I totally dropped him on me while painting, and now my black yoga pants have an awesome white stripped pattern on them! Wooo! 
Inline image 4
With my last pumpkin, the giant one, I took a different approach to. Instead of paint, I cut strips of fabric and glued them all over the pumpkin using Modge Podge. I absolutely LOVE how this one turned out. It looks like it's completely wrapped in wrapping paper, almost not even real! This would be a perfect idea to do with a bunch of fake pumpkins so you could keep them year to year. 
Inline image 5
So there you have it! Some alternative ways to decorate pumpkins, if chopping them up and getting your hands all covered in gooey pumpkin guts isn't your cup of tea! 

Have fun decorating and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guest Blogger: Michaela from Happy Apple talks Pumpkins!

Today we have my blogger buddy, and real-life awesome friend, Michaela from Happy Apple  to talk about how she decorated her pumpkins this season. Take it away Mikey! 
Hey everyone! This is Michaela from Happy Apple and I am so excited to share my pumpkin decorating post!  I absolutely love Halloween and fall so decorating my pumpkins is a definite on my Fall To Do List! 
Pumpkin Decorating 2013
This year I used black and white paint with silver sequins to decorate my pumpkins. I really like using paint instead of carving pumpkins because it cuts down on the amount of cleanup and the pumpkin doesn't go bad as quickly. 
On the little pumpkin I just painted swirls inspired by scroll work on iron fences. And then Mod Podged the sequins on in random places to give it some bling.
On my big pumpkin I just did a half and half of white and black. I think next year I would write a message in the black part to give it an extra pop, but the monochromatic color really stands out! pumpkin4
Thanks for sharing Michaela! Those pumpkins are ADORABLE! I'm always game for anything with some bling.
Be sure to check out her Halloween post about caramel apple bites, they look scary good :)