I Love Lamp

I don’t know how, but I completely spaced on posting an update on my funky $5 lamp that I brought home from a trip to Bluebird Market ages ago. You can see all about my trip and my haul in my post “A Little Birdie Told Me”.

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I fell in love with this lamp’s unique shape and unusual size. The detail is a funny aged faux wood grain effect. Um, or that’s just the best way I can describe it.

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For a couple of months it sat on an end table in my living room and remained what I dubbed “Scooby Doo” green. Yikes! I grabbed a can of gold pray paint at the hardware store for my ridiculous high heel shoe bookends when I realized that this lamp is just begging for some gold paint. I primed it and painted it right along side the bookends… one can was more than enough for both. Quick pointers for painting a lamp: Use painter’s tape and a plastic bag to cover/seal off the light socket portion and cover the power cord too.

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I had originally planned to use the over-sized shade that it came with. I even when through the trouble of repairing the seam of the shade. In the end, practicality won out and I got a more petite (10″) cream drum shade from Target. The original shade was made of a thick woven fabric and didn’t let off as much light. The cream shade is more modern and is thinner and therefore brighter when lit. I feel like this lamp has a glam art-deco thing going for it now. A coat of paint can transform anything.

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O wanted in on the fun. Note her cow girl pajamas. This kid is obsessed with horses, ponies, cowboy boots and even asked Santa for a pony.

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Moving on Up

Our little O is becoming such a big girl! We recently mastered potty training and with that came the “big girl bed”… er, um… toddler bed. While potty training we assembled her hand-me-down big girl bed  and tossed it in her room. The glider got squished to the left and the dresser was forced further under the window. It stayed like this for a few weeks. We used the promise of a big girl bed to motivate O to have “dry days” and she was thrilled at the thought of being a big girl!

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Oh the mess! And it was feeling cramped to say the least. I knew a clean out and overhaul was necessary. Oh. So. Necessary.

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We ditched the glider. As much as I loved rocking O, she had outgrown rocking and the chair was beginning to rock laundry instead. I also worried about that tall bookcase on the end of the room. I had arranged it that way for a humidifier and so that we could keep things out of reach. Though O is not a climber, we knew that if she really wanted something she could definitely attempt to climb and get it. Plus, she loves her books and having them all at her level was appealing.

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We decided the move the shelving unit under the window and turn it on it’s side to become a long bookcase that could also serve the purpose of a night stand. The cubbie style unit is from Target. I chose it knowing that we could move it to virtually any room because it was so easy to change. O needs a place to keep her glasses so that she can access them when she gets up. We’ve left the crib in the room for a few reasons:1-It was a total pain to assemble and I’m never doing it again; 2- We’d love to have a use for it in the future (no, nothing is currently in the works… but these yoga pants aren’t flattering anyway); 3-It was a total pain to assemble and I’m never doing it again… Like assembling it really tested our relationship. haha! The dresser stayed centered under the other window and we jut moved the lamps to more functional locations.

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After we moved everything, we were able to make a little spot for baby dolls and finally hang O’s pegs and put them to use. This kid has nearly as many bags and jewelry as I do!

Her room feels fresher, a little more spacious and functional. It also feels a little more grown up!

PSSST! You can see an original post about O’s room here.

Budget Headboard

I recently took our ho-hum headboard to a new level of awesome. Like super-duper awesome! And I did it for $20. Here’s the scoop-

For the last two years hubby and I have been changing things up all around the house. Like the half bath, adding a striped feature wall, getting the most out of our spare room and creating a haven for our little O. But to be honest, not much attention has been paid to our master bedroom.  Except for painting it and refinishing some killer second hand furniture (read about them here and here), we really haven’t done much. In fact, the master is pretty drab looking. We just agreed on a bedspread for the first time in seven years and the only way I really sold him on the ruffle effect is that it was striped (sort of) and majorly on sale at Target. The white really pops in the soft blue room and it brings a little brightness in with our white curtains. The main problem is that it was leaning against our sad tan headboard. Whomp whomp… and the headboard was bringing the whole thing down. Originally the headboard was wooden with some metal vine detailing and matched a set that Hubby had once upon a time. I recovered it years ago in an effort to freshen it up but once again it is looking more drab than fab. Have a look-see.

