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Friday, November 30, 2012

Dreaming of Brights

Holla, it's Friday! Thank you for the love on our Mudroom yesterday...and as most of you guessed, I plan to add a shot of color to it sooner, rather than later. As in, this weekend. Here's what I'm considering...










Any ideas what we have planned? After the Mudroom is complete, it's time to get some Christmas crafts going for next week's Christmas Cheer link party. I'm kicking it off Tuesday, so don't forget to bring all your fabulous holiday crafts on December 4th! I can't wait to see what you've created! Happy weekend, lovebugs!

***Update: See the final Mudroom and door choice here!*** 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

{Mudroom} Almost There

Between episodes of shoveling back large quantities of food over the Thanksgiving weekend...we did manage to make some progress on the Mudroom. Many of our rooms are in the middle of a makeover, but with school in full swing, and Winter just around the corner, finishing this space is essential for my sanity our family. I refuse to let gloves and coats be my nemesis this year!

Phase One was installing the faux-board-and-batten help disguise the SIX doors in our back hallway.

mudroom progress

This past weekend we completed the aesthetic portion of the project....paint and replacing the boob ceiling light. Here's the new paint job, using Behr Ashes. This hall leads to the Family Room, which is painted the same color, and we had leftover paint, so it was a pretty easy decision. I painted the walls above the board treatment, and the ceiling.


And what post, that involves hanging something, would be complete without a picture of Mr. Sugarplum in a strange outfit (here and here)? My sweet hubs, just home from soccer, hanging the new light.


I wouldn't say he's electrically astute, but he had no problem hanging the Ikea Knappa pendant, using a recessed lighting converter kit from the hardware store.


Is it the perfect dose of personality for this little space, or what?!


So now that the hall is looking better, it's time to make it functional....first up....hooks.


Large ones on the top row for heavy bags and backpacks, and smaller double hooks below for lighter jackets and scarves (and easily reached by little people). Both are from Lowes.



We added a little row of small hooks on the opposite wall for keys (they come in natural wood, but we painted it the trim color).


For now, we're not adding larger hooks to this side of the hall since they'd likely obstruct the walkway. You know men and their need for a wide berth! Or is that just my man? "I need to be able to walk through here without bumping into things!"


Here's the view when entering from the garage...LOVE!!!


All that's left is a rug, and putting this space to use! And maybe a splash of color, because neutral and I don't dance for long. What's your routine for dumping hats, gloves and coats this time of year?

***Update: See the final Mudroom here!*** 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Family Room} No More Wire Nest!

The Christmas decor is slowly going up around here, but I find I'm leaving more in the boxes than putting out for display. You know, my whole Minimize & Simplify mantra. But I was thrilled to have our Family Room mantel back for decorating!

The Family Room is just one of the spaces we're currently working on, and we recently crossed off a major project on the list. Remember the jumbo TV we accidentally bought at Costco on Memorial Day weekend (that incidentally led to the entire room's makeover plan!) It was so heavy, we were afraid the mantel couldn't support the Mr. Sugarplum rigged up a sweet solution to give it extra stability until we could get the TV mounted on the wall. And by sweet I mean ridiculous eye-sore.


And of course with a TV comes components and a mass of wires and cords to hide. Sigh. And that's how this corner of the Family Room sat since Memorial Day. That's SIX MONTHS! We had the TV mounting system and all the cables necessary, but we just couldn't get up the nerve to tackle it ourselves. Well, scratch that. Mr. Sugarplum thought he could hang and mount a 100lb TV on drywall, and feed wires through self-made holes in the wall.....but I wasn't so sure. And by not sure, I mean, Oh Haaaaiiiiilllll No!

hi sugarplum chunky desk (13)

So I kept putting Mr. Sugarplum off until I could get my trusty rockstar contractor over. After a single afternoon of drilling, swearing and heavy-lifting (the drilling and heavy-lifting was done by them, the swearing was all me)....we were left with a clean and seamless corner!

Mounted TV on Wall

And thank goodness we didn't DIY this addition to feeding all the cords through the wall, he actually installed a new power outlet on the top shelf for the components, one behind the TV, and another one under the desk top. And I don't want to know what kind of bolts and reinforcements he had to use to get the TV safely on the wall. I'm just thrilled he did.

Mounted TV on Wall

He even drilled a little hole in my Distressed Desk for the lamp and computer cords to feed through, to the new outlet below.

Mounted TV on Wall

So no tangle of cords on the desk either!

Mounted TV on Wall
The cords you see are from the Christmas lights. There's no escaping them completely.
I'm still working on the shelf styling....trying to mix the necessary electronics, CDs, and DVDs, with some stylish accessories. The plan is to move a computer here, too....really test the house's electrical boundaries!

Mounted TV on Wall

He lengthened the speaker wires, and fed them up through the fireplace.

Mounted TV on Wall

Since the TV is so high, we opted for a mount that allows us to tilt it down. It really helps cut the glare and improves the picture. A giant TV and two big, black speakers aren't aesthetically pleasing to a room....but this is real life, and just how it is.

Mounted TV on Wall

And to refresh your's how the corner used to look! Man I miss that Wet Bar. And by miss I mean click my heels every time I see it's gone.

I totally apologize if this image just burned your retina.

