The Space Between

In our home, the kitchen and living are open to each other. You can stand in the kitchen and see into the living room and vice-versa. The open space great for entertaining, especially for get-togethers focused around sporting events. You can stand in the kitchen enjoying a few delicious treats and still see into the living room to watch the game. It’s a win-win!

A few years ago, we painted the wall that connects the kitchen and living room. But there was a blank space still left between the two rooms. Here is a photo taken right after we painted the wall in between the two rooms. (Check out that crazy couch. 🙂 )

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Earlier this year, we added a functional organizing area between the kitchen and living room to connect the two spaces.

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BJ and I looked at several options for this space before finally deciding on this Ikea Hemnes sofa table. Here are a few of the tables and benches we considered.

 

 

 

Threshold™ X Console Table Threshold™ Fretwork Console Table

Threshold™ Storage Bench with Slatted Doors Unfortunately, with these tables and benches we encountered two deal breakers. First, the tables and benches weren’t wide enough for the space and second, they didn’t offer enough storage. Our goal for this space is to connect the two rooms and still be functional.

We chose the Ikea sofa table because it met our criteria for the space and it also looks great with our Ikea Hemnes coffee table, and our kitchen island. The white really stands out against the blue wall and dark cherry kitchen floor.

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To make our sofa table more functional, I added these large chalkboard crates from Target. We’ve divided the crates into my mail, BJ’s mail, coupons and take out menus. These are items that we traditionally store in the kitchen, or that we inevitably pile up on the kitchen island making it unusable. With the large milk crates, we can store all of our mail, menus and coupons so they are easy to find and tucked out of the way of our daily kitchen use. If you are looking for a DIY alternative to these crates, you could find old milks crates and paint them with chalkboard paint. We decided to go with the option at Target because they were exactly what we were looking for.

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On the top shelves, I added some of our colorful coffee table books, and added a tray on each end for BJ and I to store little odds and ends.

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Our mail bins even have their own bouncer. Don’t mess with Zoey.

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Now this is a fully functional and fun space for us to enjoy. What area of your house to could benefit most from a functional space like this one?

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Update: Spring has sprung!

(On Sunday I discovered that the tulips that I thought were Rembrandt tulips are actually more varieties of lily tulips and our Rembrandt tulips started blooming! See below for updated pictures.)

And we’re back. It’s been a busy few months and although it was not really planned, I took a break from writing to catch up/focus on myself and our home. Since I last posted, BJ and I started a new workout routine, we started eating a healthier, more organic diet, and we also completed a few projects around the house.

To kick off our new series of posts, I first want to start by mentioning that we will be adding some new material to Frame By Frame Style. With our new organic eating, I also purchased a juicer and I will share a few of our recipes for delicious juices and other treats we are making. I also plan to share tips and tricks and resources for eating organic. I’m not an expert by any means, so as I learn new tips, I will share them with you. You can also check out my Pinterest board A Cleaner, Greener and Leaner Living for pins on healthy eating and living.

Before we dive into the healthy eating and living posts, I have an update on our flower bulb planting last year. In the fall, BJ and I planted around 150 tulip and crocus bulbs in our front yard garden beds. Now, six months later, the flowers are blooming!

First, at the beginning of April the crocuses (or croci) came up and bloomed. We planted purple, white and yellow crocuses and saw all three colors bloom.

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photo 2-2The crocuses are gone and now our tulips are coming up in stages. A few are still buds, but we have plenty that are already blooming in time for Easter on Sunday.
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The first to bloom were the lily tulips. In the evening, they close like regular tulips but during the day when they are in full bloom they open to look more like a lily. Our lily tulips are blooming in a bright pink, bright orange and a white/pink variety.

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We also planted Rembrandt tulips. The Rembrandt tulips are very bright and have pointed tips.

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I took many pictures of our tulips and this is my favorite of the tulip pictures I captured. This is a peacock tulip. They grow a little taller than the other tulips and have a softer look. 
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Here is another look at our peacock tulips. Our tulips are still blooming so look for more pictures to come. IMG_0795

I’m really thankful that we are seeing our fall planting come to fruition. It was a harsh winter for most of the United States and the Midwest experienced cold temperatures that were below -15F (-30F wind chill). I wasn’t sure if any of our flowers would make it through the tough winter but they did and I’m so glad! They will be really beautiful for Easter this year.

How did your gardens fair through the winter?

