Pinterest Picks: Summer Table Settings

Summer is almost here and I’m so excited! The first official day of summer is still a few weeks away but I’m already thinking about BBQs, picnics and pool parties.

I’m looking forward to enjoying dinners out on our patio again. To spruce up our outdoor decor, I bought this yellow-green hurricane for our patio bistro set during the Crate and Barrel 20% off outdoor sale.

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Inside of the hurricane, we added an indoor/outdoor battery-operated led candle from Target.

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Our new hurricane inspired me to put together a fun summer table arrangement for our bistro set. To find some ideas I searched for “summer table setting” on Pinterest.

Here are a few of my favorite pins:

I love how the table setting below incorporates red, white and blue as well as a coastal theme with the seashells. The yellow flowers also give off a bright summery feel.

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This table setting incorporates a few of my favorite summer colors. I love the bright yellow and green dinnerware and patterned napkins.

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I love lanterns and this table setting reminded me of our wedding. For our wedding, we incorporated lanterns as our table arrangements. We still have the lanterns and use them in our home decor.

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This summer table setting is simple and classy. The clear milk jug vases and white flowers are an elegant touch. I could definitely see us incorporating a simple flower arrangement in our own summer table setting.

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This last table setting is a fun way to use fresh fruit in a centerpiece. You could even put a cute little sign in the fruit arrangement that says “please enjoy.”

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After I looked at all of the summer table settings on Pinterest, I put together this setting  for our bistro set. What do you think?


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Getting Our Garden On: Take 2

So our first go around at a vegetable garden didn’t work out as planned. Only a few of our seedlings survived the cold weather.

After a few weeks of rain and cold, our garden looked like this:

IMG_5875 (2)All of the seedlings except for our sweet corn and some of our herbs didn’t survive. We were also left with a lot of tiny weeds.

To replace our failed seedlings, I bought a selection of mature vegetables and some garden soil from the Home Depot. These vegetables (and technically “fruits”) came in really neat biodegradable pots that you can plant straight into the ground. To learn more about the biodegradable pots and how to plant them, check out the Bonnie Web site.

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In addition to the mature plants, I also planted new green bean and red pepper seeds. I planted the seeds in garden soil in hopes that the rich soil will produce better results.

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Our sweet corn stalks are doing really well despite a few cold days. The stalks are getting pretty tall compared to when we planted them.

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How are your summer gardens going?

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Before I wrap up this post, did you notice anything different about our photos? I’m working on some upgrades to Frame By Frame Style and this is the debut of our new photo tag. Hope you like it!

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A Rustic Wedding Weekend

Earlier this month, we attended a friend’s wedding at a farm. It was a fun and unique site that allowed for a rustic country wedding theme.

The ceremony and reception took place in the little red round barn, which used to be an old feed barn for cows. The top floor of the barn had a large round area where the feed dropped down to the lower floor’s troughs. Today, the barn is used as a museum and wedding reception venue.

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The night before the ceremony, we were at the location for the rehearsal and I captured these images of the storm rolling in. “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Thankfully, on the day of the wedding, the rain held off and the weather was a perfect mid-60’s with a slight breeze blowing. IMG_4477

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The venue had a few other old log buildings that were perfect for rustic wedding photo opportunities.

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With the potential for rain, the couple decided to hold their ceremony in the upstairs section of the round barn. They created rows for seating by using hay bales covered with sheets. They also hung twinkling lights around the barn which created soft romantic lighting.

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The aisle that the bridal party walked down was lined with lemons to go along with the yellow and brown color scheme.

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After the ceremony ended, everyone headed downstairs for the reception. The couple chose to have an open seating arrangement and used this fun chalkboard to tell everyone that they were free to pick their own seat.

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In the reception location, tables and chairs lined the circle on the bottom floor.
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Mason jars with tea light candles and icicle lights were hung around the reception venue.
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The centerpieces were arranged with different types of glass bottles, jars, candles and dried flowers on large round logs like below. IMG_4547


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For their favors, the couple set up a self-serve popcorn bar. The chocolate drizzled popcorn was my favorite.

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One of my favorite photos from the day is this shot of the bride’s bouquet on one of the bright white chairs.
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As the sun set that evening, it seemed like a great ending to a fun day.IMG_4927

It’s Rugtastic!

Along with our subtle decor upgrades to the fireplace, we also recently added a decorative rug to the living room.

We shopped a few different stores including Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm, before we settled on a Threshold rug from Target.

What we discovered in our quest to find a suitable rug was that several stores seemed to have very plush, comfy feeling rugs. However, if you lift up their rugs you will uncover a nifty secret: carpet padding. Some stores display their rugs with carpet padding underneath to make the rugs seem more plush. With this tidbit of knowledge, we decided on the Target rug we picked out because it was a nice, yet lesser expensive option that we could simply add a carpet pad to.

