Browsing Category "Household"
10 Sep
2012
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July Centerpiece

I have some catching up to do! My job was crazy all summer so I missed posting my July centerpiece on time so here’s a quick view at what my patriotic centerpiece looked like.

july centerpiece

For my July birthday, my mom gifted me a margarita set I’d had my eye on. When I vacationed in Mexico last year I drank out of a similar set and I really wanted to bring the fiesta home with me. So I threw some daisies in it and called it a patriotic display. Sorry Mexico, don’t hate me!

The best part of the centerpiece was having the brilliant idea to throw some sour cherry candies into the margarita glasses. The glasses worked as an easy handheld candy dish. They did not sit on the table very long. I must have looked like a crazy lady to my husband with me walking around with a margarita glass in my hand for a week (lies- a couple days) but it was just candy! Where’s the harm in that?

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3 Sep
2012
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September Task List

I’m freaking out that it is already September. I lost a whole week in August when I got sick and I’m still moving very slowly as I recover. To top it all off, I have a huge trip coming up that I feel woefully unprepared for. I saw September 1 on my calendar and I started making list after list. I’m hoping I can at least tackle a few tasks from this month’s Get Organized Now checklist before I go too crazy.


Source: Anything But Perfect- available for download

This month I already tackled Day 1’s task of looking ahead at my calendar. I think that’s part of the problem. I think my best plan to prepare is to just try to think rationally. Easier said than done, right? Here’s what I’m looking at for my calendar.

  • September 2: Prepare a special dessert to be served for the Labor Day holiday. -This one is easy, I already bought supplies to make a peach cake I spotted over on Glori of Food.
  • September 5: Make DO/GO/CALL list. Perfect timing! Listing out the tasks in little pieces will not only keep me calm but it’ll be a great way for my husband to see where he can help out too.
  • September 9: Call the grandparents for Grandparents Day. I will be doing this though I hesitate to think what advice my grandma will tell me based on what she hears on Dr. Oz. I swear, Dr. Oz should be banned in that household because my grandma is always telling me the weirdest things.
  • September 15: Time swap sandals for boots. Do an inventory on all those Old Navy flip flops and toss the gross ones. Give your boots a shine before breaking them out.
  • September 20: Organize your baking supplies. This is a great time to restock before making Christmas cookies or to organize your baking tools.
  • September 23: Are you making enough time for you? If you don’t have a hobby (and TV watching isn’t going to count) then work on one. If you find yourself with too many hobbies, try to focus on just one for maximum relaxation. I sent my sewing machine upstairs so I can start focusing on Christmas crafting.
  • September 28: It’s apple season! Plan an apple picking trip or start setting aside your favorite apple recipes.
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28 Aug
2012
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Organizing My Baking Nook

When I got my KitchenAid Mixer the first thing I did was buy a beater blade for scraping down the sides. This meant I now had 3 extra attachments just hanging around when I wasn’t cooking something. I had a habit of losing them in drawers or the deep space of my baker’s nook.

As part of my kitchen makeover, I’d built a little baker’s nook to hold all my extra baking supplies. That might sound a little silly but I have a lot of supplies. The baker’s nook was actually built to accommodate our lower window and give me a surface to roll out cookie dough (or bread dough or pizza dough) on easily. The nook was made by substituting vanity cabinets for kitchen cabinets and then just using a separate piece of countertop.

One side holds all my baking sheets and cake pans while my drawers hold things like cake piping tubes and tips, food coloring, sprinkles, and just general odds and ends. I had one lower cabinet left to fill. I added in my cake and cupcake stands, my hand mixer, and my double set of springform pans. The whole thing felt a bit empty still.

Enter those pesky Kitchenaid mixer attachments. There was plenty of space in there for them but I didn’t want them to get lost in medium springform pan #2 (heaven forbid!) so I came up with a solution that seems so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner: 3M hooks. Look how easily I can find my hooks now.

And a closeup

For under $5 I’ve got an easy storage solution that my college self would be proud of.

