Friday, June 29, 2012

Bon Voyage!

We are leaving today for a week long road trip.
This is our destination:
I can't wait to get here and enjoy this view, but we've got a loooong drive ahead of us. 
Hopefully, we'll make it through without too much car-drama. I've taken precautions to avoid the "He's touching me!" "She's looking at me!" type of fighting, but I might come back with a few more gray hairs than I left with.
I hope you have a great 4th of July.
See you next week!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Attack of the Project Bug

 Or, Why I Wallpapered My Closet with Scrapbook Paper and Hot Glue

When we redid our bedroom, the first area we tackled was the closet. Like the rest of the room, the closets were overflowing with stuff. Not just clothes; papers, purses, shoes, suitcases, and more were jammed into each of our small closets. So we started with a purge of epic proportions. I wish I would have taken before pictures, but the only thing I documented was this giant pile of scarves, which had been teetering precariously on the top shelf. Every time I wanted to grab a scarf, the entire pile would tip on my head.
Good times.

I hadn't planned on doing anything more than cleaning things out, and organizing a bit. But I was bitten by the project bug. The project bug causes me to do crazy things like turn a quick clean-up into a 4-hour long, half-baked mission to prettify a perfectly acceptable space.
I had purchased some cheap collapsable storage bins at Ikea, and they were put to good use corralling my sweaters, scarves, and bags. But the project bug wouldn't let me stop there. It made me add pretty labels.  And a basket. And some dangly accessories.
And that's when things started to get wild.

I thought to myself, "This looks nice. How can I make it look nicer?"
My answer: scrapbook paper and hot glue.
{By the way, scrapbook paper and hot glue are the answer to many of life's persistent questions. 
True story.}

So, I wallpapered my closet with scrapbook paper and hot glue. 
Obviously, I jumped into this project without much forethought... and it just kind of snowballed on me.
 I finished the top shelf, and stepped back to assess my progress. The project bug whispered in my ear,
"Not bad. But you can do better."
Who am I to argue with the project bug?
Especially because now that the top shelf looked cute, the rest of the closet was feeling sad and neglected.
See? Poor closet. It was only half dressed.

 There. That's better.
Now my closet is clean, organized, and pretty.
Do you ever get bitten by the project bug? 
What crazy projects has it made you launch into?
I'll be linking up here:
The Shabby NestMy Romantic Home,
A Bowl Full of LemonsSouthern Lovely,
At the Picket Fence

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What I Wore: The Pinspiration Continues

Hey y'all!
{I'm not southern, but I like to pretend I am.}
I just wanted to start by saying thanks for all your sweet comments about my master bedroom
Y'all made my day!
On to today's business: What I Wore Wednesday, the brain-child of Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.
Every week she hosts a link-party in order to encourage and inspire both the floundering fashionistas {like me} and the real-deal-fashion-queens. You can check it out here:
pleated poppy
I've continued to rely heavily on Pinterest for outfit ideas. I have to admit, I'm just not a summer clothes person. I'm much more comfy in jeans, boots, and a sweater. 
But I digress. On to this week's outfits.
Here's the Pinterest version:
Source: via Sophie on Pinterest

I love anything with leopard print on it, so this one was a fave.
Here's my interpretation:
Tee: Macy's
Skirt: Ralph Lauren
Necklace: I made it!
Wedges: Old Navy
Shades: Ray-Ban

 Pinterest outfit:

Alas, this one was better off in virtual than in actual reality.
I do not have any cute khaki shorts, nor do I have the long, tan legs to do them justice.
Somehow the mom-capris just aren't the same.
My version:
Striped tee: Old Navy
Scarf: ModCloth
Mom Capris {Mompris?}: Lee 
Petal Pusher: The Pleated Poppy
Necklace {worn as bracelet}: Fossil

 I don't have a specific Pinterest outfit that inspired this last one because a large number of my style pins are, in fact, based on some version of this same outfit. Jeans, tee, fun accessories. Definitely my "uniform"of choice.
Scarf: Lands End
Tee: Mossimo via Target
Jeans: Silver
Bag: Fossil
Shades: Ray-Ban
Interested in seeing more of my pins? 
Check them out here.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A {Late} Hello to Monday

I'm a bit late in greeting the new week, but better late than never.
I'll be joining Lisa Leonard to say hello to Monday!

