Friday, August 27, 2010

One Project Closer: Floor Nailer Giveaway

Last month, the One Project Closer team finished an extensive post-a-thon describing everything you need to know and do to install hardwood floors.

Then a few days later they busted out this awesome giveaway for a DuoFast FloorMaster 250BN Nailer valued at $200+, which would be super-helpful for anyone wanting or planning to tackle a wood flooring project (ding ding! remember #2 on my action plan?).

So, get your fingers tapping because the deadline to enter is 11:59 EST today. Good luck!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Garden Update: 3 Months

It's been about 3 months since I planted my garden and I can whole heartedly say that it has taken off like a wild bandit...literally. In fact, I almost titled my post Garden Havoc: 3 Months and you'll find out  why soon enough.

This year I planted a different green bean family and unfortunately, they are the climbing variety for which I have nothing for them to climb, except their neighboring tomato plants. The green beans are so aggressive that they are pulling the branches of my tomato plants down and because of this, I have had to keep trimming them back, which means that I am reaping very few beans for all my hard work—boo!

However, to repay me for my gentle care and protection, my tomatoes are thriving and boy are they delish! (Just ask Justin. He sliced one up for his BLT last night and it looked good!)

But of course, this joy cannot shine through the storm clouds of the japanese beetles that have been wreaking havoc on my plants. For those of you who aren't familiar with these lovely buggers, I researched them a bit to explain what they are and where they came from. Ahem...
Japanese beetles are insects native to (what do you guess) Japan and showed up in America in the early 1910s (supposedly on a shipment of tulip bulbs). The beetles are not entirely destructive to the vegetation in Japan because of natural predators, they can be highly dangerous to US crops and gardens (as you see in the photos of my garden below). For the most part, the only infested areas in the US start in the far northeast trickling down into the southeast and midwest. They are detrimental to plants because they skeletonize the foliage, eating the leaf between the veins. When plants no longer have the leaf material between the veins they cannot absorb the sun and grow, eventually dying.

I have noticed a large population of these beetles in my garden and since one positive reason to grow your own plants is to keep them pesticide free, I have done nothing to control them by ways of chemicals. As a result, about 30% of my garden looks like this.

Not too appealing, eh?

Fortunately, they seem to favor my green bean plants, which is fine by me since they are becoming a PITA (pain in the ass) anyways. Nonetheless, does anyone have suggestions for how to eradicate or at least decrease their numbers? I have heard that the best way is to fill a bowl or bucket with soapy water and knock them into it but I've been too lazy to do that yet. Any other chem-free ideas? I'm all ears!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daisy's been around the block

For those of you who haven't met my sidekick Daisy, consider this your formal introduction.

{You} meet my car Daisy. Daisy meet {you}.

This past weekend, as we traveled up to Minneapolis for my friend Jessie's smashing wedding, Daisy hit a large milestone in her life. She climbed up to and past the 100,000 mile marker, which isn't too bad for a 2002 car (right?).

I know this doesn't have much to do with creativity or other stuff I post about, but I wanted to take a moment of your day to celebrate this milestone because it was a big deal to me. Cheers!

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Shining Star

**Spoiler Alert** (For those that have DVR'd the Design Star finale but haven't watched it yet, do not read until you have done so! or do and pretend your surprised when they announce the winner.)

Well, I did not predict the next HGTV Design Star correctly, but I got very close. Although Michael Moeller did not win HGTV's Design Star Sunday night, he did rank second in the competition and I still believe he's a great designer but...

So is the new HGTV designer Emily Henderson!

Her design was lacking star quality in the beginning of the competition, but she really came out of her shell the last couple episodes with some great ideas and excellent design.

In fact, as Justin and I watched her shape her final room on the show, I said to him that the color palette was exactly what I am trying to exude in our office. So thanks Emily for helping me hone in on my palette!

I'm already looking forward to the next season!

(All photos are from HGTV Design Star site.)

Morphing Babies

Have you ever wondered what you and your spouse's future bambinos will look like? (Don't lie, everyone has.) Well I have some good news for you! The Bump has teamed up with  to create this fun-albeit-kinda-creepy application they call the baby morpher and it's super easy to use.