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13 Aug
2012
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Go for Gold

Just because the Olympics are over doesn’t mean you have to stop going for the gold. Gold is back in style and I couldn’t be happier. I know some people will always be loyal to white gold/silver/platinum but I’ve always loved all things bright and shiny and the right shades of gold and brass can be so beautiful. I’m happy to see more designers giving gold a chance and I’m hunting for the perfect accents to bring some gold into my home.

 gold-color

(clockwise from top left- Blueprint Magazine (December 2007), Gold Leather Metallic Pouf, Art by Maurie Hartel, O’verlays, Anthropologie’s Prospero Journal, Royal Crown Derby Creamer)

I like to view gold as a neutral since I think it pairs so well with brighter colors like a bold blue, a soft aqua, or even a royal purple. Pink and gold have been a personal favorite since I saw a spread in Martha Stewart Weddings back in Winter 2007/2008 featuring a dusty pink and gold. That was also the same year of Blueprint Magazine’s beloved pink Christmas (also by Martha, RIP Blueprint). Since then I’ve really grown to love all shades of pink with gold.

gold bw

(clockwise from top left- Kate Spade NY Ticker Tape Plates, Crate & Barrel Hakkari Hurricanes, Cover of Gifted Magazine, Tulip Family lamp & shade, Crate & Barrel Give Thanks Plate, Brushed Brass Ice Bucket)

Gold seems to work even when paired with other neutrals. Gold and white can bring an amazing warm tone to a look and always makes me think of the fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gold and black is such a bold contrast that I find it looks sophisticated and bold. I’m noticing the trend of black interior doors and trims coming back and when paired with gold it can form a daring choice.

gold art

If you’re not a gold person but want to try out the shade as we head into fall, artwork is always a great way to test out some color. I love the mixing of gold and brass in this space. (via Ana Antunes Home Styling, LOVE artwork by Jen Ramos at MadeByGirl)

If you’re as into gold as I am, follow my gold-inspired Pinterest board to see my favorite gold pieces all year long.

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2 Aug
2012
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Save on Stuff: Owls

I love getting a good deal. I don’t always coupon but I do like to think through many items I enjoy and find more affordable options. It’s why I love sites like Copy Cat Chic and Knock Off Decor. You might remember how I showed you how you can afford a Parsons desk at any price point, that’s another way I love to save.

This week I found an amazing deal that I just can’t pass on showing you. The Anthropologie Wide-Eyed Cookie Jar has been quite popular online with its big owl-shaped face. Unfortunately, the Anthropologie cookie jar costs $88. Ouch! Luckily I found a super close copycat over at Kirkland’s. While the Kirkland’s version is only a statue, it looks like a near-clone of the Anthropologie version. If you already have enough cookie jars but need more owls in your life, the Kirkland owl is a great Anthropologie copycat with a $76 savings.

owl cookie jars

I also really love this other cute owl statue at Kirkland’s. They’re an interesting sort of store. We have a small one in my area but I often forget to check it out. Are you a Kirkland’s fan or do you appreciate the name-brand of Anthropologie more?

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1 Aug
2012
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August Task List

July was hot and long. I really hope August is a better month, how about you? With the changing of months you know that it’s time for the Get Organized Now checklist. Remember at the beginning of July when I said I was in the middle of a heatwave and planned to wait for a cool-down to do some work? HAHAHA! July was 9.5 degrees warmer than all other Julys in STL. I fear my flower garden may never get done.

august 2012
Source: Stylin’ Stix Studio- available for download

Even though I’m “thisclose” to giving up on my flower bed, I will still keep working on conquering some chores (including posting some catchup posts I owe you guys!) Can we just say this month is all about staying cool, both physically and mentally? Both my husband and I have huge projects that will require 12+ hour days on the same day, we’ll be finishing our C25K programs this month, and I’ve never heard so many prayers at church for rain. Let’s just take this month one day at a time.

