Embracing Change.

Hello blog friends, it’s been some time. Let’s catch up.

We’re about 1 month away from our [fingers crossed] last move for a little while. I’m tired of packing up, moving, unpacking over the last few years. But there is something kind of great about moving & redesigning to fit new parameters and getting creative with what you already have. So besides the budget planning, this is where the rest of my thoughts have been lately.

A new creative space.

new office sketchI just feel like if I can create a great space that inspires, great thoughts will come and creative juices will flow.

Being on a budget, many of the details/ideas are DIY.

First: A new coat of paint on my desk and on the file cabinets to set a matching set of tones are first on the list. Right now I’ve got more of a crazy un-matching color scheme that doesn’t really work together or inspire calmness.

Second: Washi tape. Washi tape will be present in the new space. I’ve got plans to create a washi tape calendar and washi tape border details arount whatever prints/images are inspiring at the moment. That way, they’re easily switched out and leave no marks on the wall afterwards.

Third: A chalkboard for ideas.

Fourth: A string of photos, cards and mementos that speak to me hung with twine above the desk.

Fifth: Succulents/cactus plants for company.

I’ve been corralling ideas/inspiration here.

I might find room for a collage pin board in there too, and I’m so hoping that the room we use for an office has lighting like this.

We’ll work with what we have, once we get there.. but it’s fun to dream & to plan. The details in the plan are what make it special.

May you notice the special details today. Have a happy one!

Nobody likes change..at first.

I’ve had this nervous, anxious feeling in my gut for a while now. We are currently living in a garden-style apartment, that doesn’t really feel like apartment living. Our 2 bedroom, 2 bath offers us lots of space (more than we need really, I’m noticing we’re starting to accrue random things), a great kitchen that was a serious step up from our last starter apartment, a screened porch & an extra good-sized large bedroom that works as our office/creative space.

The curb appeal of our community is definitely lacking and was in need of serious overhaul up until recently when a larger company came in and bought out the old company. When I heard how much the renovations were going to cost, I hoped [but I knew better] that our rent would not go up significantly and that we would be able to renew our lease for another 12 or 15 months and thus continue on our financial plan to eliminate all debt/extras possible this year (credit cards, car payments, cable). The plan is then to sock a large amount into savings each month afterwards for the next year.

But I just knew better.

So now I find myself in limbo because while I am grateful we know 3 months before we can move that we need to, I can’t really start looking yet. We have started to incorporate extra work/efforts to start putting aside cash for moving expenses/time off work/deposits, etc. in September though. So while I browse houses on the market and start thinking about what areas we’ll explore in town and what numbers we want to try and stick close to, I’m also starting to think about what I want to do differently.

1. A house.
I want a house. I don’t really care if it’s an older house with crazy bathroom tile. I want a house that feels more like a home, that we can settle in for 2 or 3 years and take a break from moving every year.

2. More natural light

natural light living room

This type of natural lighting. I never thought much about it before, but I need the space where I spend most time in to be open and bright if at all possible.

3. A yard.
My pups go crazy when we visit my parent’s house. The back yard is enormous and we let them off the leashes and they run laps around the yard.

4. New design challenges.
I’m pretty happy with our apartment now, design wise. The walls are filled without looking cluttered. I would like to do another project or two but now that we have to move.. I wonder if there’s much of a point now. Besides that 1 or 2 things I have in mind though, all of the walls are full and I can’t really do much else unless I start changing things out. So, I’m almost ready for a new space to work on anyway.

5.A real key.
We have these programmable, large/bulky keys to open our front door with. I get that it’s easier on the office to be able to program any key at any moment for instant access if need be, but it takes up a lot of room on my key ring and I can’t make a copy of it. It’s a bit inconvenient and I’m ready to go back to a good ol’ fashioned house key.

This is like anything, I suppose. Change comes for a reason. Usually once we can wrap our minds around it, we realize it was to transition to something better.

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Happy Friday!