Along with the success of our planting, we are also experiencing a bit of a rabbit problem. In our side garden, the rabbits have enjoyed our tulips a little more than I would like.

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Eventually, we would like to elevate our front gardens so I’m hoping that will end our bunny problem in the future. In the meantime, I just have to cross my fingers and hope they find some wild flowers to eat that are not in our yard… or maybe they will eat our dandelions instead. One can hope.

More posts coming soon! Stay tuned. 🙂

Baby it’s cold outside

And…. we’re back! It’s been a busy holiday season for BJ and I, but despite being busy, we had some time to continue working on our home projects. I just ran out of time to keep you updated! I’ve added “write more blog posts” to my list of new year’s resolutions this year.

Now that the holidays are winding down and we’re looking to the new year, we will once again change our home decor. The in-between seasons are always a fun time to decorate. They are sometimes a little challenging, but allow for a decent amount of creativity. Here is how we decorated after Christmas last year.

I like to use decor that will translate from one season to the next. Before Christmas, I picked out two new vases, corks and cranberries to dress up our kitchen island. I chose the cranberries for their rich warm color, perfect for fall to winter decorating. The corks are a nice earthy color, another warm color that can be for fall or winter.

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When choosing a candle in our decor, I almost always go with an led candle, unless I have no plans to light the candles. The candles in the picture below are led and have a timer on them. Every night they come on at the same time and go off at the same time.

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In our winter decor this year, I want to add some more greenery. I like this idea I found on Pinterest to roll candles in faux snow. I also like the birds because we have a few wooden birds that look like these. The pine in the vase might be a little harder to pull off because we do not have any pine in our yard and pine is hard to find after Christmas. The stores sell off all of their Christmas decor and move on to spring decor too quickly.

DIY: Add faux snow to candles for a new look.

Here’s an idea for a way to use branches from a real Christmas tree. Before you throw the tree out, cut off a few branches and display them in a nice bucket with a few lights, pine cones and berry sprays. DIY winter decor || Lover.lyTo decorate our kitchen chalkboard, I like this idea for a “baby it’s cold out here” sign. We still have several months left of winter and it will be cold outside. So, why not have this sign in your house after holidays?

Love this sign for winter decorating

For more ideas, search “winter decor” on Pinterest. There are so many fun things you can do with winter decor. Be creative! You don’t have to put away all of your favorite decor items from Christmas. Keep a few winter items out and use them to celebrate the season a little longer in the new year!

Enjoy!

Pinterest Picks: Dinner Party Time!

It’s almost the weekend! Is anyone attending or hosting a dinner party or fun gathering with friends and family this weekend?

Even though the stores are already advertising for Christmas, outside it is still fall, and fall is the season of the ultimate fall dinner party: Thanksgiving. To gather some ideas for a fun dinner party, I searched Pinterest and here are a few of my favorite pins and ideas. I also started a new board called Dinner Party Time! for those interested in following as I continue to find more dinner party ideas.

I love decorating with pumpkins, especially unique looking pumpkins. A pumpkin can also make the perfect chalkboard for your party. You can use your chalkboard pumpkin for your menu or drink list. All you need is some chalkboard paint and chalk.

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Leftover small pumpkins from your Halloween displays can also make great centerpieces.

Beautiful for the Thanksgiving holidays or a fall dinner party

Speaking of chalkboard paint, I love the idea of using chalkboards to label each of your appetizers or desserts. Just be sure the chalkboard paint is food safe! You can also use slate dinner pieces. Slate is a natural chalkboard. In this photo, they painted the table runner with chalkboard paint.

BEER-TASTING PARTY - Host a pub-inspired beer-tasting party complete with cheese pairings, soft pretzels, burgers and, of course, a variety of craft beers.

The last few pictures are for a themed-dinner party. With the explosion of craft breweries, you can gather up your friends and invite them over for a craft brew party. Each guest brings a growler or bullet with their favorite local beer and then you can kick back and enjoy good food and good company for the evening.

We Set A Place For You/Fall FeatureCraft Beer and Cheese Pairingsmint love social club: {party inspiration: craft beer tasting party}

Have a great weekend everyone!