Hello, to the week before our long-planned and much-anticipated family vacation.

That's right, we're doin' it up Griswold-style, with a good old-fashioned cross-country road trip.
This week is filled to the brim with to-do lists: shopping, cooking, laundry, packing, and planning.

Hello to a fight-free road trip.
Wishful thinking, I know, but I've been pinning lots of ideas to keep the kids busy, on the road and in camp.

This last one looks really cool. We will be trying it somewhere in the wilds of western South Dakota.

Hello, cute kids who are growing up too fast.
I know it won't be long before they won't want to spend a week hanging out with mom and dad, let alone driving across the country.
Cait is already phasing out the hair bows and dresses she once loved in favor of Under Armor athletic wear (she will still indulge me for church, though).
 One thing that hasn't changed {yet} is her devotion to her dolls.
All this is just to say, I am so glad we have the opportunity to unplug and enjoy each other next week.
Happy Monday.
Hope your week is wonderful! 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Master Bedroom Reveal

My master bedroom has been 95% done for the last two weeks, but I have been dragging my feet with finishing it. I blame a slight case of project-ADD. That's where I start a project, am all gung-ho about it for a brief while, then I get bored before finishing it and move on to something else. 
But it's finally done(-ish).

Here's a quick look back at where we started.

Blech. Boring blue walls, dark furniture, snooze-worthy window coverings, and bedding as old as my marriage. {True story; we got it as a wedding gift. In 1999.} Not to mention the obvious mess that dominated our decor. This room was just a dumping ground, where every bit of clutter without a home went to die. 
I'd had enough.
I wanted clean. I wanted warm. I wanted tranquility.
{Warning: Picture overload ahead.}
Much better.
The long, rectangular shape of the room makes furniture arrangement a challenge, so we kept the same configuration, but overall the room just feels bigger.
 I went with the Nester's old favorite paint color, Tobacco Road, on the walls. It still is my favorite paint color, and I currently have it in my living room, hallways (upstairs and down), upstairs bathroom, and now my bedroom. I would like to do our family room in Tobacco Road too...would that be overkill? Actually, I don't know if I care. I lurrrve it.
 I let Chris hang the TV unsupervised, and it wound up being about a foot higher than I would have liked. But I refrained from saying anything too much about it. 

 I think the mirror above the bed is only temporary. I have a big wooden monogram on order from Etsy that I would like to hang in its place. 
Or I may just leave it like this indefinitely while I waffle back and forth over which way I like it better. 
 There are "his and hers" closets on this end of the room. To be honest, though, they are more like "hers and hers." Poor Chris gets about 1/4 of one of the closets. 

Someday, I would love to replace the "boob" ceiling lights with pretty chandeliers, but they work for now.
I am so happy to have my room organized and back together after living with a mess for so long. It's just icing on the cake that it is pretty, too!
I would be happy to answer source questions if you're interested. Just let me know in the comments.

I'll be linking up here:
The Shabby NestMy Romantic Home,
A Bowl Full of Lemons, Southern Lovely,
At the Picket Fence

Love Is Sweet, but 60 Years of Marriage is Sweeter

Love is sweet; any newlywed will tell you that.
Marriage, however (especially a long one), can often blend the bitter right in with the sweet.
So reaching a milestone like your 60th anniversary is something worth celebrating.
And on June 10th, that's just what we did as my grandparents celebrated their Diamond Anniversary.
{Aren't they gorgeous?}