  • August 6: Take an early morning walk around the neighborhood. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Have some fresh-squeezed juice when you get back.
  • August 8: Make some homemade ice cream. I have some frozen recipes you’ll enjoy.
  • August 13: Make a battery hub in your house. Test all the batteries, inventory your needs and add any replacements to your shopping list. If you need some batteries for your smoke detector, add them to your list.
  • August 18: Time to dust the top of your fridge and underneath it, including the coils. You’ll help improve efficiency and get rid of dirt that’s often forgotten.
  • August 21: Themed dinner time! Make a giant batch of tacos in all sorts of meats and invite over lots of friends. Have each person bring over a topping and you’ll have an instant taco bar.
  • August 28: Organize all your pet supplies. Replace any broken leashes or collars and thoroughly clean all food and drink bowls.
  • August 31: You’ve survived the month! Go out shopping for a bunch of BBQ foods and enjoy the holiday weekend.
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9 Jul
2012
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The Parsons Desk

Back in the 1930s, a challenge was issued to students at the Parsons School of Art & Design. The designer “challenged students to design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished.” (NYTimes) The resulting table was named the Parsons Table.

The Parsons table was surprisingly modern for the era and has lasted the test of time. The school’s design skills have also been applied to other furniture pieces like chairs, end tables, and desks. How can you tell if you’re looking at a Parsons desk? Just check the thickness of the legs- they should be the same thickness as the top of the desk. (Learn more building instructions by checking out Ana White’s Parsons Desk plans)

West Elm Parsons Desk

The favorite Parsons desk of most folks these days is produced by West Elm. It costs $349, has two drawers, and is 48″ x 24″ x 30″. You can buy it in black or white. Don’t think Parsons desks have to be boring. Remember the goal of making a desk that looks good in every material? There are so many options below with different looks. All those designs also mean different price points so you should be able to afford a Parsons desk no matter your price point.

West Elm Parsons

These are 4 additional West Elm options. 1-Parsons Mirror Desk ($599), 2-Parsons Natural Grass Cloth Desk ($499), 3-Parsons Diamond Grass Cloth Desk ($499), and 4-Parsons Metal Desk ($499) made of wood with hand-wrapped rich antiqued metal cladding. Each is the same size as the original and has two drawers.

Room and Board Parsons

Another option is through Room & Board. They have a customizable Parsons desk with 10 different table sizes and 24 different tabletop surfaces. To get the closest size to the Parsons, choose the 48″ x 24″ x 29″ console table/desk. You can choose glass, MDF, butcher block, solid wood, quartz, granite, or even marble. My favorites are with the white glass (#5- $619) and with the Solid maple with shell stain (#6- $699).

cheap parsons desks

Parsons desks can be found at lower costs too with just a few changes. The 7-Overstock Student Desk ($144.99) is the closest match with almost identical dimensions and 2 drawers. 8-Home Decorator’s Parsons Desk ($106.24-$129) comes in 6 different colors though it only has 1 drawer. The 9-Container Store’s Parsons desk is a mixture of steel and melamine without any drawers and can be found in stores for $129. Though a little narrower and with only 1 drawer, you can get a Parsons desk from Walmart (#10) for $59. The cheapest of all is smaller, drawerless, and has different legs but Target’s Parsons desk (#11) is only $39.99.

I’ve shared my love of Parsons desks but I’m curious if any of you have any Parsons pieces. I just bought my first piece after my last sales post. Here’s a glimpse of it.

orange parsons

Have I gone completely crazy?

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2 Jul
2012
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July Task List

It’s time once again for this month’s Get Organized Now checklist. Last month I feel like I got so much done but now I’m in a dreadful heat wave so I’ll only be working on indoor tasks until it cools down. That means I’ll be working on clearing out some old junk instead of pushing ahead on my flower garden but progress is progress.

