Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feeling Rugged

Wait. Stop. I feel I have misled you. If you think this is a post about me attempting something outdoorsy, well you should really know better, shouldn't you? Oh no, make no mistake about it. This post is about rugs.

I love a good rug. I think it can make a whole room come together magically. So, I woke up on Monday morning of the long holiday thinking of rugs. I know. Sexy, right? The hubby was still sleeping so I fell into an online shopping vortex. The good news is that I'm back. The bad news is I'm feeling just mildly obsessed with getting a new rug for our living room.

We are literally putting the final touches on our Master Bedroom Re-do, so I'm already thinking of what mini-project to take on next. We're going to be replacing all the carpet in our house, so I say "mini-project" as that's what a large portion of our "house fund" is being spent on this summer. So, I believe a living room refresh is in order. More to come on that later, but in the meantime... RUGS.

So, RugsUSA was having a major sale. (It's recently downgraded from 60% off to 35% off, but whatevs.) I've researched and read the reviews - I get the impression their rugs are on the lower quality side, but would be perfect for a low-traffic area such as under a dining room table or in that guest bedroom that is visited once every other month.

1 / 2 / 3
It's no secret I love West Elm. And they have fantastic rugs as evidenced by the huge-ass rug in our master bedroom that is all kinds of orange and all kinds of awesome. Here are a few of my faves from there right now:

1 / 2
I stumbled across this site - Shades of Light - during a pretty intense rug Googling session. I thought I'd heard of it before and then realized they actually advertise on one of my fave home decor blogs, Young House Love (holler for a 10% coupon code they offer!). They have some really amazing rugs. They aren't all that affordable, but they are sharp. 

1 / 2 / 3
 I have a feeling this last one needs a home in my living room.

Any other places to look to find a great rug? What am I missing?!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day Drinking Edition

The hubby and I had been looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend for weeks. Our spring has been so crazy busy that this was the first weekend that we had literally no plans. So, with the kick off of my summer Fridays and Greg having a 4-day weekend, we decided to start the weekend in style beginning on Friday at about 1:30 with a little day drinking. Throw in a pool and you've got me interested.

So the weekend before, my pal Whit introduced me to a delicious mixed drink that I want to share with all of you. Here's what you need:

  • Lime Cucumber Gatorade/Sports Drink
  • Vodka
  • Club Soda (optional)
  • Party Panties (required)
Mix 1 part vodka, 2 parts lime cucumber sports drink and a splash of club soda if you like. Or if you're making in bulk, two 32 oz bottles of Gatorade, nearly one full bottle of vodka (we used about 5/6 of a 750 ml bottle) and about 1 cup of club soda. It's not super-sweet, it's refreshing and it does a good job masking the vodka kick.

So, the hubby and I made a pitcher of this and brought it down to the pool, where we proceeded to drink the entire thing. The rest of the evening/night is still pretty fuzzy. Let's be honest, I can hardly remember taking this:
But I distinctly remember us spending a good 30 minutes trying to think of a name for this glorious drink. After about 1/2 the pitcher, we thought Li-Cu Dranky-Drank was perfect - and totally hilarious, right? (Let's face it, everything was  pretty hilarious at that exact point in time.) The next day, we decided it was a bit ghetto. Like calling grape soda "Purple Stuff." So, for now we're sticking with Vodka Lime Cucumber. Original, right?

But the best part of this drink (besides the fact that the hubby likes it as much as I do, which has pretty much never happened) is that the hangover isn't so bad. Maybe it's because you're getting electrolytes from the sports drink, maybe it's because it has a refreshing cucumber after-taste or maybe it's because I was really down to party on my first Summer Friday, but regardless - this is totally worth a try. It will likely make a triumphant return on our Key West trip.

Cheers and Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Shower: How To-ing

So, I got a few questions about some of the DIY stuff I did for my sister's baby shower, so thought I'd show you how I did everything/where I found the directions/etc.

Mason Jars
So, while the mason jars did take some time, they were really easy and made such an awesome addition to the shower. Plus, I still have the jars so can re-use/re-purpose for any other showers/parties/get-togethers.

