Monday, June 25, 2012

What To Do, What To Do...

I had a problem that was really bugging me.  It took quite a few brainstorming sessions, but in the end, I came up with a solution.

You see, I have a serious obsession love affair with jewelry…and because of this “issue” I have accumulated a whole lot of pretty stuff.  Of course, owning a lot of pretty accessories is not an issue, but storing and organizing them is a whole different story.

This is what I was working with.

Yup, that's all my jewelry thrown into a laundry basket for easy moving.  I needed to lay it all out somewhere so I could sort, purge and organize.  Once I did...this is what I was left with.

I reallyyyy needed to come up with a system that would allow me to see everything.  My normal issue is that if I don't see it, I won't wear it.

So how the heck can I keep all this together, in a compact space, that fits behind our bedroom door?!?!?!  Hmmmmm.

At first I thought I could invest in a pretty curtain rod or towel bar {that didn't look too towel-bar-ish} for all my necklaces.  But most of what I found was 1) too wide, 2) too expensive and 3) wasn't the look I was going for.

After much searching, I finally came across the PERFECT thing!  It was.... old paper towel holder!!!!!!!!!  Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!

Yes, I know...I know.  It's not the cutest thing on the block, but I could see the potential.  All it took was a little charcoal gray paint, and BAM!  It was like this was made for my project!  {Plus, it had a built in shelf that would work perfectlyyy to hold the earring display I wanted to make.}

Once I settled on what would hold my 82374298234 necklaces, I got to work on making my earring display.  This part of my jewelry organization was the easiest.  I took an old frame that I had in our former townhouse, removed the glass and backing...painted it a pretty color...added some wire with a couple thumbtacks and a hammer...and taaa-daaaa, an earring holder!  Oh, and some felt and ribbons helped to make things interesting. 

So without further adieu, here is what I came up with.  Btw, my photography skills are HORRIBLE...I wish I could do better than snapping away with my iPhone.  Sorry for the terrible quality. :(  Le sigh....

Have you guys tackled some organizational projects lately?!?!  For less than $10, this thing rocks my world and makes getting ready THAT much easier every morning! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Hope You All Still Love Me After This...

Okay...soooo this post feels very awkward for me.  I feel like I am putting each and every one of you on blast, but I promise I'm not!  I am simply throwing this out there in case anyone wants to take part in something pretty cool with me.

Each year, the company I work for has a bowl-a-thon to raise money to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  My hubby and I have proudly taken part in this event each year {except for 2009 when I was suuuuper sick...booo me}.  It makes me so happy to say that over the past 10 years, our company has been able to raise over $1 million dollars for this awesome cause.  We get to meet our "wish" children each year, and it is so touching.

So while I am not expecting any of my {super awesome} bloggy friends to donate, I did want to put this out there in case someone wanted to support this great event with us.

Believe me...I know we are all short on money.  We all scrimp and save each paycheck.  So I promise there will be no hard feelings on my end, as long as you don't all boycott my blog for posting this.  Deal?!?!  :)

Oh, and if you do want to throw fifty cents or a dollar my way, you can go to my donation page here:
Make-A-Wish Foundation® of New Jersey - Gabbi Zaccheria - 11th Annual Bowl-A-Thon - Gabbi Zaccheria's Page

Don't worry.  I will be back to my regularly scheduled home decor, landscaping, renovating posts ASAP!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Taking Shape!

First you saw us destroying the old “patio” in our backyard here, then you saw us removing the debris here and finally you heard all about our new grill/gas line here...well, now it’s time for the real patio fun to begin! 

Originally, our concrete guy thought he would be able to start our job sometime this week.  He had one large job on his schedule in front of us, but after that, we were next in line!  {Thank gosh we signed the contract with him when we did, because he said he had a flurry of jobs come in right after ours, and the wait is now 6 - 8 weeks!!  Yikes!}

Anywho, after a couple days of rain we thought our job would start even later, but we were greeted with a very nice surprise on Wednesday morning.  While we were getting ready for work, our guy called to let us know he was on hold with the job before us.  They were having some drainage issues on that property, so he was wondering if it'd be okay to start our excavation process that day.  We were thrilled, and told them to come on over!

After briefly discussing the layout again, we left for work feeling so confident about the job he'd do.  {Seriously, I can't say enough about this guy!!}

Our work day couldn't go by fast enough because we couldn't wait to see all that was accomplished in our yard.  I truly was expecting to see dirt moved from point A to point B...and that's about it.  But no, no, no!  Our stairs were removed {they are building new steps to the porch...our current ones are were a serious safety hazard}, the dirt was excavated and moved to low points around our home that we discussed earlier {didn't I say this guy was awesome??}, crushed stone was compacted/tamped into a level surface and wood forms were in place!

So last you guys saw, our patio area was looking like this...

And now looks like this!!

Hopefully all this progress means we aren't too far from the pouring phase of our project!  Woot woot!

Anyone else step up their home's outdoor game lately?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just in Time for Father’s Day…

Is there a better time to post about a shiny, new grill than right before Father’s Day?!?!?  I think not.

If you remember, the grill that used to live in our backyard looked like this. 

Yea, nothing special.  The handles became charred and fell off.  The placement was taking up prime-time entertaining space.  Oh, and it’s so old/flimsy that I’m pretty sure I could have karate kicked it over.

Cue my hubby’s family wanting to get us a house warming gift.  For the longesttttttt time I could not figure out what to tell them we needed.  I mean, there is a ton we wanted, but nothing that we needed.  So through the cold{ish} winter months, I just kept saying “I’m not sure…I’ll get back to you”.  Then as the temperatures warmed up and we set our sights on the exterior, we realized a grill would be the perfect gift for us! 