 

July calendar
Source: Livy Love-Download the free monthly calendar

July is the start of the second half of the year, crazy right? I can’t believe 2012 is already half over. Treat this month as a good way to kickstart any projects you’ve been delaying. The list this month has a lot of ideas like washing drapes, rugs, screens, and under furniture so make sure to check the full list for all the forgotten chores. Here’s some of my favorites from the list:

  • July 4: Enjoy the holiday but be careful out there! I’m in a major drought so locals should avoid fireworks so we don’t end up with even more fires. Be careful on the roads too.
  • July 7: It’s probably time to take care of your plants. Pull back any dead parts, add more fertilizer, and see what’s working and what isn’t. The drought is causing all my plants to die and it’s a losing battle but I’m out there with my watering can every day trying to win the battle.
  • July 9: Restock all your cleaning supplies and paper goods. Decide if you really need 8 different containers for cleaning or if you can find a better multi-purpose cleaner or even a greener one.
  • July 12: Pull any stained or damaged clothing from your closet and drawers. Devote today to mending and some laundering. Don’t throw away shirts when all they need is a little work to make them like new again.
  • July 16: It’s about halfway through the summer season. Check if you need to restock any sunscreen, aloe, or even bug bite remedies.
  • July 20: Make some homemade lemonade. Sip it in the coolest room of your house and maybe even read a book while you do it.
  • July 24: Clear 10 files in your filing cabinet. Consider digitalizing some files like warranties or receipts for tax time.

How do you plan to stay cool this month?

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27 Jun
2012
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Discount Shopping at Home Decorators

Have you ever shopped at Home Decorators Collection? This isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just a loyal shopper. Most of my bathroom furniture is from Home Decorators as is my favorite (okay only) rug. The company used to be St. Louis based but they’ve shifted to Atlanta to be with the big boss of the company, Home Depot. There are stores in both Atlanta and St. Louis but other orders can be placed online or through their catalog.

home decorators deals

Alright, background time over. The reason I’m mentioning them is that they have some huge deals going on right now. I’m talking a Secretary Desk for under $170 (1), a great work desk for $131- in blue, green, or white (5), and a Parsons desk for $125 (3). Similar Parsons desks usually go for around $300-$400 so even if you don’t love green or yellow you still have money leftover for paint updates. I also really like the blue armchair (2) they have on clearance and this industrial style coffee table (4) which would look totally amazing in my loft. You know, if I had a loft.

martha stewart storage cabinet

There’s also 40% off outdoor furniture right now and free shipping + 10% off home decor. Sadly, most of my favorite items aren’t on sale right now. You know how Martha Stewart has a partnership with Home Depot, right? That same partnership carried over to Home Decorators too. Her Home Decorators collection has some gorgeous pieces and many will melt a scrapbooker’s heart. Just check out the storage cabinet above, beautiful right? I have seen sales on the Martha Stewart collection so don’t give up looking.

In St. Louis we’re often not a target market for home decorating chains like Z Gallerie, West Elm, Ballard Designs or even Ikea. Home Decorators helps fill the gap but I’d love to know if any other locals know of stores to find cute items. Even other mail order catalog advice would be appreciated! Where’s your favorite out-of-the-ordinary place to shop?

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19 Jun
2012
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June Centerpiece

I’ve been holding back on this month’s centerpiece till this week because it goes so nicely with my picnic week. I love this centerpiece because it used items I had on-hand. The basket is leftover from a gift packaging years back. I’ve been storing spare candles in it but my closet makeover (details coming soon!) meant the basket was now sitting empty. I lined the basket with a clean bandana, leftover from my college days.

June Centerpiece- picnic themed

I filled the basket with some cheap wine, my cobalt blue glasses, and some French bread. I added some grapes I’d been munching on to complete the tablescape. I know it’s only June but I wanted to start introducing some patriotic colors into this month’s centerpiece. Hey, June has Flag Day so I’m not too far off on my color scheme.

I will confess that the bread and grapes didn’t sit out like this all month. I might have raided them the evening this photo was taken. We had an Italian feast this past week and all the perishables and the wine were victims of the raid. The basket is still a great centerpiece item though, it’s perfect for filling with fresh flowers or breadsticks with our dinners this month.

Don’t forget to view all my centerpieces for the year by clicking here

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