Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gray Entry Bench

I’d like to introduce you all to my new entry bench:

It’s the Safavieh American Collection Benjamin Bench (in grey) and I bought it from Amazon. At the time of purchase, it was $172.99 plus free shipping.  It’s available in four other colors, but the price varies by color. It’s also available on other sites, but Amazon was the cheapest.

I had originally planned on a white bench, but I couldn’t find one that I liked, so I decided to order the grey. I don’t love the grey in person, so I’ll probably end up painting it white. This same bench is available in white, but based on the pictures it’s a creamy, off-white and that wouldn’t look good with the rest of my white furniture.

I will admit that I’m not sure if I like it in this spot or not. I think it might be too large for the space…or maybe I’m just not used to seeing anything in that spot. I’m going to live with it for a couple days and then I’ll decide if I want to keep it there, try it somewhere else, or send it back.

What do you think? Maybe it just needs a couple pillows?


Friday, September 26, 2014

The Friday Five

One – Doggies

Let’s kick off this post with an updated picture of Ringo and Abby! It took more treats than I’d care to admit to get this picture, but it was worth it. They are just so damn cute!
Two – Bridesmaid

I’m going to be a bridesmaid! I don’t have that many close girl friends (and no sisters), so I thought it might never happen; I’m so excited! Plus my boyfriend is going to be a groomsman, so it should be a good time. They are getting married in the upper peninsula of Michigan next July, so it’s still a long way off, but exciting none the less. And actually, we’ve already ordered our dresses. They are from ModCloth, so we wanted to get them before they sold out. I guess I can’t gain or lose weight for the next 10 months…
Three – Spicy Sausage Pasta

This Spicy Sausage Pasta recipe from Emily Bites is one of my boyfriend’s favorite meals. I made it for dinner on Tuesday and it turned out amazing as usual. Oh, and if you don’t like spicy food, you can use mild Rotel instead of the original kind. I love that it can be made in one pot, so there’s not a lot of clean up. I use my cast iron skillet, so that I can put it directly under the broiler to melt the cheese. Delicious!
Four – Bowling


I just joined my boyfriend’s bowling league! Earlier this year my boyfriend and three of our friends from work joined a recreational bowling league and they ended up finishing in second place. One of the guys doesn’t want to bowl again, so they asked me to join. Luckily they use a handicap scoring system, so I just need to bowl consistently, which is a good thing because I don’t bowl often and I probably only average about 100 points a game. It should be an interesting 8 weeks…
Five – New Girl

A couple weeks ago I started watching New Girl on Netflix and now I’m slightly obsessed, even my boyfriend thinks it’s funny. Although we both agree that Schmidt is the best character and we probably wouldn’t watch if he wasn’t on it. We’re about half way through the third season and we are recording the new season, so we should be completely caught up soon.

I will admit that I almost gave up on it after the first few episodes because I thought Jess was the most annoying character ever. I’m glad she toned it down as the season went along. So if you haven’t seen it and decide to start watching, don’t judge it based off the first few episodes. It gets better, I promise!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Travel Gallery Wall

A couple weeks ago I showed you all my new console table and I mentioned that I was inspired to start working on the living room again. I decided to start with the wall behind my new console table. I love the DIYabstract art that I painted, but it’s just not large enough for the space…especially with the new, longer table.

So I decided to build a large gallery wall to showcase all of my travel photos. Unlike my previous gallery wall, I decided to buy new, matching frames for this project. I liked the idea of using a few different colors/styles, but wanted them to look a little more cohesive. I also wanted to use larger frames this time because smaller frames can look too cluttered. Anyway, as you know, frames are expensive and I didn’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on this project. Well, I lucked out and I ended up finding almost all of these frames on clearance at Michael’s!

I wasn’t a fan of the bronze and gold colors, but the small frames were only $6 and the larger frames were only $8. So, I decided to buy them and just spray paint them. The bluish-gray frames were a combination of clearance and sales. I ended up paying $12 for the largest frame and $10 for the others. I also had to buy mats for 4 of the bluish-gray frames, but the rest of them came with mats.

Now that I had the frames, I had to decide how I wanted to arrange them. I used painter’s tape to mark off how large I wanted the gallery wall to be. It’s a great way to visualize what’ll work on the wall without actually hammering any nails.

After I decided on the size, I pulled the tape off and laid it on the floor. It took up almost the entire office floor space. I used that area to arrange the frames into a layout that I liked. It took FOR-EV-ER plus a few trips back to Michael’s to buy more frames before it was full/completely arranged. As you'll see later, I ended up making a couple more changes once I started hanging the frames.

