Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Superbowl Party Planning. Game On.

I've been feeling bored/bland/uninspired lately, but thankfully the most unexpected thing came along and got my creative juices flowing again- Football!  Well not football specifically of course, you know I'm talking about Super Bowl Sunday and I've got some party planning to do!

Alex and I had been thinking about having a few friends over to watch the game but it was just yesterday during work that I got an text from him that said "I sent the invites out for Sunday. The game starts at 5:30 so I have it scheduled from 4:30-10:00."  Confirmed, Super Bowl party is on. I responded with a quick "Cool, I'll start pinning ideas!!!!"  Then he said something like "Don't over complicate things darling"  Ahhh my husband knows me all too well :)  But without any other big projects going on and a bad case of the winter-blahs, I was pumped to noodle on party ideas!  I also wanted to do a bit more than slapping a bunch of pizzas on our table like we did last year- nothing wrong with that either though!

I've been looking for food ideas, drinks, decor, and perhaps even a game during the game?  Curious about what I've been noodling on so far?  Here's a look!
Bingo game via Style Me Pretty  |  Beer Beverage Bin via Evite  |  Bloody Mary Bar via Southern Living  |  Wings, fries & butcher paper via Making it with Danielle  |  Beer tub & popcorn set up via Target  |  Wings & blue cheese dip via The Dinner Concierge  |  Home made kettle chips via William Meppem  |  Butcher paper & food bags via Party Frosting  |  
I'm totally loving the idea of using butcher paper or small paper bags for serving- with that, simple bar foods like wings, chips, pretzels, peanuts, fries, and some kind of dip (Super Bowl requires dips, not sure why but it just does) seems like a good plan and do-able for a person like me who hates cooking :)   My favorite though is the bingo game idea since commercials are a huge part of the whole Super Bowl experience and a little more interesting/interactive than just betting on the game.  What do you think?

I'll be sure to share pics from our little super bowl party to let you know how things turned out.  I admit that party planning and entertaining isn't a skill I've mastered yet :)  I always have fun with it, but things typically don't turn out the way I hoped or I end up scrambling at the last minute.   We'll see, wish me luck!

What do you think of the Super Bowl party ideas?

What other food, drink, game, or party decor ideas have you been inspired by for your own party?

Do you have any party planning or entertaining tips that might help me?  Please share if you do!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Wonderland to Winter-Bland

Blah.  I don't know about you, but I find this time of year particularly uninspiring... and boring.  We're past the holiday excitement, the new year celebrations, and what was once a cute winter wonderland has now become plain ol' winter bland.

That is exactly how our house has been feeling too lately- bland and blah.  I decided to warm up our mantel with some mini red curled wood wreaths as a Valentine's nod but beyond that things are still feeling pretty boring around here.

Anyone else feeling the winter-bland and blahs kind of feeling?
Where have you found some home decor inspiration for this time year?

I've been going a little crazy Pinterest-pinning the last couple of days, hope to get some fun decorating ideas to spice things up around here.  We'll see!  Have a great weekend everybody!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Year of 30

And so it begins for Alex, myself, and many friends of ours... this is the year all of us 1984 born babies turn the big 3-0.  Thankfully, my handy hubby is blazing the trail for me and perhaps many more of you out there!  Today, my handy husband is celebrating his thirtieth birthday!

All I have to say is a simple birthday wish to my love- 
Here's to a year filled with courageous things, followed dreams, and the pursuit of happiness every day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My New Workspace Set Up!

Ready to get a look at a new room in the house AND see where those newly painted crates went?!?  Of course you are!  Here's a look at my new workspace...
I've been working on turning this little space into my workspace since finishing up my whole closet room set up.  You might be able to tell from the photos but this workspace is the opposite end of my closet room (accessible only through our Master Bedroom).
So it's basically a single long narrow room serving two purposes- Both just for me!

It's a pretty simple set up using some older furniture we had but I did purchase the chair for $15 and the spaghetti lady artwork for $20 (both from Ikea).  I'm pretty pumped to finally have a space where I can work on projects as well as store and organize all the random sewing/crafting stuff I've collected over the years.  NOTE: I refuse to call it a "Craft Room" because then I'll feel like a tacky old lady... and yes, deep down I really am... so I guess the phrase just irks me.

Now to those old crates that got a fresh paint makeover during my Arctic Vortex boredom spell!  Puzzled together and stacked up, they ended up creating the perfect shelving unit to store fabrics and the smallest size made for a nice storage bin....
You might remember those crates from LONG ago DIY project where we made a shelving unit out of crates on caster wheels?  I think the new white painted finish is a nice change giving them a cleaner, more modern look.  Gotta love an easy way to freshen up something you grew tired of and stashed in the basement right?!