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For quite a while I have been badgering Hubby to come with me to the fabric store and choose something so I can recover the headboard. I was banned from independent fabric purchasing trips after I bought “Dr. Seuss” fabric as a potential option for the headboard way back when. I also knew that I couldn’t buy several options, bring them home to choose and then return anything he didn’t like. After begging for him to join me on a fabric store field trip for the last six months I finally decided I was on my own. After being discouraged by the prices of upholstery fabric I felt like there was no hope. This couldn’t be a $200 project. On my last few trips to Target I had been eyeing some great Ikat, geometric, medallion and lattice style curtains and shower curtains. I so badly wished we needed curtains somewhere in the house because the patterns were so gorgeous. Boom! It hit me. I bet I could use a curtain panel or shower curtain to recover the headboard. I enlisted Molly to help me choose one on the next Target run. She often brings me down to reality after I’ve spent an imaginary fortune on a risky design decision in my head. We chose thie blue Ikat lattice patterned shower curtain from the Threshold collection. The idea was that blue was masculine enough, the lattice as bold but still classic and the Ikat flare was cool. And it wasn’t floral (Hubby’s big deal breaker).We took a risk and hoped the royal blue wouldn’t totally kill the soft Glass Slipper (Benjamin Moore) blue walls. The shower curtain measurements were wide enough that we could use the pattern vertically (as if it were hanging as it was designed to) on my queen sized headboard. For a king I would recommend using a pattern you might like oriented horizontally so that the fabric can fit the width of the headboard.

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We hauled the headboard out of the master and set up shop in the family room. I wrinkle released and fluffed the curtain so that all the fold marks from being packed were gone. No, I don’t iron. Don’t get me started.

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In the photo below you can see the detail of the back of the original headboard design and the foam underneath that I had used to transform it the first time.We lined up the hem seam with the top edge of the board (below) so that the pattern would stay level and we wouldn’t risk having it slope in one direction after the staple-fest I was about the have. If it was a more random style print or a solid this wouldn’t really be a concern.

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Then the fabric was cut to size which was pretty much in half in this case. I took into consideration that we would rather have more fabric to staple than not enough.

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Stapling started across the top which was pretty easy and self-explanatory. I used a “gift wrap method” as shown below for the corners and trimmed out any excess fabric that gave the corner to much bulk because that would be too much to staple through and may look chunky from the other side.

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Less than 15 minutes later I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at this bad boy. I think this may be the best $20 I ever spent.

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Ta-da! Hubby returned home from an all day soccer tournament to see this glorious masterpiece. At first he was a little taken by the boldness and was surprised (since I had promised not to visit a fabric store). A day later he was telling me how much he liked it and the it was growing on him. I think it looks crisp and definitely more expensive than it is. Victory!

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Now for art above the bed… hmmm…

Things I’m Loving

Every month I post about things I’m loving… sometimes it is real life stuff, style, decor, fellow blogs and so on. So here is a grab-bag of things I’m loving lately.

In Life:

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My amazing “Aunt Kathy” of York’s Corks (actually my dad’s cousin but we are close so she earns the “Aunt” title) was going through a box of family stuff and sent me this incredibly detailed frame embroidery by my Great Grandmother “Gram Corc.” I love it for its obvious sentimental value and history. Not to mention the craftsmanship and time this must have taken! I’m not yet sure where to hang it… It could be a cool piece to add to the gallery wall in our foyer espcially with that black background! Or perhaps it could add an interesting pop elsewhere (half bath? or guest room?). Decisions, decisions!