My aunt did an amazing job organizing the party, which was held at my grandparents' farm. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and we were able to be outside for the most part. But we set up the food inside where it would be safe from rain and bugs.
I was in charge of dessert... my favorite part of any meal.
Cupcakes are fun and easy to eat, an important consideration for a garden party. Plus, they make for a pretty display with the help of some gorgeous flowers, a vintage tablecloth, and an array of milk glass and silver serving pieces.
 I wish I could take credit for them, but since we needed so many, I ordered the cupcakes from a local specialty bakery. We had a variety of cupcakes (Vanilla Bean, Almond Raspberry, Kahlua, Lemon, Pink Champagne, and Red Velvet), and one 10" cake made just for my grandparents.
{If you're in central Minnesota, I highly recommend Icing Dreams. They are amazing.}
I panicked the night before the party, though, and thought we wouldn't have enough. So I made two dozen chocolate cupcakes with swiss vanilla buttercream. You know, just in case I accidentally ate a half dozen cupcakes on the long drive over to the farm. 
Not that that happened. Nope. Definitely not.
I also made fancy labels, a mini-bunting, and little cupcake toppers to decorate all the deliciousness.
{Tip: Reality TV makes playing in the background makes late-night crafting much more fun.}

Unfortunately, Chris was working and couldn't be there, but the kids and I had a blast.
Here we are with the guests of honor (seated), and my dad and stepmom. 
It was a wonderful party (Hunter described it as "the best party ever!") and we had so much fun seeing everyone.
All in all, the diamond anniversary was a gem of a day.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WIWW: One Dress, Two Ways

Welcome back to another round of What I Wore Wednesday, wherein the adorable Lindsey, of Pleated Poppy fame, hosts a weekly link-up of like-minded ladies in order to share fashion inspiration and motivation.  
pleated poppy
I've been joining WIWW for the last few months and it has truly helped me be more creative in my clothing choices and has motivated me to get dressed up a lot more often. 

Till this week.
I blame summer. 
It's hot, we went swimming or played in the sprinkler, I spent hours watching soccer/baseball/softball in the sun and wind, I was in the garden, it's Tuesday, etc. 
I've got all kinds of excuses, but the long and short of it is that I've only got one dress to show you this week. The good news is, I am lazy and wore the same dress twice in one week.

Round 1:
Dress, belt, cardi: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer
Extender slip: A Slip Shop (Etsy)

Round 2:
Dress, cardi: Target
Sandals: Roxy

That's it, folks. 
One dress, two ways: the lazy resourceful girl's guide to getting dressed.
So which version do you like better? I'm kinda partial to the pink version, myself.

Hope you enjoyed this {admittedly abbreviated} edition of WIWW.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go run through the sprinkler!
I'll also be linking up at Two Thirty-Five Designs for Casual Friday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Summer Mantels

I tend to have a love/hate relationship with mantel decorating. I love to change my mantel decor for each season, but I stress about actually doing it. This may have something to do with the fact that we have 3 mantels in this house. There's a 2-sided fireplace on the main floor, with one side in the living room and one in the kitchen/dining room, and there's a fireplace in the basement family room. Normally, I don't do anything with the basement mantel, since that is home of the dreaded TV-over-the-fireplace. I put a garland up at Christmas and call it good. But the other two, they change on a regular basis.

I decided to go with a pared-down version of my usual mantel decor for summer. In the fall, I load up with garland, pumpkins, and various other tchotchkes, but I wanted summer to feel clean and simple.

The kitchen mantel got a "beach" themed makeover.

I stole the plates from my kitchen cupboard, the mirror from our front entry, and the pitcher from a vignette on my buffet. So now my mantel is all pretty, but three other areas of my home are missing things!

The living room mantel has a "country/farm" thing going on.

The color is a little wonky in these photos; the barn picture is a more subdued shade of red in person.

I made the chalkboard out of a Goodwill/Home Interior painting, and my daughter has never forgiven me for covering up the original image of doves ascending through clouds, but I think I like it better like this! 

I have a confession to make. I spent forever editing these photos in PicMonkey last night, only to discover this morning that I had spelled "mantel" wrong in every one. So I had to start over. Doh!

Hope you enjoyed checking out my summer mantels {not mantles}.
I will be linking up here:

The Shabby Nest