We have plenty of leftover carpet padding from when we replaced the carpet in our dining room. If you do not have extra carpet padding lying around, you can check your local carpet or home improvement store for carpet pad remnants.

Once we brought the rug home, we roll it out in the living room and BJ took a few measurements to cut a piece of the carpet padding to fit the rug.

Zoey, aka our “project manager,” also took a few minutes to assess the rug from the couch to make sure it was okay.

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Next, we lined up the carpet padding on the back of the rug. BJ cut the pad about an inch short on all sides so we could tape it in place.

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We used Gaffer’s tape (which is often used for lighting and film work) to tape the rug to the carpet, but you can also use Duct Tape.

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To ensure that the carpet pad stays in place, we taped it on all four edges.
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Here’s the “before” of our rug installation:
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And here is the “after:”
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With the pad underneath the rug, the carpet, and then another pad under that, standing on our new rug feels awesome. It’s super plush and soft. The carpet pad under the rug also adds an extra layer of protection in case we spill something. It keeps the stain from going through to the carpet.

By adding a carpet pad under your rugs you can make a lesser expensive rug feel extra plush!

Enjoy!

Going Green for Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013!

I got an early start on our Earth Day celebrations this weekend by purchasing fresh flowers and house plants and planting a seed starter kit for our vegetable/herb garden.

On Friday afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store and decided that it would be nice to have fresh flowers for the weekend. I picked up these daisies and arranged them in Ball jars to use as coffee table decorations. They went perfectly with our West Elm owl, Threshold coasters and West Elm tray.

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I also brought home fresh tulips for the kitchen and arranged them in our bright green vase.
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On Saturday, I made a trip to Home Deport and found some gerbera daisy annuals for our kitchen. The flowers and their brightly colored pots (which we already owned) add vibrance to our kitchen while helping with our air quality. Very Earth Day appropriate!
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I also picked up a few foliage plants including this prayer plant and palm.

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We decided to kick-start our vegetable/herb garden by purchasing a Burpee seed starting kit. You can find these kits at places like Target or Home Depot. The kit is really easy to set up and even includes a QR code on the package that you can scan to watch a “how to” video.

I planted 12 different rows of vegetables and herbs in our seed starter. Hopefully, in a few weeks we will have little seedlings ready to plant outside.

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The seed starter can be stored inside in direct sunlight or under a grow light. If it’s nice enough, you can also store the starter outside in direct sunlight. Since we still have the lingering possibility of a freeze over the next week or so, our seed starter is seeking refuge in the loft window.

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How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

Hello, Hyacinths. Hello, Spring.

Spring has finally arrived! It may be nearly a month since the official start of spring, but with the trees blooming, flowers blossoming and warmer weather, it finally feels like spring.

And with spring weather, comes spring flowers! Our hyacinths are back and in full bloom.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that our hyacinths were starting to peek out of the ground. I was really worried they wouldn’t survive the late winter snow storm we had in March, but they persevered. Last week, the hyacinths’ buds were starting to pop open for the first time.

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Now they are in full bloom!
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This is the third season for our hyacinths. Two years ago, I planted them as full-grown flowers and each year they’ve come back. This fall, I might add a few more bulbs so next year we have a full row of hyacinths and tulips. I planted a few tulips when I planted the hyacinths, but I’ve only had luck with one tulip coming back each year. Time to add a few more bulbs and see if they make it through winter.
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It’s almost time to plant annuals for the summer. Here is my late spring/early summer gardening to do list:

1. Plant more petunias.

I had great success with the petunias I planted last year. Despite the severe drought, they spread across the garden and were really beautiful.

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2. Mulch

Last year we added a layer of mulch to our garden, but after several rain storms, it’s time to mulch again.

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3. Plant a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard.

I’ve got big plans for a vegetable and herb garden this year.

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I picked up these seeds at Target and it’s almost time to start planting them! BJ and I enjoy cooking with fresh vegetables and herbs and we’re hoping that if all goes well, we will have many homegrown veggies and herbs to choose from!

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There are a few more items that BJ and I thinking about adding to our garden list for the year, such as edging the gardens with stone, but for now, we are going to focus on our first three items and add more as we go. Do you have any big plans for your garden(s) this year?

Easter Egg-tastic

Happy Easter!

Every Easter, I always look forward to spending time with family, celebrating the special reason for this season, and dying Easter eggs.

I love traditional dyed Easter eggs, but it’s also fun to see all the creative ways that people dye their own eggs. I searched around Pinterest for creative Easter egg ideas and below are a few of my favorites.

These eggs remind me of robin’s eggs. So pretty. Teal is one of my favorite colors.
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These eggs were dyed using blueberries.

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The design on these pastel eggs was made using rubber bands. Very clever!

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These speckled eggs look like they will hatch baby birds! You could easily make the speckles using a Sharpie.

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These are my favorite! Every designer needs some Pantone eggs!