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Speaking of the foyer gallery wall… it happens to be the background against my next “love”… fresh hydrangeas! I promise I didn’t do that on purpose. Anyway, when we go grocery shopping everyone gets a “spurge”… sometimes it is something unhealthy (poptarts!) or indulgent (wine for me) or just a total perk like flowers. In the midst of our gloomy, frigid winter I have been so excited to “splurge” on flowers. Then I break them into several small vases and scatter them throughout the house, literally bringing life into each room!

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Oh yes, dessert. Hubby and I went on our Valentine’s date during a blizzard. That’s how good our favorite place is. Everything on the menu is fantastic so saving room for dessert is difficult. But we look forward to dessert as much as we do the rest of the meal so on our way in, we pass the dessert bar and choose two pieces to be held for us… you know, in case everyone else knows how amazing the homemade confections are. Here we have an Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake and a Classic Red Velvet cake. Both were divine… I may or may not have reenacted the famous cafe scene from When Harry Met Sally.

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On a separate outing, we went bowling for a friend’s surprise 30th birthday party. I feel like just yesterday we were still celebrating 21st birthdays. So, we’re not so young anymore I guess. What a fun time! Hubby and I realized 4 things: 1- We had never been bowling together before. 2- Hubby is a really good bowler. 3- I am an embarrassingly bad bowler. 4- The style of bowling shoes haven’t changed in 50+ years.

With O:

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O got new play shoes. Not just any play shoes: Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. I grabbed them at Target for less that $20!

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The good news: she loves them. The bad news: she loves them too much.

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When I first turned the corner into the shoe section she gasped “SHOOOOOOES!” And I gleamed with pride that my girl loves shoes. And then I realized this might be a really bad (expensive) habit if we don’t keep it in check. Haha! Anyway, she wouldn’t let me take off her other shoes. I had to pry her other shoes off while she screamed “No! My Toms! Mommy! MY. TOMS.” I had to explain that she would get to keep her shoes and buy new ones. She’s been wearing her Chucks since. Like every minute. She even wants to sleep in them (um, no.) and calls them her “Chuckies.” Oy, I’ve created a monster.

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We had a freak spurt of nice Spring weather. O and her friend H graffiti-ed our entire porch and sidewalk with their chalk art. We had tons of fun and lots of laughs. Too bad their masterpieces are now covered in snow and ice. What a tease… We are all looking forward to more sun and warmth.

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O asked me to tuck her bear in and give her some books. Then I sat in the hall and listened to her read to him and sing “Happy Birthday.” Just too much cuteness.

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And I can’t forget O’s new favorite hiding spot: behind the couch and the curtain. 

On Pinterest:

Winter seems eternal this year. But I’ve been eyeing tons of pink fashion, home decor and jewelry to brighten my days and pull me through these gray winter days. Pink pinterest boards gives me hope.

PINK

Source

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Source: Pinterest

Visit my Pinterest board inspired completely by my love for my daily grind.

On other blogs:

Brunch with KT of Nerdy Girl Writes. I’ve had the pleasure of an actual real life brunch date with this nerdy girl, but for those of you who aren’t so lucky her “Sunday Brunch” posts will have to suffice. Poke around! She has tons of post on decor, fashion and suggestions for good reads.

Nutella Brownies on Cup Of Jo. This woman speaks my language in so many ways. Nutella is my favorite!

PSSSsssssttt: Get 20% off any purchase over $10 at my etsy shop by entering SPRING20 at check out. Good thru 4/1/14

Things I’m Loving

Oops. I think I skipped this post last month. What can I say? Life gets busy sometimes. I’m working on a couple of art pieces, trying to get more jewelry up on Etsy and I am already starting to help plan next year’s Relay for Life. Woah. It’s definitely time to stop and smell the roses. Here are a few things I’m just loving lately.

