Monthly Archives

January 2013

DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

O Curtains! My Curtains!

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  • January 30, 2013

This is the true story of how one girl became way too invested in a set of draperies. You’ve been warned.

One of the last things to finish up in the nursery was getting curtains. We’ve got lots of pattern and color already so I knew I wanted something pretty simple. But going totally plain just wasn’t an option…momma had to give those babies some pizzazz. So I looked through my craft supplies and came up with a super simple way to take my curtains from vanilla to rocky road!

simple embellished curtains

I started with a pair of solid navy  curtain panels that I picked up at Target on sale for $28. While there, I also picked up a decorative star punch. Once I got home I grabbed my foil tape (also used for this project) and started punching. And punching. And punching a little bit more. ‘Punch’ is a weird word, huh?

punched stars

I have no idea how many little stars I actually punched out, but I would guess somewhere between 400-500. Obviously, if you went with a larger star punch, you could do a lot less and this whole project would actually take a lot less time. But I really loved the tiny, wonky star punch and I didn’t want the star pattern on the curtains to be overwhelming.

Next, I laid out my first curtain panel on our guest bed (after going over it with an iron). I wanted to be able to lay it out flat, but didn’t want to put it on the floor for fear that I would end up with large puppy paw-prints all over it. {Oh em gee…could paw-print stamped curtains be totally adorable in a puppy-theme nursery like this one?!} But anyway, I laid it out so I could get to work. And I realize it looks incredibly wrinkled in this picture, but that’s mostly the quilt underneath.

curtain DIY

Then I started the tedious task of peeling off the backing from each star and sticking it on the curtain. Again, because I chose to use relatively small stars, it made things a bit more difficult. Not difficult like it requires a lot of skill, just difficult like why-are-these-stars-so-stinkin-small-and-my-swollen-fingers-so-stinkin-huge.

As far as placing the stars goes, I didn’t try to follow any specific pattern. I spaced them out relatively far near the top of the panel and then started spacing them closer together as I worked my way down to give it a nice gradient effect.

embellished curtains

Funny story: somewhere about the 150th star, I got very emotional. I started thinking about the fact that I was doing all of this for my son and how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a mother. That led me to think about my own mother and how amazing she is, and then I started thinking about my grandmothers and my sisters and all the other women I’m so thankful to have in my life…long story short, I quickly became a mess. Picture JP slowly backing out of the room, while I blow my nose into the curtains. Pregnancy hormones are no joke, people.

After I powered through my mini-meltdown, I continued to peel-and-stick until I was finished. All in all, I would say it took me about 3 hours to finish both panels. If you went with bigger cut-outs, you could probably cut that time in half. Then I hung them up and admired my work. It’s not something that hits you in the face when you walk in the room, but it’s just that extra somethin’-somethin’ I love. Call me crazy (please don’t…I’ll probably cry), but I now feel a serious bond with these curtains…like we went to battle together and survived. I feel like these curtains have my back, and if the throw pillows were to ever turn on us, my curtains would totally throw down.

embellished curtains_2

So if you come to my house and decide that these curtains are the most hideous thing you’ve ever seen, just pretend like they’re not, mmk? Oh, and don’t mind the tear stains near the bottom 🙂

Linking up at Design, Dining + Diapers and Home Stories A to Z

inspirationgallery

 

 

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Home Decor/ Interior Design Travel Uncategorized

A Little Map Action

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  • January 24, 2013

JP and I love to travel. In the 2 and a half years we’ve been married, we’ve already visited 10 countries outside of the US and 10+ different US cities. We love planning trips and visiting new places, and we plan to continue that even after we add another little human to the equation.

So it makes sense that I love to look for ways to document our travels. And when I stumbled across this picture, I totally fell in love with the idea.

diy-cork-travel-mapvia

However, I wanted a whole world map since we do a lot of international travel, too. And I had a pretty sizable wall to fill, so it was going to need to be BIG. I knew it would be easy to get the basic outlines of the continents, but nearly impossible to cover all the little islands in the Carribbean and Phillipine Sea (two places we’ve each done quite a bit of travelling in, separately). So I just put the idea on the back-burner and tried to think of alternate options.