I started picking photos for the frames while they were still laid out on the floor, but I kept changing my mind, so I figured I might as well get them hung and worry about it then. Plus I wanted my office back. I could hardly walk in there! So I hung two of the pieces of tape back on the wall and used that corner to hang my first frame.

From there I just hung the frames going up and over until all of the frames were hung. After that I started picking pictures for the frames and spray painting the bronze and gold frames. I decided to paint the bronze frames black and the gold frames white. I love how they turned out and I love how the three colors look together. They tie the main colors of the room together.

I think picking pictures for the frames was the hardest part of this project.  A majority of them are from our trip to England and Paris last year, but I also included pictures from Alaska, New Orleans, Hawaii, Japan, Maine, Colorado, Catalina Island and my most recent trip to England.

I love how it turned out and I love being able to see pictures from our vacations every day.

Anyway, I ended up spending about $150 on the frames and mats, which isn’t chump change, but is a killer dealer compared to how much I would have spent on 18 regular price or even 40%-off sale frames. I had all of the pictures printed at Wal-Mart for about $45. Plus the cost of spray paint, this project ended up costing about $200. Not my cheapest project, but I love how it turned out and I’m so happy to have that large wall finally filled. Now I just need to decorate the console table and I’ll finally be done with that wall!

http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/   http://www.shineyourlightblog.com/

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tour Through Blogland

Last week I was nominated by Samantha from Designer in Teal to participate in a Tour through Blogland. It’s really just a chance for bloggers to share more about themselves, their home, and their blog. Plus it’s a fun way to meet other bloggers and find new reads.   

Before I start talking about myself, I want to introduce Samantha from Designer in Teal. Clearly we were meant to be friends because we’re both named Samantha, we both love Mexican food, and we now own the same console table. Anyway, Samantha and her husband bought their first home earlier this year and are fixing it up room by room. Right now they are working on the master bathroom, which used to be a horrible lime green color, but is now a very pretty blue. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

OK, let’s get to the questions:

1) What am I working on now?

Right now I’m working on decorating the large wall in our entry/living room. I just finished hanging a gallery wall above my new console table (details later this week), but I’m still looking for accessories to decorate the tabletop. I’m also looking for a bench for the entry. After that I have a few other projects/purchases on my list for the living room, but I’m hoping to finish it this year…we’ll see…

However, the One Room Challenge starts next week, so I’m starting to shift my focus to the master bathroom. I’m currently updating the mood board I put together last year and ordering any items that have to be custom made or shipped, so I’ll have them in time for the challenge. 

2) How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I feel like a lot of bloggers are either full-time bloggers, stay-at-home moms, or work in some sort of creative profession (or a combination thereof). I work full-time as a financial analyst…probably one of the least creative jobs you can imagine. This blog is my chance to work on something I truly enjoy and use all of that creativity that I don’t use during my day job. That being said, this blog is just a hobby so I probably don’t finish projects or write posts as often as some people would like.   
Also, my blog isn’t strictly about one topic. It’s mostly DIY projects and crafts, but I also write about traveling, food, and an occasional personal story. I just write about whatever I want to. You never know what I’m going to post about on any given day! 

3) How does my creative process work?

In one word: scattered! I have a hard time focusing on one project or one room at a time. I have a lot of supplies for projects I keep meaning to start and half-finished projects around the house. Once the inspiration fades, I’m onto the next thing regardless if what I was working on is finished or not.

A good example of this is the travel gallery wall that I just finished. I started it over a month ago. I spent a whole weekend on this project – buying the frames (multiple trips to Michael’s), arranging and hanging them, and getting pictures printed. I ended up a few pictures short and instead of taking like 15 minutes to pick a few more pictures, I lost interest and it sat unfinished for a couple weeks. Seriously, I only needed to pick/print 3 more pictures and the project would be done. But I lost interest and it sat unfinished for a few weeks until I was ready to work on it again. That's probably why I only have 1 “finished” room in the house even though I’ve been here for over 3 years.

4) Why do I write/create what I do?

As I mentioned above, this blog is my creative escape from my day job. It also forces to me to start/finish projects so that I have something to blog about. I don’t want to know what my house would look like if I didn’t have this blog to hold me accountable…

Plus it’s been fun meeting people with similar interests. I’ve met some amazing people through this blog and have formed some really great friendships. Most of my friends don’t care about decorating, so it’s been nice to have people to brainstorm and share ideas with. 

And just for fun, here are a few before/progress pictures of my living room: 

Oh, and lastly, I want to nominate Meaghan from This MessyBusiness and Ericka from This Crazy Thing Called Life to continue the Tour through Blogland.


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