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I was honored to attend the CincyNanny National Nanny Recognition Week VIP Nanny Dinner. Yes. That’s a thing: National Nanny Recognition Week. It was created for all of us in the home childcare field to give each other big high-fives. In the last few years our industry has made it even more exciting. Nanny agencies, groups and associations across the country do all kinds of things to celebrate each other. Our local group here in Cincinnati is called CincyNanny. Its a fantastic group of local nannies who come together online and in person for friendship, networking, nanny nights out, play dates, education, nanny/family pairing and empowerment. We held a VIP Nanny dinner at the National Exemplar in Mariemont to honor each other and talk about some really cool things happening in our own community. I can’t spill all of the beans yet but a couple of those cool things are Nannypalooza and National Nanny Training Day! (I accidentally made this a game of “How many links can I squeeze into one paragraph?”). It was fun to get dressed up (most of us are used to play clothes), go out for a nice dinner and celebrate each other. My friend Greta of Project Momma is the brain behind CincyNanny and she created these darling vases from recycled Starbucks bottles and bronze paint to give them the “dipped” look. We each got to take one home with a white rose in it. Super cute!

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Z recently finished the 50th of 100 reading lessons we have been working on. As a reward he chose to have a sleepover at my house with O. How adorable! I really am the luckiest girl in the world! We had dinner at my parents’ house for my sister’s birthday and Z tagged along. He knows my whole family since we all nanny and have play dates together so he jumped right in. We enjoyed pizza and s’mores before we headed home for our sleepover. How cute are these two walking hand-in-hand to my parents’ front door? Z even carried O’s baby doll for her!

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Now that O is wearing glasses we’ve noticed quite a few changes. She’s more interested in lots of things and is far less clumsy. She has mastered stairs (to the point that they are her new favorite play set), is less hesitant on slides and isn’t afraid of leaves (I mean if you were farsighted they would look like a ton of mysterious blobs who move in for attack every time the wind blows). Her life is just so much more clear and it makes us so happy.

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Check out this awesome art piece! It is a shadow box style replica of the Painted Lady Victorian (Columbia-Tusculum Cincinnati… not San Fran) we lived in when I was a kid. My mom had it made when we lived there. It was packed up for several moves and forgotten in the basement. She recently stumbled upon it and now hangs proudly in the kitchen. I can’t stop admiring it. The intricate details and accuracy are so impressive. It really captured the spirit of the house.

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O got a new coat! How stinking sweet… Those ears are just awesome. She is obviously excited about it too. It was a gift from “Big Susie” who is on her left. Big Susie is our dear family friend who my sister Susie was named after… thus, the “Big” part. However, neither Susie is actually very big. They are both petite. Little Susie is maybe 5’2″ and likely taller than “Big Susie”. Its just how we’ve always differentiated the two. I love love LOVE this picture.

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One of O’s new favorite things to do is shout “Mama, Cheese?” and make a face or strike a pose for me to photograph. She almost always tilts her head dramatically and bares a big grin. This kid knows how to fill my days with happiness.

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I made a new batch of homemade detergent! Finally. I had beens so busy that we actually used store bought junk for a month. But as I was cubing up my Fels-Naptha bars I couldn’t help but think that they were sort of pretty. Dumb? Maybe but I snapped a pic anyway.

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The dry-erase board yields some amazing artwork that I wish I could save. Instead I take pictures. Here Z has illustrated my family . Left to right: Hubby who has his trademark spiky/messy hair thing going. In the middle is O, complete with ponytail on top of her head. Then I have my big ponytail and glasses. Pretty accurate depictions, right? I mean, who needs ears?

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A fortune from Hubby’s Chinese carry-out. He usually lets me open the cookie.

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I found this sweet dress at Target right after we went to the Ophthalmologist but before we ordered O’s glasses. I’m so in love. She wore it to Children’s when we tried on frames and made our final choice. Everyone loved it. She rocks it occasionally on the playground as well.

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Oh yes, last but not least is this polkadot fabric from Ikea. I fell in love with it and was certain it would make an amazing upholstery fabric for our headboard against the soft blue. But Hubby was strongly against the moment I walked in the door with it saying it was straight out of a Dr. Suess book. Then he said, “Anywhere but the bedroom, please!”… say no more. I have 2 yards of this fabric and I plan on putting it in every room in some form. Except the bedroom. I’ve made it my mission.

So what are you loving? Any new discoveries, fashion finds or sweet moments you captured? Do share!