And as luck would have it, when we visited Ikea last weekend, and alternate option presented itself. While wandering through the showroom, the clouds parted and we laid our eyes on a GIANT canvas world map! I’m talking over 6 feet wide and almost 5 feet tall!! And for only $150, say whaaaa?!?! Art that big would normally come with a pretty hefty price tag, so I was totally pumped! We snatched one up and I couldn’t wait to get home and put it on the wall.

But, unfortunately, we couldn’t just slap it up on the wall and  call it a day. Part of the reason that they could sell it so cheap was because, while the map was printed on canvas, there was no actual backing. So basically, it came rolled up and you attach it to the metal frame they provide. I knew if we wanted to put pins in it, we would need to find a way to back it with something that the pins could sink into.

I made my way to Hobby Lobby and picked up a few pieces of foam board along with some spray adhesive, with the intentions of attaching the foam board to the actual canvas. But for some reason, the foam board just did not want to stick to the canvas. Womp womp. So we went with Plan B. We grabbed some finishing nails and nailed the foam board straight to the wall behind where the map would sit. Boom. Done. Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the process..it was all hands on deck trying to get something so massive put up on the wall while keeping it level. But when it was all said and done, here’s where we ended up!

world map

world map_2

The yellow pins represent places I’ve been, the green is JP, and the blue is places we’ve both been to.

world map_3

I LOVE it! Now, I just need to disguise that dumb doorbell box..any suggestions?

Linking up at Design, Dining + Diapers

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Before & After Uncategorized

A Pop Of Sunshine In The Nursery

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  • January 21, 2013

On Saturday, hubby and I (along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) made a trip to Ikea and picked up a few more things we needed for the nursery. I’m happy to say that the nursery is about 85% done, just a few more details (namely curtains and a floor lamp) and it will be totally FINISHED!!! And I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

But first, let me show you guys the latest addition: the changing table. Initially, my plan was to buy a dresser to convert to a changing table and put it in the closet to save space. Like this:

IMG_1545Nursery

But, I realized that I would probably end up losing quite a bit of storage space by doing it that way, and like I mentioned in this post about the closet, it was really important to me that we be able to store some of the larger things in the bottom of the closet so that I at least have the option of putting them away and closing the door when company comes over. Ya know, so it at least appears like I’ve got my act together. Ha!

So I did a little rearranging in the room and figured out a space for a small changing table. Design-wise, I love the look of using a dresser as a changing table. However, because the nursery isn’t a gigantic room, I didn’t want anything too visually ‘heavy’. I wanted something more open and airy feeling so that the room wouldn’t feel too crowded. Does that make sense?

I stalked Craigslist until I found something that fit the bill perfectly! So for $30 (and a quick stop at a semi-shady house; no worries, mom…JP was with me), I brought this baby home!

changing table before

I really loved all the spindles and that none of the slides were closed in. It’s also real wood, which was a huge plus to me since I wanted to paint it!

So once I Lysol-ed it within an inch of its’ life, I  did a quick once over with some sandpaper and got to work. From the second I saw this on Craigslist, I pictured it in a bright, sunny yellow and it just so happened that we had a sample pot leftover from when we painted the sun on the feature wall. It’s ‘Macaw’ by Behr and it’s a really fun shade of yellow.

There wasn’t actually a lot to paint as far as surface area goes, but all those lovely spindles did make for a bit of a challenge. So here’s my recommended spindle-painting method: hold your brush perpendicuar to the spindle and swipe on one side and then the other.

painting spindles

 

Then just work your way up (or down) the spindle. Be sure not to have too much paint on your brush because you don’t want any globs sitting in any of those nooks or crannies. The paint also has a tendency to want to pool at the bottom of the spindle so just make sure you wipe any excess paint from the bottoms as you go. Nice, thin coats really are the way to go here (and for any other painting, for that matter). It may seem like you can go faster if you slop the paint on, but it will only make for more work down the road when you have to sand all those big globs off.