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Here are our traditional Easter eggs. This year, they seemed to turn out extra bright. Maybe next year, we’ll mix it up and try one of the techniques above.

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Have a wonderful holiday!

Photo Finish, Part 2

Last weekend, I started planning the addition to our foyer photo collage. As you saw in our last post, Photo Finish, we added a few new photos to our stairway wall leaving our two collages looking a little disconnected…

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To connect our two collages, I chose three different frames from our “stock pile.” I chose one 11 x 17, one 8 x 10 and one 5 x 7 frame. Next, I made patterns of the frames using white printer paper and painter’s tape.

After I finished making the frame patterns, I started the process of arranging the photos on the wall. Of course, this proved to be more challenging than I planned because it felt a bit like I was playing Plinko on The Price is Right. (I love that game!)

Okay, I’m kidding, but that would be fun!! (Well… Until all the frames crashed to the floor, right?)

To place the patterns on the wall, I leaned over the upstairs half wall and taped the patterns down using more painter’s tape. Once I taped the pattern to the wall, I ran around the upstairs hallway to the other side where I could see the entire collage. I did this several times before I was happy with the patterns’ positions.

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As you can see, I went through several arrangements before I was satisfied. After staring at the collage for awhile, I realized that I needed something at the bottom. To balance the overall collage, I took the 8 x 10 pattern and added it to the bottom right corner of the foyer wall. Perfect! IMG_3775Now that I’ve decided on the locations for the frames, I need to choose new photos and decide if I want to change any of the existing photos. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Do you like to hang photo collages in your home? If so, what is your favorite type of photos to hang… portraits, scenery, flowers, etc?

Loft Project Planning

It was still too cold to work outside this weekend so BJ and I took some time to plan projects inside. Last fall, we started decorating our loft. To continue the transformation, we’ve added a few items to our to do list.

The loft/upstairs to do list:
1. Paint the half wall
2. Add an entertainment center/storage area
3. Make a new coffee table (I saw a cool idea on Pinterest for a coffee table made of crates.)
4. Add two ottomans for the chairs
5. Add some more decorative accents to the room

Here is our current “entertainment center.”
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It looks a bit like a college apartment mash-up of electronics. Not really the vibe we are going for.
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This is the Ikea entertainment center that we would like to add to the loft. It’s a little more dressed up than our current set up and will add a significant amount of storage for games, puzzles and movies.
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Along with the addition of storage, we would like to add some color to the half wall behind the chairs.
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We haven’t decided on a color yet, but once we narrow down the options, we will pick out a few paint chips and hang them on the wall for a at least a few weeks to determine which one we like the best.
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We would also like to carry the color around to the catwalk on the other side of the upstairs hallway. This will tie the two areas together nicely.
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Now that we have a game plan for finishing this room, we can narrow down our paint selections and start saving for our new entertainment center.

How do you plan for upcoming projects? Do you create a game plan or just decide as you go?

Spring is in the air…


It seems that I’ve caught Spring Fever. No, it’s not the latest strand of the of flu, it’s more like the longing for warmer days and plentiful sunshine.

The weather this weekend, despite cooler temperatures, was beautiful. To celebrate the coming of spring and spring flowers, I put together two new wreaths for our front door.

My first wreath was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

DIY spring wreath

Here is my interpretation of the same wreath. I chose the peach, light green and white flowers because they go nicely with our cranberry front door and the white letter really pops against the darker background.

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This wreath was very quick and easy to make. To make a similar wreath, you will need the following:

  • 5 hydrangea stems
  • Grapevine wreath
  • Letter of your choice
  • Glue gun

First, I cut each of the stems down to one inch and arranged them into the wreath. Then, I turned the wreath over and used the hot glue to secure the stems sticking through the back of the wreath.

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Next, I put hot glue on the back of the part of the letter that touches the wreath and then held it in place on the wreath for a few minutes while the glue set up.

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Leave the wreath with the flowers and letter facing up for a few hours so the glue on the flower stems and letter can set completely.

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Once the glue is set up and dry, you can hang your wreath for display!

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I also made this next colorful wreath because I really like yellow, teal and green together and couldn’t pass up these flowers while I was at Michaels. These bright colors together make for a really fun color palette that works well for spring or summer. And who doesn’t love gerbera daisies? To quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail: “I love daisies… They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”

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This wreath was more complicated to assemble than the first wreath. I first organized all the flowers and instead of using hot glue, I used floral wire. After I was finished, I realized that using hot glue would’ve been easier and faster. You can use hot glue like I showed on the wreath above and it will be easier.

Next, I wrapped the ribbon around the top half of the wreath and then I clipped on the butterflies. Not terribly complicated, but using the floral wire really slowed me down.

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While I was outside this weekend, I also spotted this little guy sneaking up. I hope he is not coming up too soon because they are still calling for some and ice coming our way in the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t freeze!

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Are you getting excited for spring? Have you made DIY projects to celebrate this bright and colorful season?