Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Sometimes I wonder if other people fixate on things as much as I do. Case in point, when I came across this lovely quatrefoil mirror from Lowe's (yes, Lowe's. Can you believe?!) about a year ago, I knew I had to have it. I would check online every few months to see how it was doing, if it was still there, etc.

Side note: Their Allen+Roth line actually has some cute stuff in it.

Why it took me nearly a year to buy it? I have no clue. But at around $65 for a 30X30 mirror, the price was definitely right.

So I finally took the plunge and ordered this little gem. It now lives in my guest room and I couldn't love it more.

Funny enough, last time I was at Target (OK, let's be honest, I usually hit that store around once per week), I actually found a really similar quatrefoil mirror, but smaller and way cheaper ($19.99 sounds great to me!)
(I totally forgot to take a picture, so this photo is from here!)

And I also found this awesome starburst mirror.
(really, $24?!)

It seems like the "starburst above the bed in the master bedroom" or "starburst above the couch" look is everywhere! I've also seen lots of DIY starburst mirror tutorials (but at $24 for this Target knock-off, I'd skip the DIY :-)

I don't need any more mirrors, but seriously considering going to buy it. Anyone else crushing on any mirrors I should know about?!

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crafty Bitches: Tray Love

The only thing I love more than a good DIY project is crafting with friends. This past weekend, I spent the day with my pal Kendall (you may remember her from this fun crafting project) and we tackled a fun, easy and quick cute DIY tray. Kendall is a great friend who loves to craft and is the only other person I know who loves West Elm as much as me.

So, let's get to it.

The pinspiration came from this little diddy:

It's actually a cookie tray covered in fabric with Plexiglas on top. We both decided pretty quick we wanted something smaller. Kendall wanted a tray for her bathroom and I wanted matching trays for our bedside tables.

The supplies:
Silver mini-trays from the Dollar store ($1/each)
Fabric from Joann's Fabrics ($8/yard, but I only used maybe 1/4 of that)
Plexiglas cut to size from Lowe's ($3/each)
Pre-cut felt (.33/each)
Spray adhesive (already had)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS PROJECT: Maybe $6 per tray ($12 total)

I found this amazing orange fabric, which I thought would be a great pop of color for our nightstand in our navy and orange master bedroom.

Kendall found this bright ikat-ish fabric (on clearance, mind you!) that is going to work perfect in her bathroom and bedroom. She even bought enough to make a throw pillow down the road.

The steps were really quite easy:
1. Cut the fabric ensuring there's several inches of slack on each side
2. Spray adhesive on the tray and the back of the fabric
3. Carefully press the fabric and glue the fabric to the back (pull the corners tight so there's no bumps) - it doesn't matter how bad it looks on the back because it's going to be covered up!

4. Use spray adhesive on the back of the tray and felt and carefully press the felt (this isn't mandatory, but provides a no-scratch bottom)
Just like Martha would do!

5. Place the plexiglas down (which we had pre-cut for us at Lowe's) - they refuse to round the corners, so we simply took a sanding block I found in the hubby's toolbox and rounded them ourselves.

But why listen to me, when Martha provides this great video tutorial?!

Here's the final product:

My tray on my nightstand (and a sneak peak at our new bedding!):

Kendall's tray:

Love this craft. I think we spent spent more time in the fabric store than we did actually making the tray. And I now have a deep love for spray adhesive.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Craigslist Creeping

So I mentioned in my last post that when we bought our new furniture, we decided to try our hand at Craigs-listing two pieces we were replacing. I have to preface this by saying that Craigslist creeps me the eff out. Maybe I've seen one too many Today Show specials (much love to Matt Lauer!) on Craigslist killers, maybe it's because I think all strangers are out to kidnap me, but I have never done anything with Craigslist before.

So with that in mind, the hubby and I decided to give it a shot (but agreeing that if at anytime we got a creepy vibe, we would just back out). Well, Craigslisting creepers, you did NOT disappoint.

I was super-careful about picking people who didn't give me a creepy vibe. For example, the one person we sold our chest of drawers was a teacher and had a school email address. She got a green flag. Also, the woman who picked up the nightstand gave me a total, "I'm a Mom and I plan on re-doing this nightstand" vibe (which, by the way, was exactly what I was going to do with it if I didn't sell). She showed up in her mini-van and we felt good about that.
Chest of drawers - SOLD!
Nightstand - SOLD!

While we were Craigslisting the two pieces of furniture, we got to thinking about this annoyance that's been sitting in our garage. That would be this huge-ass stack of bricks:

So we put up a listing that said if someone would come pick them up, they could have them. And then the creepers came crawling out of the woodwork.