Something needs to happen with the mantel too....I'm open for suggestions? And a better chair is in order if we're actually going to use that Desk Nook.

Mounted TV on Wall

Crossing off another one on the list! Are you still working on projects around the house, or are things already on hold for the holiday? I may get one or two more projects done in here before the end of the year. And by end of the year, I mean 2013.

(click links to see project)

Paint Mantle
Find Desk Chair
Paint/Stain/Replace Sofa Legs
Re-Hang Art Over Chair
Decide Fate of Rugs
New Light Fixture
Window Coverings
Decide Fate of Matching Tables

***Sharing this post over at Sarah's faboo party!***

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{Christmas} Advent Calendar

I am so excited about the holiday this 11 and 6 years-old, my kids are in prime excitement age...and it is definitely contagious!

Advent Calendars are always a fun way for kids count down to Christmas. I realized this weekend that December 1 is days away, so I had to get it in gear so we'd be ready to go! Nothing whips kids into a Santa Frenzy like daily gifts on display!

Advent Calendar

My mantra this season is Minimize and Simplify! I'm determined to enjoy every moment, and the way for that to happen, is if I keep things simple and stay organized. So this year's Advent Calendar is short on time and money, but long on sweetness and sentiment.

Start with a set of party tins, typically found in the wedding favors section of the craft store....with a coupon, they are about $12. You'll also need some magnets and decorative tape.

Advent Calendar

The tins aren't metal, so you have to adhere the magnets to the back. These are sticker magnets, but didn't hold well to the tins, so I just hot glued them on.

Advent Calendar
Ah man, is your skin as dry as mine?!
Next is the fun part...filling the tins with goodies! They are quite small, so the little snack-sized candies leftover from Halloween are perfect. Most of the tins also contain slips of paper, some with activities, and others with a riddle leading them on a treasure hunt to find a bigger treat somewhere in the house.

Our activities include:

Family Movie Night...ELF!
Check out the neighborhood Christmas lights.
Make hot chocolate.
Go ice skating.
Make popcorn balls.
Purchase gifts for an Angel Tree family.
Make sweet treats.
Take treats to the elderly.
Make paper snowflakes, hang in the window.
Breakfast for Dinner, served picnic-style while watching a Christmas show.
Roast marshmallows in the chiminea.
Read Luke 2, the birth of Jesus.

Be sure to consult your calendar, so you're able to carry out the activities on those days!

Advent Calendar

For the numbers, I just typed all different fonts and sizes, then cut cut them out with a scalloped punch. The favor set comes with printable stickers, but I'm terrible at figuring those templates out. My numbers are just setting inside the tins.

Advent Calendar

To keep them sealed until their given day, I added decorative tape along the seam.

Advent Calendar

 Advent Calendar

We arranged them in the shape of a Christmas tree, on the side of the refrigerator. You could use colored paper, or add a bow at the top, if you wanted a more ornate look.

Advent Calendar

The kids can hardly wait to get started on December 1, and are already trying to sneak a peek!

Advent Calendar

Watching them race to the calendar each morning is one of my favorite things about the holidays.

Advent Calendar

Our Advent Tree and Muslin Bags Calendars of years past were more elaborate, but the subtlety of this tree is perfect for our laid-back attitude this season.

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

Do you have an Advent Calendar...for your kids, hubby, or even yourself!? There's still time to crank one out!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Mother of All Cyber Sales Post

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great long holiday weekend, and you aren't struggling like me to resume regular life! However, life isn't too regular these days...not with Christmas buzzing in the air! And while I did venture out to the stores Thanksgiving night, the crowds scared me back home within an hour. This time of year, I prefer the peace of online shopping, so today is my shopping Mother Lode....Cyber Monday! 

I've compiled a list of sales, and a few of my favorite items from those stores, to treat yourself or me others. This is just a sampling, but it's safe to say virtually every online retailer is having a monster sale.

Free shipping on your entire order at Anthropologie, no code needed.

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Asos has 30% off everything when you use code CYBERMONDAYSPECIAL.

asos collage
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One of my favorite online stores, C.Wonderhas an extra 50% off all sale items, 30% off full price purchases of $100 or more, plus free code required!

cwonder collage
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Dwell Studio has 20% off site wide, plus free shipping with code GOBBLE2012.

dwell collage
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Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy all have 30% off your total purchase, with code CYBER, and free shipping on orders over $50.

gap Collage

I've yet to check out the new Henri Bendel store here, but I've long since drooled over their online offerings. Today, save 30% off orders of $100 or more, plus free shipping and splurge card with code CYBER12.

henri collage
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J.Crew online has really outdone themselves, with 25% off any order, plus free shipping...use code MONDAY.

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And not to be outdone, J.Crew Factory online has 50% off everything, plus free shipping, with code YOURGIFT.

factory collage
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Kate Spade is having a secret sale, enjoy up to 75% off select items and free shipping on orders over $ code needed!

kate collage
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Get 25% off and free shipping with code GIVE25 at Steve Madden.

steve collage
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World Market has 20% off everything online, plus free shipping on orders of $150 or more.

world market collage
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And finally, even my sponsors are getting in on the action. The Shopping Bag is offering 25% off their entire site! Take advantage while this great sale lasts!


What sales will you be checking out? I know I'll be Christmas shopping from the comfort of home today!

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