Monday, July 21, 2014

What to do when that wine bottle is empty...

We had a great dinner out with friends Saturday night at Imperial restaurant.  We dined alfresco on the sidewalk of downtown Portland and watched the world go by, as we enjoyed the summer temps and great conversation.

The food was delicious, but it was the water carafe that grabbed my attention.  The server left us a recycled liquor bottle of water to help ourselves.  What a great idea!  (an even better idea would have been to take a picture of it...)

Here are some similar ideas I found on the web.

This one stenciled on the word water after peeling off the label.  
(another good idea!)


Make a tag for the bottle so everyone knows what to expect. 

This one looks like an old milk container.


Maybe design the bottle towards a party theme?


 I have a wine bottle soaking in sudsy water as we speak.  
Once the label is off, the possibilities are endless!  

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Curtain inspiration turned into reality ~

If you enjoy decorating, and you don't already receive Ballard Designs catalog, order it now!  Their catalog is full of decorating inspiration and gorgeous products.

Page 95 of the June 2014 catalog caught my eye most recently.  The curtains in this bedroom are hung from hooks, no rods needed.  Unfortunately, the picture I found on the web cuts off the hooks. 

Here's my phone picture of the catalog page.

We have some challenging windows in our Master Bedroom.  There are 4 tall windows on a curve, with 4 small windows above them.  I love all the natural light.

I'm aiming for a relaxed feel in here, and don't want anything heavy, so I borrowed the idea of attaching the curtains to hooks.

I'm trying to keep the cost down as well.  These inexpensive sheers from Cost Plus seemed to do the trick.  They came with 7 hanging loops on each panel, but I only needed 3 loops for 3 hooks, so I trimmed the extra loops off. 

Here they are with the loops gone.

Hooks are from Target.

Now to find some interesting tie back hardware....right now they're just pinned.

What catalogs inspire you?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Round Coffee Table Search is Over

I have been looking for just the right round coffee table for the past few months.  I wasn't having any luck at my usual shopping spots....Cost Plus, Home Goods, Pier 1.  After doing some looking online, I found this one.

I liked the rustic wood and the iron legs.  We have an iron staircase in our house, as well as an iron railing in a loft area that overlooks our family room.  Seemed like a perfect piece!

I tried to order it online in May, only to find out it was on back order for several weeks.  Don't you hate when that happens?  I was in no hurry, so I placed the order.  After several weeks I had an email that it was on it's way.  A week later, I called to check on the status of the shipment only to be told it wasn't shipped and still back ordered!  Ugh.  Needless to say, I cancelled the order.

Then I looked at these possibilities...


....but none of them were exciting me, then I checked and there it was, the round coffee table I tried to order in May.  Right next to the table description it said, "only 9 left"!  I immediately ordered and had my new round coffee table a week later.

Here it is in it's new home ~


I guess patience pays off ~ who knew :)

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Making the most of a small backyard

We've always had small backyards.  Our new house is no exception, but we've had it landscaped to make the most of it.

Our main goal was to have a significant water feature installed to block some of the road noise behind our house.

We succeeded!  The water falls don't block out all the noise, but they're a very nice distraction.  We're really enjoying it.

Another nice feature to our new backyard is the covered deck. 

I love sitting out here with coffee in the morning.  

This is the other side of the yard.  Very little grass to maintain, but lots of entertaining space.

We also included a fire pit for summer s'mores and chilly evenings.

And, my attempt at a garden.  A very small garden, but it's a start.  I'm anxious to see if I can do it, and if this is a good location for growing.  I'm trying to grow cherry tomatoes, peppers and strawberries (only 3 strawberries because I planted late ~ maybe next year).

And, at dusk, a little landscape lighting.  We've never had the lights....I like 'em!

Looking forward to some outdoor fun this week with the holiday!  
Happy 4th of July ~

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Salad for the Fourth of July ~

I made this salad several times last summer, and just recently last weekend for my daughter's soccer team BBQ.  I found the recipe in a Better Homes & Garden magazine years ago.  I love it because it's super easy to make AND you can make it a day ahead of time.  It's always a hit!  The blueberries in the salad surprise people every time.

Corn and Blueberry Salad Ingredients
6 fresh sweet corn
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp salt

Cook corn until tender.  When cool enough to handle, cut corn from the cobs.  In a large bowl combine cut corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. 

For the dressing: In a screw top jar mix lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin, and salt.  Cover and shake well.  Add dressing to salad and toss.  Cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hrs).  Enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July Week!  
Hope you're planning some fun with family and friends.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chalkboard for a teens room

We're in the middle of decorating my 13 year old daughter's new bedroom.  One of her requests was to have a chalkboard wall in her new room.  I wasn't on board with doing a whole wall in chalkboard paint (can you imagine the chalk dust?).  We compromised on a smaller chalkboard.

I looked at several Goodwill's for a large frame to re-furbish for this project, but had no luck.  I ended up buying the cheapest, large frame, I could find at Target.  The frame is 24" x 36".  I disassembled the frame/glass/backing, using only the frame itself for this project.  It had been black before I got to it with some white gloss spray paint.  

I taped off an area on the wall a little larger than the 24" x 36" frame opening so none of the wall color would show through the inside frames edges, and painted directly on the wall.

The frame "lip" also serves as a great spot to rest your chalk.

The entire wall is more of a gallery wall of art. 

The art includes a canvas of our dog, Sadie, a photo of my daughter's hands with ice cream and lots of colorful bracelets, and other miscellaneous stuff. 

She likes quotes about smiling :)

Keep on smiling!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where It All Happens - The Family Room

Our new house has a very open concept with high ceilings.  Here's the family room where all the real living happens (or all the lounging after busy days).

One of my husband's our first purchases was a TV that would fit perfectly in that built in space.  Not an inch left on either side!  Now, how to hide those cords???

We moved in with a sofa and two chairs for this room, but with two teenagers and two parents ready to stretch out at 9:00 at night we agreed a sectional (this is from Macy's) was needed.  Trust me, we make great use of this large piece!

I'm trying to find a round coffee table for in here, but no luck yet.  And, I'm still trying to figure out what to put on the mantel of the massive stone fireplace.  I'm thinking something simple because the stone is pretty (and busy) on it's own....hmmmmm....any suggestions?

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