Introducing exhibit A:

Here are some easy ways to NOT be a creeper on Craigslist:
1. Whoa, buddy. Easy on the exclamation points
2. Emailing repeatedly (i.e. 5 times in one day) asking for an address = doesn't get any creepier
3. Try not to channel the whole "I'm going to murder you" vibe

Obviously this guy DID NOT come to pick up the bricks, instead we found a guy who has a local business (Google-approved!) that picked them up.

I've got to be honest, after we got rid of the stuff, the hubby and I were on a bit of a Craigslist high. What else did we have to Craigslist?! Plus, we made 140 bucks (re-thinking the asking price considering the fact that I'm still getting emails from people wanting to buy the dresser and nightstand!), which we're using on (of course) our new bedroom stuff.

So, has anyone else had any amazing Craigslist finds/creepy experiences? I'm thinking about venturing back out into the Craigslist world when I finally commit to redoing a piece of accent furniture.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Master Bedroom Part IV: Piecing it Together

It's HERE, it's HERE! It's finally here! After talking about it FAR longer than I ever intended to, a big piece of our bedroom re-do has arrived. Yes, we finally put on our grown-up panties and got bedroom furniture. I ordered this lovely headboard (I really do love it) several months ago and have been putting off getting the rest for some time. But over the holidays, Greg and I set out to choose furniture. The old stuff? We Craigs-listed a couple of pieces, but more to come on that later!

After salesperson-dodging at several stores, we finally found the perfect set at Weir's in Plano. And lucky us, we just happened to run in on the day of their annual sale. (Um, holler.)

And little did I know the store actually has an outlet store upstairs. I'm pretty sure I blacked out from excitement when I was up there. I just remember the hubby saying, "OK, I think you've had enough for one day. Let's go..." as he pulled me from this glorious place.

And I came across this little number that I'm quite sure needs to live in my guest bedroom. Even though it was on sale, there are just so many other things I'd like to spend $700 on so we moved on.
(forgot to snap a pic of it in-store, but it looked just like this!)

So, here's one shot of the room with our new espresso, traditional furniture.

Also, after obsessing about it for months now and a couple of failed shopping attempts, the hubby sent me off to go buy these gorgeous West Elm lamps I've been wanting for months now.
(the silver one)

The problem? They are back-ordered until April. So my goal of having the bedroom re-do complete by the end of busy season, probably not all that doable.

The next step is new bedding (which I'm hoping to tackle this weekend), wall decor and accessories.

Baby steps...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crafty Bitch: Meal Planning

When I think "meal plan," my mind automatically goes to freshman year of college when every meal I ate was purchased from my meal plan. It was like this magic little credit card that bought me any food on campus I could ever hope for. Chick-fil-a in the student union, mixers for that date party in the student convenient store (sorry, Mom!), pizza bagels from the cafe, you name it.

Well, fast-forward to the real life and sadly enough, there is no magic credit card (at least not one that we don't have to pay off every month) that my parents under-write and meal planning means sitting down each week to decide what we're going to eat for dinner and making a grocery list. It's a sexy life, but someone has to put on her sexy sweatpants and go grocery shopping. (Oh don't worry, I plan on upgrading to the Frisco Mom uniform of a Juicy Couture track suit as soon as I have children. I mean, as if you even had to ask.)

So, when I came across these little erasable menu boards on Pinterest, I just had to put the craftiness into action and I actually really use it.

It took all of about 10 minutes to complete (my kind of craft). I picked up this frame from Ikea for like $7, a cute piece of scrapbook paper, some scrapbook letters and um, voila?

(Of course I had to pay homage to my alma mater with the orange and white paper! Think it looks just great next to my OK State Scentsy.)

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd share a few recipes that we've tried recently that we give two enthusiastic thumbs up.

First up, we tried out these (skinny) chicken rollatinis and thought they were fantastic. You also have to use a meat hammer and I found that to be therapeutic. I also forgot to take a picture until we'd already eaten several. Woops.

We LOVE seafood so when I stumbled across this spicy cajun chicken pasta recipe, we subbed the chicken with shrimp and it was ah-mazing.

We've gone on an appetizer kick lately and tried a few items:
(OK, I lost the recipe. But they were delish.)

Jalapeno poppers (though I'd recommend cutting back on the cumin; we're also going to wrap them in bacon next time!)

OK, so let's get real: my avocado fries didn't look this pretty, they took forever and made my house smell like a KFC for several days, but I have to admit: They. Were. Freaking. Awesome.

Does anyone else obsessively meal plan?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Aunt Lauren and Kruncle G

As you may or may not know, we're going to be an aunt and uncle!!

I found out this amazing news at Thanksgiving when my older sister surprised us all and have been sitting on this lovely little secret for about six weeks now.