After the first coat was dry, I gave it a light sanding and put on one more coat. Two coats ended up giving us pretty good coverage for this piece, so once the second coat was dry I just went back through and touched up a few places. When working with lots of spindles or details, just make sure to look at your piece from EVERY angle because you’re bound to miss a spot here and there.

Once the touch-ups were finished, I sealed it a few coats of Safecoat Acrylaq. I figure this baby will need to hold up to a bit of abuse (it’s a changing table..use your imagination) and I like Acrylaq because it’s less harsh than traditional sealants.

But what’s a changing table without a little bit of storage, you ask? I remedied the problem with a few storage boxes that I picked up at Ikea on Saturday. I got 6 Kassett storage bins for $21…not too shabby. So here’s where we stand today!

changing table after

 

changing table after_2

I LOVE the yellow color..it’s so happy! Oh, and there’s a little sneak peek of the rug and the glider for ya 🙂

In reality, the lids will probably sit under the boxes, because who wants to mess with a lid every time you need a diaper? And as of right now, most of the boxes are empty still. So for all you mommas out there: what are some of the essentials I should be storing here?

And just to save your scrolling finger, here’s the before and after side-by-side.

PicMonkey Collage

Happy Monday!

Linking up at Home Stories A to Z, Inspiration Gallery Party, Miss Mustard Seed, Thrifty Decor Chick, and Design, Dining, + Diapers

 

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Domestic Stuff Just for Fun Uncategorized

It’s Smashing

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  • January 18, 2013

Have you guys heard about these things called Smash Books? I first learned of them on Shelley’s Instagram feed (@HouseOfSmiths), and I instantly fell in love with the ‘throw-whatever-you-can-find-on-a-page’ look.

house of smiths smashbookvia @HouseOfSmiths on Instagram

Basically, Smash Books are a simplified way to scrapbook. I’ve never been a ‘scrapbooker,’ but my Mom did scrapbooks for each of us kids (there’s 4 of us) as a high school graduation present. And each one took her countless hours (thank you, Mom for being so awesome)! The point of these books is that they’re not supposed to be uber time consuming. Instead, these are more of a glorified journal; jot down notes and ‘smash’ them full of memorabilia, photos and mementos.  It’s supposed to be a quick and easy way to capture life memories and moments. Sounds good, right??

1-102_1038via

This idea really appealed to me because I often feel guilty about throwing away cards, ticket stubs, and all those other little paper items that trigger special memories. But I also don’t want to be on Hoarders. So I get rid of them. But now I can stick them in my Smash Book! Woop!

163396292700143767_ZAETyqxo_cvia

I think it will also be a great place for Instagrams. A lot of my Instagrams from 2012 are going into my yearly Shutterfly album (read more about that here), but I’ve decided in the future, I’d like to save those albums primarily for higher quality pictures (a.k.a. pictures taken with my DSLR) and get a lot of my Instagrams printed  instead. {Do you guys have any suggestions for the best sites to use to print Instagrams?}

 48765608434777777_EBOUrriu_cvia

As far as where to get them, I’ve seen them at Michael’s and someone told me Target carries them as well. I ordered mine online from K & Company…they sell lots of cute little accessories, too! Or, really, you could just buy a regular journal and doll it up yourself! The great thing is there’s no wrong way to ‘smash’!

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Cleaning/Organization Uncategorized

Nursery Closet Organization

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  • January 15, 2013

Every time a new year rolls around, it has me itching to purge all the unnecessary clutter in my life and get my house clean and organized! The first area that got hit this year was Baby P’s closet.

Now, other than a few bags of baby clothing we received from a cousin and the odd outfit bought here and there, we don’t actually have much ‘stuff’ to organize. But, I’ve got baby showers coming up so I wanted to already have an organization system in place long before we get the influx of onesies and tiny socks. Is there anything cuter than those unbelievably little socks?! Methinks not.