First, upload photos of the two faces you would like to morph together, choose your gender and skin tone if you like, and hit the make a baby button. Less than a minute later out pops a little munchkin (which seems much easier than actually giving birth).

The first time I tested it out, I let the computer select the gender and skin tone, and we were blessed with this adorable baby boy. (I didn't know babies came with full sets of teeth!)

Then to even the playing field I sent it through again and this angel showed up.

I think it's funny that not only do both babies have very light eyebrows (note: mine are so fair you can barely see them) but they are both blonde as well! However, I take this fortune telling with a grain of salt. I think it will be fun to compare these images with our actual children when that time comes to see how accurate the computer is. One last thing, you can only make 2 babies with The Bump's baby morpher so make sure you have selected your photos carefully. And if you care to share, I'd love to see your future kiddos so send them my way!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revamp the Lamp

I have begun the great office decoranza but am taking it very slowly. Why? It might be because we just made some large purchases and our budget isn't all that flexible at the moment, but in actuality it is mostly because I can't come to a decision on my color palette until some little (and big) projects are finished first. So, in my (cough-cough) spare-time last week, I tackled one of those said projects on my list: revamping the lamp.

I bought this lamp base and shade from Goodwill so long ago that I can't remember what I paid for it (my guess is less than $5). Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture of the base before I painted it (shame on me!), but I have faith that you can imagine it a school bus yellow color. After a few quick coats of white gloss spray paint, the yellow was gone like a flash of light. However, the off-white shade with the white base was not doing it for me, so I tackled that next.

I had previously seen this DIY project Young House Love posted about recovering a drum shade and thought I could follow those steps to recover my lamp shade, no problem...that was until I realized my shade was not-so-much a drum shape but had a nice curve that I would have to account for. So, to modify their instructions, I made a template of the shade (similar to a pattern you would buy from a fabric store). I wrapped a large sheet of paper from a roll of newsprint I had picked up from my local newspaper for a previous project, taped it to the shade, drew an outline of where the edges ran, and cut that sucker out.

Then I pinned the template to my fabric and cut it about 1/4" larger which allowed enough fabric to wrap around and glue down on the interior of the shade.

As my glue gun was warming up, I quickly smoothed out the wrinkles with my iron and ironed a hem at the edge of the fabric that would be attached last.

I started by gluing down the raw edge of the fabric that I had not hemmed and proceeded to glue the edge of the fabric that circled the bottom of the shade. I didn't start gluing at the top of the shade because the circumference of the hoop was smaller and I didn't want to be stuck with fabric that was too tight when I started gluing the bottom of the shade.

Once the fabric was attached around the top and bottom edges, I dispensed a thin line of glue along the hemmed edge of the fabric, pulled it tight, affixed it to the shade, and called it a day.

The shade looks fantastic on the freshly painted base and I can't wait to use it in our to-be-decoranza'd office. And do you want to know the best part? I only spent a few bucks on the fabric to do it!

Anyone can handle this minimal DIY project. It was easy to complete and can change a dated lamp into an entirely different piece. Has anyone else recovered a lamp shade? Did you find it easy or was the shape difficult to work with? Send pics!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Selby is in CB2

I'm not one who shamelessly plugs my endeavors for personal gain, but today I need your help friends. Yesterday CB2 announced an exciting contest with the illustrious photographer Todd Selby hanging on the coattails of his hot book The Selby is in Your Place (if you don't know who Todd Selby is, let me google him for you).

Unlike other drawings and giveaways that I have shared, this one concludes with a mammoth payout to the tune of a $10,000 CB2 gift card and a private photoshoot with none other than Todd Selby himself. I bet you can guess that as soon as I read the details, I was registered and entered into the mix. The largest difference of this contest compared to others is that it relies on how many votes an entry gets, and this is where I need your help. Each person is only allowed to make one vote per entry (and obviously I have already made mine) so please visit our entry "Bold and graphic in the 'burbs" and vote for our space.

We know our chance of winning is a long shot but what the heck, let's give it a try right? Here are the images I entered to represent our creative abode.