Projects Elsewhere Part One: Sam

Projects at my own house have fizzled a bit. I’ve painted every room and most everything is up to date and more than livable. Only a few things are left in our master bedroom (always last, right?). Perfect timing for a few projects to pop up elsewhere.

As in, other people’s homes. I was asked by my sister Susie to help her organize and decorate three children’s bedrooms for a friend. Admittedly, I was a little intimidated about being creative in someone else’s space but I agreed to meet with my sister and Heather. Heather is a busy mom of three who just wanted a little order to her kids’ rooms and a little cohesive decor to make them feel like they each had their own space. She told me how much she loved everything she saw on Pinterest but that she had no idea how to bring that into her own home. Not too much to ask, right? I walked through the rooms with Heather and we talked about each child, their needs for the space, what she did and didn’t like about each room and so on. Heather told us that she wanted to see more of the wood floors that she loves so much and that she liked themes if they were subtle and easy to transition away from in the future. She was gracious enough to even let me photograph each room and post about the projects. Here is a series of “before” shots with a little explanation about Heather’s needs, her kids’ wants and our ideas.

Organizing is Susie’s area of expertise. She was going to do a great deal of the clean out and organizing for each room. My plan was to give each room identity with new paint, some storage furniture and curtains. So Heather and the family headed out on a week long vacation and Susie and I got to work. We did the bulk of three rooms in that week. First we prepped all of the rooms for paint, then we removed every set of built-in formica shelves from each room… they numbered into the twenties so that took us an entire evening. Before leaving we patched all the walls and sanded them down. The next few days Susie and I met at the house each evening after work. I painted like crazy, she used the master bedroom to organize each kid’s things and helped prep each room for the next phase of paint by helping me move furniture, patching/sanding and wiping down baseboards. Then I slept like a rock and returned each day to work my arse off.

First up: Sam- Preschooler who loves, cars, trucks, pirates and books. He has plenty of toys that reflect this. Some of them needed homes, lots of them already had homes. He also is in the age group of kids who are in the toddler bed but will soon need a big kid bed. His decor would need to reflect his love of these things but be flexible enough to transition into a bigger kid room down the road. Themed but not too theme-y.

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His room had built in shelves. They were once a thoughtful addition by the previous owner of the home but they had seen better days. Heather didn’t like their look and felt that her kids didn’t use the storage space to the fullest potential. Susie and I agreed that their position limited the furniture layout options for the room as well. Sam also had this charming solid wood dresser. It would most definitely be staying in the room.

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Sam’s room still mostly looked like a nursery. He had painted safari animal decals on the walls and a changing table still lingered in the room. He was using it for storage but it wasn’t doing much more than keeping things off the floor.

20130810-132451.jpgSam’s closet was organized, Heather had just cleaned it out and added the drawers so the floor space could serve more purpose. Not pictured: Sam’s red velour curtain on a flimsy brass rod that Heather admits has been there since they moved in 9 years ago.

I envisioned a boy room with a soft blue on the top half of the wall and brown on the bottom. Easy color scheme to grow into but it would also lend itself nicely to a pirate themed room. I also threw in a thick cream colored stripe in the middle. I hoped the stripe and soft color scheme could help his room feel a little taller. Here is what Sam saw when he returned from vacation.

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We decided to recycle Jack’s striped rug into Sam’s room to play up the super soft blue painted on the top half of the wall. We grabbed a blue crib sheet, treasure map pillow and black drawer pulls at Ikea.

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We also bought Closetmaid cubby organizers with tan and brown canvas baskets at Target for Sam’s toys. He already had that awesome pirate ship.

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Susie convinced me that black curtains were exactly what this pirate themed room needed. A bold choice but I love the effect it gives. We hung the curtain rod just a few inches from the ceiling and about 6 inches from the outside edge of the window frame. It gives the window more room to give light and makes things feel a little more spacious. This is especially helpful since we chose such dark curtains. Rod, finials and curtains are all from Ikea.