What you need:
Mason Jars (we bought two dozen - approx $22, but you can surely find them cheaper)
Ribbon (we really wanted stripes and they need to be 7/8 inches, so we ordered ours)
Hot Glue Gun
Super-cute paper-straws (totally optional, but totally worth it)

First - cut ribbon in three different sizes. You'll need the first length to wrap all the way around the jar, the second link to make a loop the size of your bow and the third length to wrap your bow. 

Now simply wrap the ribbon around the mason jar and affix it with a dab of hot glue (trust me on the "dab," it's much easier to scrape off). 

Now make your bow "loop" and glue to close the loop.

  Now take your shortest ribbon, loop it around to make a bow and add a bit of hot glue.

Now, glue the bow to the jar, add a cute straw and VOILA:

Now, repeat 23 more times. See what I mean? Not hard at all, doesn't take that long to do one. Just really repetitive.

Tissue Poufs
Let's face it - tutorials are not my strong suit. I followed these directions and, let's face it, I actually bought a kit to do the teal ones because 1. I couldn't find tissue paper that color and 2. I'm lazy.

Tie Wreath
My original inspiration came from this Father's Day tie wreath I found on Pinny. It was very easy, too. (See a trend, here?)

What you Need:
Men's White Collared Shirt (Go to a thrift store - approx $4)
Men's Tie (Thrift store - approx $2)
Wreath (styrofoam or otherwise - approx $4)
Yarn (approx $3)
Wooden letter ( approx $2)
Spray paint (already owned)

First, wrap the yarn around the wreath like you would for any yarn wreath.Then, take your collared shirt (ensure it's buttoned) and cut down the button line and around the collar and back down. Then, take your tie and have your husband or whatever man in your life tie the tie for you. (Or bonus points if you actually know how to tie a tie yourself!) Wrap the tie around the collar and then I just used straight pens to attach the top of the collar and the bottom to the wreath.

I got a little lazy with the yarn in the back, as you can see...

But overall, it turned out well and the whole thing only cost me about $15. Can I get a "holler"?

So, that's how I knocked out some of the fun decor for the baby shower. Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Big 2 {Gulp} 7

So, remember when you turned 22 and you felt, ugh, so OLD?! Being in college, 22 was ancient. But then you enter the workforce and you're suddenly the youngest one. You're hip, you're stylish, you're cool, you're young (but in a good way). Then, five years past (*tear) and you're suddenly in this weird place where you're not super-young, but not super-old. You still enthusiastically sing along to songs like "So Call Me Maybe" but the idea of going out to the bars is absolutely exhausting. Well that's where I am right now. Twenty-freakin-seven.

So nothing crazy or new to report that I didn't address in last year's birthday post. For my birthday weekend, the hubby was out of town for his brother's bachelor party. I'm still waiting on my "Wife of the Year" award to be delivered. ;-) So, it was a rather quiet weekend. Friday, I picked up some sushi and stayed in to catch up on my DVR. I also finally put my house back together after the baby shower (I mean, as cute as those tissue poufs were, it seemed a bit extreme for everyday dining)

Saturday, I got my hair-did (it was time to go "summer blonde"), laid out by the pool with a few of my besties and later took myself shopping.
I got myself some new items (well, actually it was really a group effort thanks to money and gift cards from my parents/in-laws/grandma) - new shoes and some beach stuff to prepare for our upcoming Key West trip (or Summer Fridays at the pool - either way).

Once the hubby got back in town on Sunday, we went and picked out my birthday present and took me to dinner. He treated me (I mean, how much do you really treat someone if you have a joint checking account, but still!) to a new pair of sunglasses and some new make-up.

Oh, I also FINALLY finished the Harry Potter series *sob* so was looking for *sob* a new book and, ummmmm, *bow-chicka-wow-wow* I picked up this little guy:

Oh get off your high horse and stop judging. Or judge me. Whatever. I'm kind of judging myself.

So overall, nothing too wild to report for the birthday. Although, I did discover the most fantastically wonderful mixed drink over the weekend. Will share soon.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Targeting: Nate Berky

So this is by NO means breaking news, but I just had to share my excitement for the fact that my favorite of Oprah's minions, Nate Berkus, is designing a home collection for Target. Eeeeeee! It's no secret that I love me some Target (who doesn't?!)