Darling Little Things: DIY Flower Vases

Fresh flowers in the house give it that home feeling. About 2 months ago, I started adding plants and fresh flower arrangements all over our house. It’s a great way to add in some color while keeping a more neutral design palette otherwise in the house.

Before I started buying plants/flower bouquets – I started looking for containers to hold flowers. I have a nice large vase that I like, but I also like unconventional and nontraditional pieces as well. I picked up jars, a ceramic water pitcher, and a couple of little glass jars from the dollar store.

I really love this vase that I found on clearance (!!!) at World Market for about $7 a while back.

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I didn’t have a specific use for it at the time, but everybody needs a nice vase right?

When I started looking for more containers to hold different flower arrangements around the house, I found that I really wanted to try to do a similar look as this vase but on a smaller scale.

Insert DIY creativity.

I was browsing Pinterest and playing around on the internet and found several sites with free printable vintage labels, like these cigar box labels.

I selected and printed a few of my favorites at a local office store for less than $1.

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Up close, you can see that the label isn’t completely flat against the glass. This particular jar has an interesting shape that curves in places that makes it a little more difficult to work with. But from afar (which is how I see it) – it looks just as vintage and awesome as the one I bought.

I love how this turned out & it gives more personality to this smaller arrangement.

Don’t you want to go buy fresh bouquets now & add some pretty to your place?

A fabulous weekend DIY

I’ve been working on a bedroom makeover board as well as a living room update board on Pinterest. I’ve been incorporating changes into our house & the latest detail is adding a variety of prints all around the house.

Adding art to your space can put a hurtin on your wallet or it can be an opportunity to be creative. I chose the latter because I would prefer to stretch my dollars to do more rather than less. (Wouldn’t we all?)

This is a very simple, quick DIY with a huge amount of instant gratification.

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I found some basic, simple black frames from Target. Three frames for $9

I had been playing around with phrases and fonts and chose a more affectionate option for this project because these frames will be going in our bedroom.

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I took the glass out of the frame and used it as a guide to figure out where I wanted the words to be inside the frame. I traced it once I was happy with it.

imageI recently picked up one of these paper cutters at Hobby Lobby. I can’t believe I haven’t been using one for my home projects for all of this time! My only issue is the size of the cutter. I had to trim the page a bit to fit it, but it gives a much cleaner line and doesn’t ruffle the paper as much as cutting it by hand. So, if you don’t have one of these- I definitely recommend going to get one. This one was $5.99 & with a 40% coupon, only cost me about $4 bucks. The bigger ones are pretty affordable with a 40% off coupon as well. It’s on my want list.

I popped the glass back in & added the page & voila! Simple & beautiful.

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For now, it’s sitting with a couple succulents and with our “I Love You Because” frame that we write love notes back and forth on. I have plans to add at least 2 more (maybe 3 or 4), different sizes & different prints.

I have plans brewing to add some to our side tables and some to go with some oversized prints on the mantle as well. They’re just propped up against the wall, not using their stands. I’m loving a layered print look right now & can’t wait to add more!

Quick. Easy. Customizable. Beautiful.

The perfect DIY!

Photostrip love.

I’m sliding focus to smaller details around our house. A brighter, cheerier rug for our living room to open it up a bit more. Curtains. Throw pillows. Updated photos and different photo displays around the house.

I’ve pinned tutorials about how to create photo strips in Photoshop and just haven’t gotten around to playing around with it.

But I found an easier way: Boothgram.

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Once you go to Boothgram, it asks you to log into your Instagram account. You are then given the option to choose four photos, either your own or photos you’ve liked. Those photos are then laid into a photo strip (up to four photos and in the order you choose them).

Once you’re happy with a layout, you save the file. I saved my files and placed them into a Word document (I didn’t change the size and fit 2 to a page) and sent them to Staples to print a higher quality. You could also print at home and save that $0.59 a page but I’m pretty happy with the quality and $1.50 price tag for my two pages of photo strips.

For now, this website looks as though it loads photos from Instagram exclusively. I may get around to tinkering in Photoshop for non-Instagram photos eventually but most of my favorite photos get shared through Instagram anyway, so this site is a winner in my book!

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