Feeling Blue…

BJ and I recently added a new storage cabinet to our dining room. We found this cabinet on sale at Target a few weeks ago. I’ve mentioned before how much I love a good sale, especially when I’ve had my eye on something.
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I really like this piece because it has a vintage look to it. And it’s blue! I’m not that great at yard sale shopping or antiquing so I often find myself waiting for furniture pieces like this to go on sale or clearance before I buy them. Maybe one day I will be able to understand the world of yard sales and antique malls. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them my way. I’m always looking for new ideas and tips. My problem is that I don’t even know where to start when it comes to buying old pieces. fbfs_bluecabinet6 copy

I’ve been keeping my eye out for furniture to help finish out our dining room. I was excited to come across this piece for storing extra glasses, dishes and cookbooks.

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I really love the glass window-frame doors of this piece. It displays our extra wine glasses, vintage Coca-Cola glasses and cookbooks beautifully.

The pumpkins on top of the cabinet, we won at a family reunion last year and I made the flower arrangement. The ice bucket on the right is a wedding gift from my best friend’s grandmother. The ice bucket works as a lovely and unique candy dish. Thank you, Lois! (shout outs to awesome grandmas! I know a few more grandmas who are also pretty awesome)

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Now our dining room feels more complete. Even Bentley approves.

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Do you have a favorite furniture piece in your home? Or maybe something that you kept an eye on for awhile and couldn’t wait to finally bring it home?

Bulbs, bulbs, and more tulip bulbs!

Chilly weather finally set in at our house this week, but before the frost arrived, we finished prepping our garden for the coming winter and spring. It may seem a little early to start thinking about spring, but fall is a great time to plant spring flower bulbs. After watching this DIY video from Lowes, I was feeling really ambitious:

In my ambition, I decided to buy 150 tulip bulbs to plant in our garden. At first, 150 bulbs didn’t seem like that many. They came in bags of 50, so three bags seems reasonable, right? I didn’t realize how much it would take to plant 150 tulips. Not to mention the 24 crocus bulbs I also bought. Note for next time: tulips should be planted 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart.Before we started planting, I had this grand vision in my head that we would just dig a few holes and spread the tulip bulbs out. That’s not exactly what happened after I read the planting instructions.

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fbfs_tulipsgalore2 copyIn order to plant all the bulbs in one evening, I recruited BJ to help me. He agreed to dig the holes and I would follow behind and plant each bulb, 6 inches apart and roughly 6 inches deep.

I arranged the bulbs in the on the sidewalk and in the grass near the intended homes of the bulbs. Once I laid out all the bulbs, I realized how much work it was going to take to plant 150 bulbs…

fbfs_tulipsgalore3 fbfs_tulipsgalore8 tulipsgalore7In other words, there were tulips bulbs everywhere.

We started planting during the daylight hours and had to finish well after the dark skies set in. A neighbor walking by commented that she once ran over a tree while attempting to garden at night. I’m not sure what that meant, but I was determined to get all the bulbs planted in the same evening. It’s important to get the bulbs in the ground before the frost comes so they have a chance to survive through the winter. We were getting dangerously close to the first frost of the season.

Thanks to BJ’s help, I was able to get every last bulb planted. We touch nearly every part of the garden while planting so during the following week, I added a fresh layer of mulch, to help protect the bulbs, and tame the unsettled dirt.

As I mentioned, it was well after dark when we finished planting the bulbs so I grabbed a few photos of the gardens the next day. Here is what the unsettled dirt looked like:

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And the finished gardens with mulch: fbfs_tulipsgalore13 fbfs_tulipsgalore11


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Now that all 174 bulbs are planted, I cannot wait to see how they look in the fall. Even if we only have a 50% survival rate through the spring, that is still 75 tulips!

The New Guy

Meet Bentley, the newest addition to our family. He is a spunky gray tiger cat who loves to play and have fun.

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Bentley has kept us on our toes since the day we brought him home. He’s already made a few changes to our decor. He was a little curious one night and knocked over a milk jug vase we had hanging out in our foyer. Thankfully, Bentley was okay, the milk jug… not so much.

Lesson learned. After the milk jug, we picked up and put away any remaining breakables that Bentley might be able to reach or knock over.

We forgot what it was like to have a kitten in the house! He can be quite sneaky sometimes.

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So what does Zoey think of our new family member? You might say Bentley is still growing on her.

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Although Bentley hasn’t warmed Zoey’s heart (yet), he has brought us much joy. He is very loving and when you pick him up he purrs, and purrs. He also loves to snuggle and give nose bumps. I think he is going to grow up to be a lap kitty, but first he has to grow out of his playing phase. Bentley is like the Energizer bunny, going and going and going. He only stops to take a quick break and then he is back on the move again.

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Keep an eye out for Bentley in future photos.