Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Budget-Friendly Family Room

Hello, friends. I hope this finds you well. Hard to believe tomorrow will bring us into December! The last month of 2011 and then a new year begins. Over the holidays, you'll likely enjoy some family time, and there's nothing like spending that time in a comfortable, family-friendly space. I've put an imaginary family-space together, AND... it's budget-friendly.

White & Grey form a neutral base. Wood and Brass Accents warm up the space. Blue Tones and Hints of Pink add some colour.

Budget Pieces:
Ektorp Loveseat & Chaise Lounge at IKEA $600
Formosa Tray Table (white) at CB2 $60
Soho Dhurrie Rug (grey) 5x8 at Shades of Light $288
Madeline Chair (Turquoise) at Urban Outfitters $350
Grey and white throw at IKEA $15
Carved Wood Coffee Table at West Elm $321
Ikat Dot Grey Fabric (for curtains) at Tonic Living $10/yard
Jade Bylbos Pillow at Caitlin Wilson Textiles 20x20 $60

Slight Splurges:
Devon Round Mirror at ZGallerie $200
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp at Shades of Light $225
Moroccan Pouf by Jonathan Adler $275
Basket at Crate & Barrel $70

I could definitely see my family cozied up and kicking back in this space. What about you?

I had originally thought this round, marble-topped coffee table might look nice but opted for the wood table instead. (The wood table looked more beat-up-able, and this is a family room after all.) I do think this marble-topped beauty is lovely though, and it's also quite affordable.

Smart Marble Round Coffee Table for $350 at CB2.


Artwork: via pinterest

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Smiling

Yesterday my hunny came home with an early Christmas present for me. Have a look...

Now, in case you're thinking that I'm a total techie who is always current with the latest and greatest, I'm not. This is my first iphone and (get this) my first cell phone ever! Yep. You heard that right. Anyway, my husband decided it was high time for me to carry a phone, and he thought it made sense to make it an iphone. That sounded just fine to me.

I've been having fun learning how to use it, and now I have something to do while waiting in line at the grocery store (as if keeping my kids away from the tic tacs, menthos and chocolate bars wasn't enough).

I picked up a case at Future Shop last night. I thought it should have something protecting it. Perhaps I'll change it up down the road. 

So, I'm mobile now and liking it. Merry Christmas to me and thank you to my darling husband! (Smooch!)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Navy & Camel

A new week begins! I hope you had a good weekend. 

Today, a simple look at a colour combo that has been grabbing my attention lately. Navy & Camel. Two colours that work beautifully together, creating a bold but classic look. 

This Girl...

Reads Her Favourite Novels Here...

This Girl...

Relaxes with Friends and Family Here...

And This Girl...

Gets Her Work Done Here (when she's not out shopping for fancy new duds)...

I like the colours best when paired with a healthy dose of white, but black can also be thrown into the mix. Yes, black and blue do go together! (At least that's what the "rules are meant to be broken" people tell us.)



p.s. Thanks for all your feedback on my "black Friday" post. It was great to hear that so many of you felt the same way. Here's to future black Fridays free of pepper spray and hand guns.

image sources: pinterest (3 images); Apartment Therapy; pinterest; Atlanta Home Magazine 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Some Thoughts on Black Friday

Hello and happy Friday... Happy "Black" Friday to those of you in the states. Did you hear about the lady who used pepper spray to fight off other shoppers at a Wal-Mart in California? Crazy. That takes the happy right out of it. 

Greed. It's a problem we all have in some way or other. True, not many of us would resort to pepper spray; most of us are smart enough to disguise it. We make it look like something else to avoid facing the truth about what it really is - ugly, never-satisfied greed. Want, want, want. Get, get, get. (Guilty, guilty, guilty.) That pretty much sums us up.

I had planned to share some pretty armoires with you today, but they can wait. That would only make me feel like I'm feeding greed and materialism - something I really don't want to do. I hope you come to my blog for inspiration and ideas, but I hope I don't fuel the wrong things. Having a nice, comfortable home that serves you and others well is important, but keeping up with the Joneses isn't. Period. We are so materialistic in this day and age, and it's never popular to go against the current trend. I hope we'll try though in some way. 

Today, the kids and I dropped off a shoebox filled with little toys, crayons, a bar of soap, etc. for Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan's Purse). It cost us $37 to fill the box plus a $10 donation. A needy child on the other side of the world will receive that box. That will likely be all they get for Christmas.

