Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Divide and Conquer Your To-Do List

Divide and Conquer Your To-Do List

Summer always seems like a great time to make a to-do list of projects; warmer weather and longer days are the perfect combination for getting stuff done. I had have so many half-done projects I thought I would have no problem getting them all done. 

But, we spent a lot of great evenings doing this: 

And a lot of perfect Saturday mornings doing this:

So, things like this, got put on the back burner:
Future Basement Craft Space

 I keep a perpetual to-do list that helps me keep track of the projects that I need and want to do. But, now  we are home more since baseball has wrapped up. And, to say I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on the to-do list, that would be an understatement.

Then, "Lightbulb"! (High five to whoever can name that movie.) We have been living and breathing baseball for the last few months, so using baseball to organize my to-do list was only natural. I needed a way to breakdown my to-do list into manageable and time-relative chunks. Here are the 3 categories the list has been divided into: At Bat, On Deck and In the Hole.

Using baseball to divide and organize your to-do list

Projects that I have all the supplies for and are almost done, or need to be done first are "At Bat", the plan is to have these done in the next couple of weeks. The upcoming projects and ones that need a little more time are "On Deck", and hopefully these will be done within a month. And last but not least, the projects that I want to get done in the next couple of months, but can wait or need more planning/supplies are "In the Hole". 

I am such a sucker for lists, and marking off completed projects, I love it! If you are a list maker, how to you keep your's organized?

* Sharing at Work it Wednesday!*

Monday, July 21, 2014

Inspiring Home Space 7.21.14

The Inspiration:

I don't know what it is right now, but I am just loving living and family room spaces that use bright dashes of color! This relaxing and neutral toned space is so inviting and just makes you want to sit down and hang out for a while. While those citrusy floating shelves inject a fun burst of color to the space, without drawing too much attention and overpowering the rest of the space.

I think as homeowners, when you are furniture shopping for large pieces for your living spaces, you really want something not too flashy that is going to go with everything (I include myself in this group). So, you probably have a cream/white, tan or gray colored sofa or chairs, so let's start with that base.

Focusing on the main seating areas first, pick a somewhat bright or bold color, like the blue here for example, and make or purchase a few pillows that use that color. Mix up the patterns and toss in a solid colored one or two as well. The trick with mixing the pattern is to sure that all the patterns share at least one common color, and vary the sizes of the patterns. (You don't want all large patterns, or all teeny tiny patterns, mix those suckers up!)

Now for that fun little section of wall! First, notice that it is not taking up a huge wall, this is just a small section of the space, and it is also right next to the windows, which is going to help wash out a little bit of the brightness. Second, notice the color of the walls; the cream color is going to mute the brightness a little bit as well. If you have bright white walls, or darker walls, these colors are definitely going to pop more (not a bad thing, just something to consider). The shelves are just simple floating shelves, nothing ornate or  artsy, just plain and simple. Pick 3 bright citrusy, not quite neon, colors and paint your shelves. Then to style them use almost all white items, but toss in just one or two items in an equally bright, but not matching color. Bringing in a little bit of green from nature (real or fake) keeps the colors grounded as well. Keep the rest of the accessories in the room neutral and minimal, and even bring in some wood tones to balance the bright colors.

This is a fun space with that little dose of unexpected color. What do you think about those bright colors freshening up the space?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sports Theme Birthday Parties

Sports Theme Birthday Party

The end of June and the first part of July are always a busy time for our family. We have 3 birthdays all within a 3 week time period, oh, and the 4th of July is tossed in the middle of all of that too. This year the boys made it pretty easy for me, they picked the same theme for their friend party and their family party, and they opted to have their friend party together this year.

We went with a sports theme for both parties this year, for anyone who knows my boys, this should not come as a surprise. First up, the friend party. They wanted to have their party with a few school friends at the bowling alley. (Awesome! I didn't have to pick up my house for this party, and there were no additional games or activities to plan, bonus!)

I just made up the front of the invitation in Powerpoint, cropped it down and glued it onto blue cardstock. Then I used my invitation stamp on the backside to outline the party details.

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Bowling Invite

The party favors were pretty random, but they were things the boys liked; drink mix singles, Crunch bar minis, Laffy Taffy, glow sticks and sport whistles. We just stamped white paper lunch bags with the Thank You stamp and then filled them with goodies.

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Treat Bag Favors

My favorite part of all the planning is making and decorating cupcakes, and this year was no exception. I found baseball and basketball cupcake liners at Michael's that were perfect! Then I just frosted all the cupcakes with white frosting. Half of them I piped red frosting laces on for the baseballs. 

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Baseball Cupcakes

And the other half I sprinkled with orange sugar and then piped black frosting for the lines of the basketball. (I have tried to make orange frosting in the past, and it always came out too pink, this was the next best option, and I like how it turned out.)

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Basketball Cupcakes

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Baseball and Basketball Cupcakes

We just happened to find these napkins at the Dollar Tree, they fit the theme nicely. I raided my party supply stash and found plenty of blue and green plates from parties past, so we used those too.

Sports Theme Birthday Party - Baseball and Basketball Cupcakes

Once that party was in the books, we were busy planning the family party. We do a shared birthday party for the boys with our extended family every year. This one we host at our home and I try to keep it pretty simple.

Simple Sports Theme Birthday Party

We had (more) cupcakes, ice cream cups, chopped fruit, and M&M's (my favorite!!).