It went down like this:
We were all gathered in the living room of my Mom and Step-dad's house and she told us that she had printed off some photos for each of us (we had all been together a couple of months prior and she had taken some pics of the family); it wasn't really that odd for her to do. So, she each gave us a stack of photos... we were all casually flipping through them and the third picture was of this:
(She's a knitter - can you tell?!) P.S. I marked out her name for privacy reasons...

Of course, everyone was so excited, I got weepy... nothing too shocking there.
(me with the Momma-to-be)


So the same weekend we found out, the hubby was joking that he wants to have a cool uncle name and threw out Kruncle, which somehow morphed into Kruncle G ("Krunc" for short) - again, as a joke - but for some reason it just stuck.

So it goes without saying that we are so excited for July 2012, when this little blessing will enter our lives. And of course, Kruncle G and Aunt Lauren Can. Not. Wait. :-)

Side note: It hasn't happened yet, but I'm just waiting for the day when I meander pass the baby wing of the mall (ever notice how they lump all the adorable baby stores and boutiques together?), spot a sale at Baby Gap and black out, only to wake up an hour later with lots of bags and far less money. It's really only a matter of time...

And I came across these precious little Toms for babies that I think this child will have to have.

I mean, what are aunts for?!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Obligatory New Years Post

Hap-hap-happy New Years everyone! I hope everyone had a fun New Years. The hubby and I had the best New Years Eve ever. The past several years we've gone out to dinner, attended parties, done the whole "trying for 45 minutes to catch a cab in downtown Dallas fun", but this year, we decided (a long time ago, actually) that we would spend a low-key evening together at home. We made fun appetizers and grilled out. We watched the Soup clip-down (duh). Watched some Mad Men. And we drank. Oh yes, we drank. And. It. Was. Awesome.

I must say that although 2011 was a good year (it had its up and downs), I am beyond excited for 2012. There are some exciting things to look forward to this year - which I'll tell you all about later - but really the new year is a great time to get a fresh start.

I'm not much for making huge resolutions that no one ever sticks with longer than a month. Unfortunately for me, I've been making promises to my husband for the past three months about all my new resolutions.
The scene generally follows something like this:
G: Lauren, your clothes are all over the floor in the bedroom again. I thought you said you were going to start picking up?
L: Oh, babe, it's a new year's resolution. *Ahem* I'm going to do really great in 2012.

I read somewhere that if you put your resolutions out there, you're more likely to keep them up, so here's to keeping me accountable:
1. Pick up after myself (in particular, not leaving clothes on the bed or floor) *promise to Greg
2. Turns lights off in room when I leave (except when Greg is out of town. Then, I do what I want.) *promise to Greg
3. Run a 5K
4. Finish decorating master bedroom by the end of the hubby's busy season
5. Continue the Crafty Bitchiness

So, there are a few of mine. Notice there are no "Run at least 4 times/week" resolutions that I know I won't keep?

Anyone already blown any of their resolutions? I'm doing fantastic so far as of Day 4.

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Happy Blogiversary to me! Errr, I have to admit, I'm a little shocked that no one sent flowers or cards for this momentous occasion... ;-)

I can't believe it's been one year since I started this little blog. I started this as something fun to do while the hubby is working long hours during busy season and as a way for loved ones to keep up on what we were up to. I'm actually still amazed when I run into friends/people I haven't seen in a while and someone comments on the blog. I was quite convinced I would have a readership of around nine people, so it still shocks me that people actually care what I have to say.

Over the past year, I've told you about where we stand in the food chain of the suburbs, started the crafty bitchiness, started a new job, updated not one, not two, but (starting on) three rooms in our sweet home, told you about my crazy neighbors (yes, that's plural), tried to overcome my fear of staying at home alone (unsuccessfully), survived an A/C crash (a very dark time in our home), crashed a few houses, had some ups and downs, had much to celebrate about and had a little holiday fun. Overall, it was a good year but am VERY happy to ring in 2012.

Here are the top 5 most popular (or at least most visited) posts from 2011:
5. Big News = Pregnancy? Not so fast.
4. Guest Bedroom: The Saga Continues (Part Deux)
3. Guest Bedroom: The Saga Continues (Part 1)
2. Check Yo Self Before You Audit Yo Self
1. Home Decorating Update: Master Bathroom

This year, I'm excited to continue the blogging fun with what I hope will be a few minor changes. First, I'm going to give the blog a little face lift (don't worry - just a little nip and tuck here and there), which I hope to finish before Spring.

Also, I think I'm finally going to have a couple of guest posts this year. The hubby and I have even talked about HIM doing a post. I can hardly wait to hear what he has to say... :-)

Finally, if you'd like to you can follow the blog a few different ways - if you have a Google account, click on the "Join this Site with Google Friend Connect" button on the right side of the blog. Or you can scroll down in the same area of the blog where you'll find a "Follow blog by Email" option; type in your email and be notified when there's a new post.

Thanks again for reading my silly little blog!