Here are a few pieces from his collection:

(from here)
 So I am definitely looking forward to October 2012! Way to go Target.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Books, Bow Ties & Baby Showers

This past weekend, the day we've been planning for months was finally here: my sister's baby shower and it could not have gone better! As I've mentioned, we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted to do - no "theme" per se, but for our sweet little Eli, we asked everyone to bring a book in the place of a card to help build his library. So with that in mind, we wanted to decorate with books and bow ties and we followed the color scheme of the invitation: teal and orange with gray and navy accents. You can see my baby shower inspiration board on Pinterest here.

Here's  how everything looked:

Baby pics of the mom and dad-to-be mixed with some of Heather's favorite books from when she was little. :-)

Me and the Momma-to-be
We decorated with all of our old Dr Seuss/children's books that my Mom dug out of storage. Such a cute, easy and no-cost way to decorate and got me feeling so nostalgic. Pretty sure Greg and I had to read a Berenstein Bears book or two when we were unpacking the books...

DIY'd tie wreath
This DIY tie wreath, which I originally saw on Pinterest, was actually quite easy to do. I got the collared shirt and the J Crew tie from a thrift store for less than $6. I had some assistance from the hubby as I have no clue how to tie a tie. Love, love this simple look for a baby boy. It can be re-purposed for the door of the baby's room and/or the hospital door (apparently decorating hospital doors is a big thing...)
For the "clothespin game," we hot-glued little bow ties on some of the clothespins. (You'll notice bow tie "pins" they are wearing below!) My mom is a super-crafty bitch and sewed all the bow ties herself; while I'm giving shout-outs, she also made that super-cute chevron table runner!

Now, we just have to wait for little Baby Eli to get here - and we're just a little over 8 weeks away!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Owning It

The title of the blog post totally made me think for a second that I was writing about one of the following things:
Women's Rights?

Girl Power?

Snapping your fingers in a Z-formation?

All really good guesses, but it's actually about my car - the Honda-Girl - as I so lovingly call her. Well, the Bensons had a momentous occasion this week: we finally paid off my car. When I we got the zero-balance bill from Honda Financial and I told the hubby the news when he got home that night, I'm pretty sure we ran slow-motion into each others arms and ended the embrace with some kind of high-five eff-ya number.

This was actually the first major purchase we made together - just one month after we got married. We were originally trying to pay it off in 4 years, but we got tired of it so started pumping money into and paid it off in 3 1/2 years. Yay for being responsible! Plus, I feel like I just got a pay raise.

Want to know something else about my car? It's magic. Yes, it's a magical car. So a few months ago, I ran out at lunch to a nearby shopping center and in my hurry to get back to work, I totally hit a car in the parking garage. Boo.

I knew I needed to get it fixed, but things were so busy that I thought I'd wait a few weeks. So, a couple of weeks later, I went out to get in my car and noticed - BAM - (as Emeril would say) the bumper had totally popped back into place! Still have a few scratches, but I can live with it for now.
Some might chalk it up to the warm weather, but I'm pretty sure it was magic. Surely, that will help with the resale value, right?!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's the Final Countdowwwwwn

Who else sang the headline to this blog post? Just me? Mmmmk.

Well, with everything happening right now (and trust me, there's a lot going on in the next month), there's really only one countdown I have going in my head. My birthday? Good guess, but no. (*cough*May20*cough) Our upcoming vacay to Key West? Eeeeeee! But no.

The only countdown that really matters to me right now is this one:

Summer Hours (clap, clap, clapclapclap)

I've poured my heart out talked about it before, but summer hours are my saving grace from late May to the end of August. I get to leave at noon every Friday during this time frame and IT. IS. GLORIOUS.

I generally spend my Summer Fridays poolside or every once in a while getting a mani-pedi, if it's been an especially long week. And that's my plan for at least the first half of the summer. The second half will most likely consist of Auntie Lauren & Baby Eli time (haven't actually talked to my sister about this, but I guess now it won't be a surprise to her when I start showing up on her doorstep every Friday afternoon). Don't worry, Heather, it's only through the end of August. ;-)

So, let's get to it: Summer Fridays starting in 23 days and counting!