Simple Sports Theme Birthday Party - Cupcakes and Fruit

Simple Sports Theme Birthday Party - Cupcakes and M&Ms

I kept the cupcakes simple for this party and frosted half with vanilla and half with chocolate frosting, and then used the toppers that came with the baseball and basketball liners I used for the other party. Plates, napkins and tablecloths were all basic colors, and all extras that I already had in my party stash. The bunting around the table was a Target clearance find from a couple of years ago. I knew it was going to come in handy one of these years!

Simple Sports Theme Birthday Party - Baseball and Basketball Cupcakes
Simple Sports Theme Birthday Party

Do you stick to a theme for your kid's birthday parties? Do you go all out, or do you keep it pretty simple? Tell me below!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Inspiring Home Space 7.14.14

The Inspiration:

I must say, the more I do these posts, the more I am loving them. It is amazing that I can scroll through picture after picture, and I can just instantly know when I have found the one I want to share. This space was no exception.

This room was created as a kid centered family space. Along with the sunlight streaming in, that sapphire accent wall definitely makes the room bright and happy. Keeping the larger furniture pieces white, keeps the long room from feeling too narrow or closed in, and it allows for a couple of fun multi-colored chairs and brightly colored pillows to to become focal points in the room.

Let's start with that beautiful wall. 
If you are not one to shy away from bold wall colors, then I totally suggest jumping in and painting a focal wall in a shade similar to this beautiful blue, but keep all the other walls white. I would pick a wall that has a window or two, like in the inspiration above, to break up the color a bit and keep it from becoming too overwhelming. If you love the color, but are anxious about painting a wall this bright, I would find or make a large scale painting or piece of art that boldly shows off that color. (Hint: Keep the art cheap and just go by a sample pot of the paint color you like, and pick up a few large canvases in a couple of different sizes, paint them and hang them on the wall in a random pattern.)

To get the same feel with the furniture without buying new, place white slipcovers on your existing furniture and then have fun with patterns and color for the pillows. I would even look for a throw blanket in a complimentary bright color or pattern to toss over a chair or the arm of the couch.

Concealed storage is the other thing that makes this a super family friendly kid space. No one wants to look at a messy shelf or over-filled storage bins. But, you want the kids to have easy access to their toys and games without always needing to ask for help. Using an entertainment center with doors is a good option, as well as using kitchen or bathroom cabinets. You can get unfinished cabinets at Home Depot or Lowes, or you can check out a place like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for cheap cabinets that need a home. All that you would need to do is prime and paint them, add a piece of wood to the top and securely attach them to the wall.

Keeping the walls and furniture simple makes this space both adult and kid friendly. And if you get tired of the pillow or wall color, it is an easy update.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Aunt Netter's Cafe - Then and Now

Aunt Netter's Cafe Sign

As promised, here are the before, during and after pictures of Aunt Netter's Cafe. You can find the link to their website here, and I do hope that if you are ever in the area you stop by.

I think I will just leave the writing to that little bit, and let the pictures tell the story. As you will see, this truly was an amazing transformation, and a labor of love for the owners, their family and friends.

Aunt Netter's Cafe - Before

Aunt Netter's Cafe - Before

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - During

Aunt Netter's Cafe - After

Aunt Netter's Cafe - After

Aunt Netter's Cafe - After

 I hope you enjoyed this quick little view of the making of Aunt Netter's Cafe. And, once in a while, try to do as their t-shirts say: "Life is short, eat dessert first". 

**Sharing at Work it Wednesday**

Monday, July 7, 2014

Inspiring Home Space 7.7.14

The Inspiration:

This space had everything I like in a bedroom. It is calm and relaxing, has a fun pop of color (actually this space has two) and has lots of bright sunlight pouring in. It looks like the perfect retreat after a long day, but colors also make it a refreshing space to wake up to every morning.

To set the calm and relaxing tone for the space, give the walls a coat of mid-tone neutral, they used tan, but I think a gray tone would look great as well. If you are looking to buy a new bed, an upholstered headboard in a complimentary neutral shade would be your best pick. If you are more of a DIYer, build a simple rectangular shape headboard and cover it with lots of batting and neutral fabric (if you are adventurous, then definitely give the tufting a try, it will only add to the luxury feel of the bed).

This is also the perfect place for a light colored area rug, it will define your sleeping space, and add to the cozy feeling of the room. For above your bed, find a piece (or two or three) of artwork that you love. Pick a couple of colors from those pieces to inspire the brighter colors to bring the space to life.

Nothing makes a bed more appealing than crisp white sheets, although I would opt for a non-white duvet or comforter. I would go with a light muted pattern for the duvet or comforter and bring in a bright dash of color with a throw at the end of the bed. Add a couple of pillows in other bright, complimentary color and your bed is done.

For the windows, I would find a blackout curtain in a similar color to the walls and then add a sheer panel underneath. That way during the day you can let the sun pour in, without having losing privacy and at night you can sleep like a baby.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Month In Review - June

Well, here we are again, starting another new month. Let's take a look back at the month of June and see what I was up to:

I shared the details on how we made the fun striped table that now resides on our deck.
Simple DIY Navy, White and Citron Outdoor Table

After a successful trip to the thrift store, I finished up this mostly blank wall in my kitchen by hanging an assortment of baskets.
Thrifted basket wall art

I shared my must-haves to survive a road trip with kids, and how to organize it all.
Road trip basket for kids - books, games and snacks

Here are the details of our road trip to the Cosmosphere.
Cosmosphere - Walking in Neil Armstrong's footsteps

My friends recently opened up a cafe, and I got to make the sign that hangs outside. See my tips for making your own wooden signs look more finished.
Aunt Netter's cafe outdoor sign

I also started a new series this month of Inspiring Home Spaces. Each week I will take a different room and translate that space into workable parts so you can easily get a similar look in your space. See them here, here, here and here.