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Sam had a few large toys like dump trucks and a toy barn that sat on the floor before. Susie I have no problem using floor space to store toys but we knew we could give the big guys a better place to belong. This is the closest we could find to a treasure chest. Also from Ikea, this fabric container is soft sided (no boo-boos!) corralled everything out of sight but into one place that Sam can easily access. We will be making a return visit to Sam’s room to hang a little art and a display shelf.

————–UPDATE————-

We added an Ikea LACK shelf to Sam’s room as planned.

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Things I’m Loving

Ah, April. I’m so happy to see you. And thanks for bringing our old pal Sun. I’ve missed you both. March was a “lion” in so many ways. We bounced between snow storms and 60 degree days and back again. And my migraines followed. Oy. O started talking even more… I’d say she has about 20 clear words. No walking yet but she constantly babbles to her toys and in her carseat. Pretty much everywhere. Even in her sleep. Yes, my 16 month old talks about cookies, the dog and her friend Z in her sleep. Cute, except for that if she’s talking then I’m not sleeping. In addition, I had an entire week off of work. While the kids frolicked in the sand I was busy at home with projects for Hilda. I did a bunch of little things and a few larger projects and they will all be posted as I write them. For now I have a handful of things that I’m just loving. They made my day, sometimes even my week. Here are a few of my little treasures.

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Shoes. What girl doesn’t love shoes? Even O is into them. She finds shoes all over the house or in the mudroom and brings them to me saying “Schlooes!”… She’s totally my kid. These are a recent Target find (Surprise, surprise). I am always looking for work shoes that aren’t flip flops, Nikes or Uggs. Most of spring and fall I live in flats. They just slip on when my hands are busy with baby, bags, dog, keys and door. I also love that I can toss them on with just about anything: jeans (skinny or otherwise), crops, skirts etc. So easy. I need easy in my life anywhere I can put it. These babies are a pewter tone with a black toe covered in rose gold studs and some bad-ass spikes. I’ve been asked by the 7 year old not to wear these when we play kickball.

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This is the gorgeous St. Xavier Catholic Church in Cincinnati. Although I’ve attended many masses here as well as weddings, I’ve now also watched the St. Patrick’s day Parade from it’s front steps. I couldn’t help but admire all of this architecture from my seat on the steps. Incredible.

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I’m not embarrassed to admit that this was rescued from the curb only a couple blocks from my house. In a heavy downpour of snow. Molly and I saw it, stopped in the middle of the road and reversed to grab it. Even through the snow we saw that it was a solid piece (dovetail joints!) and had beautiful shape and character. We carefully tossed it on top of my beloved stroller (cringe!) and brought it to the garage. This was one of my vacation week projects. And just you wait… the facelift is pretty awesome.

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One of my favorite things is to catch O totally off guard. Her face is always hilarious. The other day at work, I watched from the other side of the kitchen as she examined the open dishwasher. She played with the racks and looked under the door and after much exploration I watched as she climbed on in. I whipped (I think that’s where the blur effect is from… the whipping action) out my iPhone and snapped a pic. Then I took her off and told her she can’t do that anymore. I don’t want to buy a dishwasher… especially for someone else’s house.

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I shouldn’t have to remind you that I’m a big kid. Last week I was playing with Z and he was meticulously lining up all the lego action heroes. He very particular and takes it pretty seriously. These guys are like 2 inches tall. Batman and Robin are always side by side. And they both look so serious. And look at that Gotham City behind them!

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Oh Em Gee. This is a spectacular creation I made as a snack (you know, to go with a glass of wine of course). I used Blue Oven Bakery’s Potato Rosemary Squares to make a grilled apple and goat cheese sandwich. It was beyond delish. Too bad it was my last square, but I plan on buying them again and creating a few more culinary delights. If you haven’t made it to any of their market locations (Findley, Clark Montessori and such) then you are missing out. I order you to go get a loaf of Bad Girl or Sourdough. Like, now.