I'm sure my little workspace will keep evolving (like every room seems to) but the only things I still need as of now include desk storage/organization type items and a desk lamp.... I think?  Hmmm

What else should I add in my workspace?
How do you set up or organize your office/workspace?
Are you liking the look so far?  What should I change up?

***  I'd love to hear your suggestions and/or what you think of the space, let me know!  ***

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Award Show Kickoff! Thoughts on the Fashion & Films?

I know this isn't a typical blog topic, but since it's something I enjoy following along with I thought you might too?  So let's chat!

Award show season is upon us!  You know what that means right?!  Yes- movies, TV, but more importantly is the red carpet fashion!  I can't help it, the high heels side of me is a total sucker for all the red carpet news coverage and there's plenty of it going on tonight for the Golden Globes! So before we get into TV & movies up for awards, I have to ask the most important question first...

Who's red carpet look are you digging most?  Here's who caught my eye...  
Leslie Mann in Dolce & Gabbana, Reese Witherspoon in Calvin Klein,  Margot Robbie in Gucci, Olivia Wilde in Gucci Premiere, Channing Tatum in Gucci with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Amber Heard in Versace
Okay, onto movies and TV!
I admit that Alex and I were (again) pretty lazy around the house, but thankfully we were able to get out and about this weekend!  We decided to check out a couple of the most buzzed about movies which included American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Have you seen either film?  What did you think?
Did American Hustle live up to the hype?
Was The Wolf of Wall Street offensive or did it depict a true crazy story well?

We saw Dallas Buyers Club a few weeks ago, but there's a bunch more we still need to see- 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Her, Captain Phillips, Nebraska, and August: Osage County.  Geeze that is a lot to get to- Which films should we make sure not to miss?

When it came to TV, Alex did a serious Breaking Bad marathon.  I caught most of the first, second, and last seasons.  Gotta give it to Brian Cranston, he's the man in that role!  We're cheering him on tonight for sure!   That said... 

Who are you rooting for at this year's award shows?
Did anyone get robbed?


I promise to share that other DIY from last weekend this week!  This is what I painted but what I am doing with them will be a lot more fun to look at, more to come soon!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Versatile Zippered Clutch DIY!

Hello from Antarctica Minneapolis!  It's 1 single sexy little degree this evening here in the Twin Cities, well on our way to a balmy -17 for the night.... ahhh the splendor of the northern midwest!  I'm happy to report that I did in fact get my buns off the couch over the weekend for some DIY action!  I decided to tackle the DIY clutch bag idea first (link to inspiration here).

So glad I did!  How simple and cute is this little zippered clutch?!?!
If you have experience using a sewing machine, it's so SUPER easy to make one of your own!  I whipped one up in about 20 minutes..... sew easy, I decided to make two clutches!

All I needed was some leather or faux leather fabric, scissors, zipper, sewing thread, sewing machine and pins.  I cut the leather/faux leather to the size I wanted and found a zipper to fit.  The gold one above measures 8.25" x 11.0" (fits and iPad perfectly!) and the larger one I made measures 10.0" x 14.0, perfect for throwing a good amount of random crap in :)   Curious how to make one? Let's get to it!

Here's how I tackled making one of these versatile little clutch bags! 
Start by cutting two pieces of fabric for the front and back of your clutch.  The photos below are of the 10.0" x 14.0" clutch I made so I cut two pieces of my faux leather fabric, both 10.0" x 14.0" in size.

Then it's time to get the zipper stitched in place along the top edge/opening of what will be the front side of the clutch.  With this step, I pinned the zipper in place face down along the top edge of my faux leather then stitched in place.  Once that step was complete and the zipper was attached to the fabric, I turned the zipper face up and did another line of stitching on top of the leather 2mm from the seam where the leather and the zipper meet.
The extra line of stitching provides a cleaner look and allows the zipper to sit flat once the bag is finished :)

Next, you need to attach the back side of the clutch fabric/ faux leather to the zipper.  Take the second piece of faux leather and place it on top of the first piece and line it up with the zipper (make sure the right side of the fabric is faced down as shown in top right photo below).  Stitch the second piece of fabric attaching it to the other side of the zipper.  Then with the zipper attached, lay both right sides of the faux leather face up and stitch the back side fabric 2mm from the zipper & leather seam (top right image below).... You will basically repeat the steps you did for the front piece of fabric attached to the zipper.
Once you have the zipper completed, place the back fabric piece on top of the front so the wrong sides of the fabric face out and then pin together.  Next simply stitch along the three outer sides 0.25" from the edge of the fabric.