So we headed to Lowe’s and picked up one of the Rubbermaid Custom Closet Kits. Initially, we were just going to buy the individual pieces (shelves, rods, etc).  We quickly discovered, though, that  it would be a lot cheaper to buy it as a kit and it would actually give us more pieces than we need. So if we ever want to change up the configuration down the road, we have that option.

Here’s the closet as it stands now.

nursery closet organization

I didn’t get pictures of the process (oopsie), but the system was very easy to install. You first mount the bar the goes horizontally (of course you want to ensure that it’s level and that you get at least 1-2 screws in a stud, just to make it extra sturdy) and then you hang the vertical bars from it and screw them in place. We used the shelves included in the kit as a guide for how far apart to space the vertical bars.

We installed two shorter shelves on one side of the closet, and two canvas bins on the other side. Here’s my organization plan: I’ll use the top shelf to store the clothing that Baby P doesn’t yet fit into. Any clothes that require hanging, will get hung from the top shelf.

For the two lower shelves, I’ll pick up a couple more baskets and store things like socks, hats, shoes, etc.

nursery closet oranization_2

The canvas bins on the right will be for onesies, sleepers, tops, and bottoms.

nursery organization_3

It was also really important to me that we have room at the bottom of the closet for storing larger items (playmat, jumper, bathtub) so that when they’re not in use, they can be put away (theoretically).

nursery closet organizaiton_4

The closet is still a work in progress (what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t put chalkboard labels on all my storage bins?!), but I feel relieved that we at least have some semblance of order in place!

Linking up at Design, Dining, + Diapers

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Bloggy Stuff Uncategorized

New Year, New Look

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  • January 11, 2013

As you may have noticed, Lemon Drop Life has a new look! And I’m particularly excited about it, because the design is all my own!! Of course, I had to have my web guru help me out with all the coding and specifics on the back end (that stuff intimidates me in a major way), but I am so happy to have had a part in the makeover of my little blog-baby.

I’m craving clean and simple these days, so I really wanted to streamline things. Nothing too busy, instead just visually pleasing and user-friendly (at least I hope!).

There are some brand new category buttons that will guide you in the directions of the more popular categories around here. I’m also working on getting a full blown Project Gallery together, which will catalog all my old posts and make them a bit easier to find.

And my social media buttons are way prettier now. It doesn’t change what they do, but I just think people enjoy clicking on pretty things, don’t you?

Please bear with me if something isn’t working properly or is looking a little funky..we’ll try to get any bugs worked out ASAP!

Hope you guys enjoy the new look as much as I do!!

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Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

A Stairway Gallery Wall: Late To The Party & Lovin’ It

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  • January 9, 2013

As promised, I’m back today with some more pictures of my freshly hung gallery wall. I know, I know..gallery walls are soooo 2000 and late, but I’m still crushing on them like a middle-school girl on the Biebs.

I love the look of a stairway lined with lots of photos, like Katie Bower’s.

Yum.

So I pulled out a bunch of my frames and pictures from the closet and got to work! I just laid them all out on the floor until I was satisfied with the arrangement. If I was a good blogger, I would’ve cut out paper templates of all my frames and marked exactly where I needed to put the nail. But I’m a rebel. So I eyeballed it.

Some of the frames are a little wobbly, so I’m going to pick up some Command strips for added stability.

Several of the items I hung up were DIY’s. So here’s the breakdown.

  1. (&  5) These were both quick little DIY’s  that I gave you the lowdown on here.
  2. This is the yarn art I showed you guys yesterday.
  3. A picture of JP & I from a cruise we took a couple years ago.
  4. The subway art was something I made way back when for the very 1st Pinterest challenge.
  5. See number 1.
  6. A picture I took when I visited Venice on my study abroad.
  7. Picked up from Urban Outfitters.
  8. Our Lucy-goose. Still one of my favorite pictures ever (see all the deets here).
  9. One of our wedding photos that I doctored up a bit.

My favorite part is that I still have lots of space to fill, I’m so excited to continue adding things over the next few years!