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A sure sign of spring is always in fashion. I found some great peach, deep mint and berry jeans on a run to Target and TJMaxx. They are often my first stops when trying a new trend I’m not sure about. Then I only spend half to see if I can swing the colored jean look. And by the way, I’m in love and I now believe that anyone can swing it. And if you’re scared just try a colored jean with a black top and a statement necklace. You’ll believe in yourself in no time.

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On a quick run for coffee at Caribou I decided to stay and enjoy my cup near their fireplace. These little guys were on the mantle. How adorable! I want some for myself! No worries, I didn’t smuggle them home with me. I will, however, keep an eye out for something similar to use as winter decor next year. Maybe even add a red nose to one? He he.

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In an alleyway between Hyde Park Square and the pay lot I noticed these colored bricks. They are clearly remnants of an old painted building billboard from when the building next to it (that makes the other wall of the alley) didn’t yet exist. I’m thinking more than 80 years ago? I’ve walked through this alley countless times over the last 10 years and I’m shocked I’ve never noticed them before. How awesome is that old typography! Pretty cool.

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Well I am Hilda Gotrocks. While I was working on a project bracelet I fumbled through some tumbled crystals. I forgot how much I love these. They are cool, dense and heavy in my hand. I just love the light they reflect and how much they resemble ice. An old favorite for me.

Earning My Stripes

I’d like to introduce you to our new living room arrangement. This room is our most used room, despite being television free (on purpose!). We entertain in here, play with Baby O and relax in here.

First of all, please excuse my poor photography. The room is wide and it is difficult to get a picture of everything. There are two chairs against the striped wall, although you can only see one. The corner of the room has a bin of toys and the boppy lives there too. I’m looking for a better system to store those things.

STRIPES: The stripes have been around for a while and I LOVE THEM. I did it while Hubby was out of town for work. He hated the idea but loves the result! Typical. As my mother says, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission. Anyway, that wall was a nasty burgundy when we bought the house. JUST that wall. The rest was a paper bag tan… all in flat paint (WHHHHYYY!). It acted as a black whole and sucked all the light and helped make the room feel super cramped. The stripes freshen it up, emphasize the length of the room, enhance the height of the wall and contrasts just right with the surrounding gray walls. Colors are both Behr paint and primer in one, eggshell finish (for durability and light reflection). Gray: Ashes, Cream: Roman Plaster.

FURNITURE: The couch (Ikea Ektorp but looks soooo Pottery Barn) used to be against that wall and the chairs floated wherever for a while. I put the couch under the window for two reasons: it keeps the dogs from standing the the sill and barking and it is a better use of space. Also, the couch has other tailored slip covers available for a quick and inexpensive change whenever we feel like it. The chairs (Ikea Tullsta) went on the striped wall for more contrast and to open up the floor space. This layout definitely opened up the room and allows for more floor space as well as a better traffic flow. We’ve been using tons of floor space since Baby O can sit up, roll, scoot and such.  Also, the wall opposite the striped wall is only a half wall that overlooks the landing/foyer. I didn’t want anything there since Baby O will likely learn to climb soon. That wall is home to a toy bin and a Jumparoo. As you can imagine, they are cramping our style but I’m trying to minimize that effect. The wall opposite the couch is open to the dining area which is currently needing some love. I’m thinking about a fantastic rust colored rug. Don’t tell hubby yet. The coffee table and end table are yard sale finds. Ok, well a friend had them in her pile to sell and I saw them in her dining room and jumped in to buy them before the yard sale. But the coffee table has drawers, rounded corners and a solid build. Baby friendly and stylish! I bought them both together for $65! I’m sure they were out of my price range originally.

ACCENTS: All pillows (blue ikat and bronze ripple- but I can’t find it online) and the chenille throw are from Target. The subtle zebra curtains are as well. Who says you can’t mix patterns? Just do it in moderation and with balance.

NEXT: Hanging pictures. I have a huge pile and it’s going to take an entire weekend to look at the arrangement options. I’d like to add hints of that peacock blue from the pillows elsewhere. Better lighting is also on my list.