And since I will most likely not use the grill, nor do I really know anything about grills…I left this purchase to the men of the family.  Hubby and his dad headed off to P.C. Richard about a week ago and purchased this puuuuurty new addition for our {not-yet-existing} patio!

{Is it wrong I just called a grill "pretty"?  I’m almost positive it goes against the man code of grilling.  Oh well!}

Anywhooo, here she is...our very own Weber! 

She {yes, she} will have a lovely new home, and gas line, thanks to some great plumbers I found on Angie’s List.  Since the old grill was smack in the middle of the patio space, and the old line was leaking…we knew we’d need some professional help to take care of business.  Unfortunately, when the plumbers arrived, they let us know that the line to the grill was illegal, and a new one would have to be re-run to the tune of way more than we thought we’d be spending.  I may or may not have started to cry when I heard this news.  It just wasn’t in our budget to re-run a whole new line, buttttt it’s better to be safe than sorry right?!?!?  I mean, who wants to mess around when it comes to a gas line?  Personally, I love my house and do not want to see it blown to smithereens.  {What?  Too dramatic?  My bad.}

After my initial shock and tears subsided, I was happy we did things right and ran a new line.  It’s now legal, above ground {running along the side of the porch} and comes out right where we need it, to the left of the porch stairs.

Can I just tell you how excited I’m going to be to have something that is NOT a dirt patch in our backyard?!?!?!


(PS - Day 1 of the patio process happened this week.  Can't wait to share the progress!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Debris Be Gone!!

Remember this deliciousness?  {Yes, I still swoon over my hubby…thankyouverymuch!}  Here is a quick recap where we were over Memorial Day weekend.

Well after all that destruction went down, the hubby and I had a lot of clean up to look forward to.  I’m not sure who was dreading it more…me, who knew I wouldn’t be able to handle major wheelbarrow loads, and therefore wouldn’t be as helpful/quick/handy as my better half, or hubby, who knew he’d be taking on the brunt of this heavy lifting.

Lucky for us, we have fan-freakin-tastic neighbors {yup, the ones whose house we painted}, and the hubby volunteered to help us clear away our debris.  {Picture the clouds parting and the sun shining through...hallelujah!} 

We started the process on Saturday morning.  The boys used our two wheelbarrows and loaded up the concrete piles we made last week on demo day.  They made trips back and forth to the dump site until everything was gone.  Clearly, I am not as strong as them so I concentrated my efforts where I would be most helpful.  I cleared the area of all the flagstone that made up the old patio.  The prettiest pieces, I carried to the other side of our house to continue a path we started a while ago.  The remaining bagillion pieces I stacked up in the corner of the yard so the boys could easily load and dispose of them after all the concrete was gone.  {Don’t worry, I kept a handful of slates in case we need them in the future.}

By the time all the flagstone was up, the boys were almost done with the concrete.  I NEVER, EVER, EVER would have thought clearing our disaster area {aka backyard} would only take us a handful of hours, but when you have two strong guys working together, things go MUCH more quickly! :)

Here is what the area looks like now...after my hubby weed-whacked all of our rogue plants growing in the area.

Now it’s time to impatiently wait for the rain to stop, so our concrete guy can get back on schedule and come give us the hardscaping of our dreams!!

Bye-bye Blanco!

I love white.  It's clean, it's's light and airy.  But too much of it is just plain boooooooring.

Enter this area of our home....

ceiling + white trim + white door + ginormous white barn door = bleh.  Okay, maybe “bleh” is a little harsh.  Let’s use sterile instead. ;)

So with a little paint and a little effort, our front door went from boring white... a fun, icy blue!

Of course the addition of an old mirror and a couple new frames also helped to spruce up the space a bit.  Sometimes I am still amazed at how a splash of color and a couple accessories can make a space feel more and more like home.

Yay for crossing more things off the "to-do" matter how small they may be!! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pass It On Project, Part Deux

Almost a month ago {jeez...shame on me}, I posted about the awesome Pass It On gift I received from Ashley at Attempts at Domestication.  Then it was my turn to get my craft on and create something lovely for two of my favorite bloggers Emily and Whitney {check them out if you haven't already!!}.

I headed to Michael's and kept my eyes peeled for a super cute container to spruce up.  {I love having pretty containers to store ordinary things.  It can instantly make a drab space more interesting.}  I originally thought I was going to use little cardboard boxes I found, but then a couple clear cylinders caught my eye.  My decision was made...I threw two in my cart and headed home to get started on transforming them.

Like most projects I come up with, I had a clear idea of how I wanted the end result to look.  I wanted bold metallic stripes and a fun felt flower to add a little pop.  I decided to use gold paint and go with a charcoal flower. 

I started by taping off my stripes, as well as the areas I didn't want to get painted, and I quickly realized the paint wasn't going to stick or cover like I had hoped. 

I wiped it off in a hurry and pulled out some spray paint primer.  I lightly coated my cylinders hoping this would give the paint something to better adhere to.

It took about 4 coats of paint, but I finally got the coverage I was hoping for.  Unfortunately, all that coverage meant that the stripes weren't smooth anymore, but beggars can't be choosers right??

Once the stripes were drying, I removed the tape and got busy making my felt flowers. 

After lots of cutting {my LEAST favorite part of making flowers} and a little hot gluing, my containers were done!

I even posted this shot on Instagram a while back!

Of course, I'm always my worst critic, which means I pictured them coming out WAY better in my head, but the important part is that they were made and sent with love.  I hope they put a smile on my bloggy friends faces!

I am so happy and honored that I was able to be a part of this awesome project.  If you want to see it all from the beginning, head on over to Karah at The Space Between. :)

Anyone else get their Martha Stewart on lately?!?!?!