Are you guys SO over the gallery wall trend, or do you still have mad love in your heart for it?

Linking up at Design, Dining + Diapers and Tatertots & Jello

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DIY Uncategorized

DIY Yarn Art

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  • January 7, 2013

Let’s kick off this Monday with a quick and easy DIY, shall we?!

Over the weekend, I finally got a good start on the gallery wall I’ve been wanting to do in our stairwell. But I had an empty spot that I needed to fill. Luckily, I found a blank 8×10 canvas in my stash so I was able to whip something up…fo’ free!

Here’s all you need to get this project done-zo:

I started by lightly sketching out my design.

Then I used Tacky Glue to go over the outline and glue down the yarn.

And that’s it! It took me all of 15 minutes to create this and I love that it’s simple and clean..exactly what I’m craving right now after all the craziness of the holidays!

And there’s a little preview of the gallery wall for ya 😉 More pictures to come!

Linking up at Home Stories A to ZDesign, Dining, + Diapers, and Tatertots & Jello

 

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Uncategorized

Decemb-stagram

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  • January 3, 2013

December was a busy, busy month! Here’s a quick look at my month in review through Instagrams!

And my favorite of the month?

1, 2., 3…awwww! Those two sweet lovebirds are my parents, and they were just all worn out from all of the Christmas festivities. Presh.

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Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

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  • January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, lemon-droppers! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed time spent with family and friends. We were able to spend time with all of our family over the holiday, and we even got snowed in for a day!! I’m a homebody at heart, so I love staying warm and cozy inside and just watching the snow fly.

But slowly, I’m kicking out of holiday mode and back into real life mode…womp womp. So I thought I’d start this year by seeing how I did with the bloggy resolutions I made last year.
1. Build something – FAIL
Unfortunately, I never got around to this one. I had every intention of building a table for the craft room, but that clearly didn’t happen since we’re in the process of transforming it into a nursery for our little dude. Maybe I can build him a toy box?
2.Get up close and personal with power tools. – PASS
I added a jigsaw to my tool arsenal, and JP got me a sewing machine for Christmas as well (not technically a power tool, but it was still something I wanted). We also got the chance to use some more heavy duty saws (just borrowed) when we were laying the new floor in the nursery.
3.Finish what I start. – PASS(ish)
I wouldn’t say I’m totally cured of this bad habit, but definitely better about it. Hubby helps keep me motivated and we’ve accomplished a few big updates (like the guest bathroom makeover and the nursery progress) and lots of little ones, too.
4.Cook healthy – FAIL
 No excuses, here. This one was just a straight up fail. Cooking just doesn’t come easy to me, but I’m  going to work harder on it this year.
5. Get more Google Friends – PASS
Well, technically I failed because Google decided to take away the Google Friends service for WordPress blogs shortly after I made that resolution last year. BUT, my blog traffic has definitely increased over the last year and I’ve gained some new faithful followers. Let me just say a huge thank you to all of you that take time to read and comment. It means so much to me, and I LOVE interacting with you guys!!
So along with the couple of resolutions I’m carrying over from last year, I want to make a couple more.
1. Work on organization. 
With a baby coming in just a couple short months (eek!), I know our schedules are only going to get more hectic, and I want to take measures to make sure I stay on top of things. I’m not sure what all this will entail, but you guys know I’ll keep you posted!
2. Cozify the guest bedroom.
Our guest bedroom has basically looked the same since the day we moved in, and I think it’s time that changed! A new baby means lots of family are going to be staying with us, and I would love for the guest room to feel much more home-y than it does now!
3. Get in an exercise routine.
Confession: we have an elliptical sitting upstairs in our man room that I haven’t used even once. And it’s been there for about 6 months. JP uses it every day, but I just like to stay downstairs and pretend it’s not there. However, I know after I have the baby, I’m going to be anxious to get back into my old clothes and the only way to do it is to eat healthy and exercise.
I know it seems like all of my resolutions revolve around the baby, but it’s definitely going to be the biggest change in my life this year! Have you guys made any resolutions?
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