The other competition is fierce, but your vote counts!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Picture Me Here

By now you all know some weird places our cats like to laze about in our house (cabinet, under an umbrella, placemat), but here's a new one that even surprised me.

I've been slowly collecting frames to hang a large collage on the wall in our grand staircase and was playing around with how to arrange them the other day. I stepped away from my mess for only a few minutes and came back to Benny trying to curl himself up on this one frame.

I let him lay there long enough to snap these few pictures, then kicked him off. Maybe this was his way of saying "Don't forget to frame a picture of me!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What the blooming?

A few days ago, I noticed this weed-looking growth spurting from one of our mother-in-law's tongue plant (also known as snake plant and sansevieria trifasciata). At first sight I thought "Ack! How could a weed grow in my indoor potted plant?" but then I googled around a bit and confirmed my suspicions with my mom, that in fact is my plant is in bloom.

I have never seen a snake plant bloom, and neither has my mom, so this event is exciting for me, especially since I think my mom has the greenest thumbs around. In the morning the blooms are shut (photo above), but later in the day the blooms open up (photo below).

I don't know what I did to encourage the bloom, but my mom said that the plant must be happy. So, in trying not to make it mad, I will continue caring for it just the same and maybe next time there will be more than one bloom to report.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Justin does at least 80% of the grocery shopping for our familia, so when I grabbed a banana from our fruit bowl this morning I was pleasantly surprised by the Chiquita sticker that called out "I [heart] your heart."

I already know that this week is going to be a rough one, so seeing that little bit of cheer put a smile on my face and pretty much made my morning.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shop Anthropologie

It's been over 6 months since I posted some sweet finds from one of my favorite shops, Anthropologie. I'm not sure how y'all feel about virtually shopping with me, but I enjoy sharing the items that catch my eye when I'm wandering about, so here we go again!

Although I love the clothing Anthropologie sells, I can't help but be drawn to the home goods as well. There is something to love about a charming birdhouse, no?

These Hobnail tumblers have a depression glass feel but in chic colors (green-pictured, clear, and blue), would look great paired with your modern dinnerware.

Even though Anthropologie has stocked these Ikat bowls for some time, I can't help but see them filled with big mounds of rainbow sherbet, which almost makes me buy them.

Looking through the door knobs, cabinet pulls, and other hardware accessories is a must-do. Last time, I shared some of my handle favs, but this time, this large key with individual modified S-hooks grabbed my eye. Maybe its because Justin and I are trying to keep our keys in one location but haven't quite mastered it, or maybe it's because this thing is functionally awesome.

When you visit an Anthropologie store, you are essentially walking into a masterpiece of staging. The displays are amazing and the styling of the items for sale is ingenious. However, don't be surprised if you find something you can't live without and it happens to be a prop and not for sale, such as these potted plants. At first glance I thought "super cool pots—how much?" and then I examined closer and saw that what I thought was a green plant pot, was actually green burlap wrapped around the pot. Add that to my project to-do list!

And speaking of projects to-do, these patchwork, upholstered folding chairs were added as well. Imagine how whimsical these would look circled around a cute little patio table, adorable!

Another fabulous find includes any fanciful apron from their massive selection. (PS: This is only half of the display.)

Apparently I have developed an affinity for anything wrapped with natural fibers because I felt I had to include this pretty lamp. The great part about this lamp is that it would work well with any shade since it is a neutral color and the woven base would add tremendous texture to any space.

Finally, I couldn't help but snap a shot of this chair (on clearance!), which semi-reminded me of my Easter chair.

There you have it, a quick round-up of recent finds at my local Anthropologie store. I'm sure I have left some other sweet stuff out, so drop me a note or comment and tell me what you're digging right now.

(To see my last Anthropologie shop post, click here.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mila's Daydreams

What do you think a new mother would do on her maternity leave? Any ideas? How about start a blog imagining her baby's dreams and creating them around the beautiful babe as she naps. Sounds like a productive thing to do with all the spare time, no? Well, you're just going to have to check out Mila's Daydreams to see the wondrousness that is the baby's imagination. These are a few of my favorites.

My Bookworm

My Precious Pearl


Her SuperPinkiness

All photos from Mila's Daydreams.
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