That's pretty much it!  Then turn that sucker right side out, situate the zipper a bit and you are done!
Super easy if you know your way around a sewing machine right?!?!

I have to tell you that I've been calling the larger version my "work clutch" and I LOVE IT!  It's totally useful for the office- Instead of carrying a big ol' purse around or stacking little random stuff on my laptop when I'm on the go to meetings, I've been stashing all the goodies I like to keep on hand in my new little "work clutch"....  (cell phone, pen, pencil, measuring tape, iPad, mints, credit card, etc.) 
The Work Clutch idea is pretty b*tching right?  (sorry I am obsessed with b*tching lately for things I love)!

Aside from the DIY clutches, I tackled one more little DIY project during the Arctic Vortex :)  The second coat of paint on project #2 is drying and then I'll get it all gussied up to share!  Stay tuned for more DIY action!

What do you think of the DIY clutch?!? What color fabric and zipper would you use if you made one?
What project do you think I tackled for DIY #2?!?!
Did you tackle a fun DIY while you've been stuck inside due to the nasty weather?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In Need of a Fun DIY While I'm Stuck Inside

Anyone else feeling like their January is off to a slow start?  It is BITTERLY cold here in Minnesota- like high of -20 degrees kind of cold, -40 if you factor in the wind chill temps.  Unreal right?!  I am worried if I leave the house my nostrils and eyeballs will freeze!  So what have I been doing while trapped in the house?  Naturally, I've been sitting around in my jammies watching Bravo and pinning things on Pinterest with the dogs piled around me :) Hmmm, does that even count as doing something? Ha!

So, since I'm stuck inside I thought I could tackle one or two of the DIY ideas that I pinned....

I think most of the nation endured snow storms and a killer cold snap this week with sub-zero temperatures on the way starting tomorrow, so I figure I am not alone on this "I'm trapped in the house with nothing to do" kind of feeling.  Come on, help a gal get her buns off the couch :) 

What do you think?  
Which DIY project or two should I tackle?
What projects are you taking on if you are stuck inside this weekend?
Do you have a fun DIY project idea you've recently completed?

Stay warm this weekend! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Operation Deep Soak" Complete, Our Bathroom Became a Swan at Last!

Time to kick off 2014 with our completed "Operation Deep Soak" project reveal!!!  Checking this off the to-do honey-do list!!!!
Now before I continue, I have to ask if you remember "The Swan" TV show?  I kept thinking that is what this post is like- our old crummy bathroom became the decent, beautiful Swan it was always meant to be!  (And yes I still think that Swan show was pretty good yet creepy, mostly creepy due to the "here's your brand new face" reveal)... 

Anyway... my point is that once we finished "Operation Deep Soak", it seemed like our bathroom was finally done and that we didn't need to fix or update anything else in the room.  I know it isn't uber luxury type standard but our little 'one butt bathroom'  certainly became a nicer space I could stand having our two butts in at one time....

So much easier on the eyes right?  It was a REALLY long road getting here, and that road began back in 2010 and went all the way to the tail end of 2013.  I guess you can say we did it all in stages, so here's a rundown of all the projects we did leading up to the last addition of the new tub & tile surround to update the whole look of the bathroom (links to blog posts included below)...

The final touch we needed was the bath alcove and once we were ready take it on Alex got"Operation Deep Soak" underway by tearing that sucker out!

I was overseas travelling for work during this time and one thing Alex didn't mention in his post was that he scored that Kohler Bancroft tub on Craigslist for $400!!!!  MAJOR SCORE considering it retails for around $850, I was so pumped when he told me (and I can't believe he didn't brag about that in his posts, who doesn't love bragging about a major Craigslist score?!?).

After the tub was installed into the alcove, he prepped the alcove for tiling...

Then the tiling process began!  This stage also included a full week of baths only since we couldn't get the walls wet :) I kind of got sick of my fancy new tub at that time, can't lie.  Anyway...

When the tiling was complete Alex had to put the beadboard back on the walls and touch up some paint around the alcove space, but it was done at last....

... Ahem, ALL of the bathroom was finally done at last!!!

That's a wrap on "Operation Deep Soak" as well as the whole darn bathroom then I guess?!  So, what do you think?

- Did our bathroom "duckling" become a true "Swan"?
- What do you think of the new deep soak tub and white tile surround in the alcove?
- Is there anything you would change in the room (paint color, decor, etc)?
- Should we ditch the shower curtain and install a glass shower screen?

I'm really curious on what you think when it comes to that last question.  I've gotten some inspiration on Pinterest but I don't know if it will fit our old, traditional type look?  Hmmmm...  Let me know!