Perspective. I hope we keep ours in the midst of this craziness. Wasn't thanksgiving just yesterday? 

Let's stop and give thanks, remembering how good we've got it. We certainly have it better than we deserve. 

Praying for contentment.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Read & Dine

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you south of the border! I hope you have an enjoyable, relaxing and thankful holiday. Most of you will be spending some time at your dining table, enjoying a fine feast. Here are some cozy dining rooms for you to peruse. One element in each of the rooms that brings the cozy is books. There's something about a shelf of books that welcomes you and entices you to sit down and read (or eat)!

Gosh! Am I fueling my husband's book addiction? Oh dear.


Image sources: House and Home (2 images); Apartment Therapy; Lonny Mag (2 images) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beautiful Brass

Ah... Brass. It's good. It's lovely. And these brass tables by Jan Showers are perfection! 

And then there's this brass table available at Neiman Marcus. So stunning.

I also found these great styles at Baker. Lovely and Classic.


Brass has certainly enjoyed a recent comeback. You can bring it into your home in smaller ways if you're not digging those coffee tables as much as me.

Sources: via pinterest (2 images); Apartment Therapy; Design Sponge; House and Home; via pinterest (2 images); Jonathan Adler; The Zhush (trays and pencil holder); Jonathan Adler; Martha Sturdy (2 pieces)

And here are a few brass accents for the home that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Brass on a budget! 

So, are you big on brass these days too? I guess everything that goes around, come around. I remember my parent's having a brass bed when I was growing up. I really didn't like it, and eventually they got rid of it. Perhaps I'd feel differently about it now. The brass was very shiny and yellow though; I seem to prefer the antique or burnished brass look. How about you?

O.k. and just to make this post ridiculously long, look at these rather awesome DIY projects I found in my "travels".

Take this light fixture from IKEA.

Spray paint it with this (Burnished Brass Rustoleum Spray Paint). 

And you get this!

Source: Amy Butler's House Tour

Take this boring, old coffee table.

And with some spray paint and a new, dark-stained top, you get this!

Full tutorial here.

O.k. and one more. Take two basic IKEA lack tables and add brass corners. Genius!

Source: Unknown (found via pinterest)

People make beautiful stuff... beautiful brass stuff. Yes, indeed. Have a great day, friends!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recipe: Black Bottom Cupcakes

As I mentioned yesterday, I had plans to do some baking (something I haven't done in a while). I'm a lover of all things sweet, but this particular cupcake is a true favourite. I haven't shared any recipes for a while, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to pass this one on to you. It's a real gooder! Kind of like eating cheesecake wrapped in chocolate cake. Tempting? I think so.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 Egg
1/3 C. Sugar
6 oz. Chocolate Chips
1 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Flour
1/4 C. Cocoa
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 C. Water
1/2 C. Oil
1 tbsp. Vinegar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix the first 4 ingredients together and set aside. Beat together the rest of the ingredients. Half fill muffin liners or greased muffin tins. Add one big tsp. of cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Note: Will fall when baked. Cool fully or will seem raw. 

Yummo! Wish I could pass a few on to you. I guess you'll just have to imagine how good they taste, and then try the recipe for yourself!


images via pinterest

Monday, November 21, 2011

Graphic Rugs

Graphic rugs are all the rage right now, and I can certainly understand why. They are bold, beautiful, and eye-catching without being too busy. There's a simplicity to them, but they're anything but boring.

I realize most of these pictures feature the rugs in living rooms, but that bold, graphic look can work perfectly in nearly any and every space.

Thankfully there are some good sources for handsome but affordable rugs. Here are some of my favourites.

Shades of Light (Most of these rugs are between $300-$400 for the 5x8 size.) 

IKEA has a few to choose from too. (Prices vary from $30-$400.)

(I'm sure there are other great sources out there, but I'm still on the hunt to find them. Let me know if you know of a good source.) 

And speaking of rugs, I've had it in my head that I just might want a Persian rug in my future kitchen. It would look something like this...

I think it really cozies up the space.

Alright. Well, you have yourself a fabulous day and a good start to your week. I'm actually going to be doing some baking today (something I haven't done in a very long time). We're having a cookie exchange at the mom's group I'm a part of. I'll be starting my Tuesday morning with a major sugar load. Oh yeah. 


Image sources: House and Home; Elle Decor; via pinterest; Lonny Mag (2 images); Angie Hranowsky; via pinterest; House and Home; kitchen via pinterest; kitchen via Lonny Mag