Friday, August 26, 2011

Ten Dollars of Goodwill-y Goodness!

A Goodwill trip always starts with the need to make a donation. I pile the stuff into our car, pull into the drive-thru drop off, and make sure to get a receipt for our taxes. Then as I'm rounding the building, I always decide to just stop in and see if there's anything worthwhile. Most of the time... there is. Now that I'm learning more about repurposing and upcycling, I try to see the potential in the items that clutter the shelves. Here's what I got on my last trip:

1. Picture frame/bulletin board combo. It's headed to the kitchen in combination with a new family calendar (that's on its way).*

2. Loofas. Yes, loofas. I bought loofas from Goodwill. Here's how I justified it: they were pre-packaged (not used!) and they were cheaper than those at the grocery store. Why the heck not?

3. Silver hoops. I've never really been a huge fan of hoop earrings, but I saw these and decided to give them a try. At just $1.99, they were the perfect trial pair.

4. I love this wooden jewelry box. I have a lot of jewelry and no real good storage solution for it. This box is like having 4-in-1. It folds back up into one tower and you can pull out whichever drawer you need. It's in need of a good scrub and I'm thinking about jazzing it up a little, somehow. And at just $2.99, it was a bargain!

5. And lastly, I picked up these fun, jazzy silhouettes. Once they're cleaned up (and maybe painted different colors) they would look so great in the office. The office is a completely different vibe from the rest of the apartment. It's much more relaxed with apple green walls and fun art. It really that room's personality and I only paid $1.75 for the set. Once these go up, I'll be sure to give post a photo tour of our work space.

*And I just noticed they didn't charge me for the frame! It was originally priced at $3.55 but it's not on my receipt. By my calculations, the massive donation clothing and electronics I donated today, should cover the frame.

In total, I was charged $10.05 for everything! What a good deal. I'm excited to get these things cleaned up and in place around the apartment. Updates to come on their landing!

Do you love to recycle and repurpose second hand items? Any good finds lately? Link up and share you projects below!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Home Stretch

Today starts my final year of college! After 16 years of school, I can see the light at the end of the outrageously long tunnel. I've always loved school, but I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am not to have to carry around a backpack anymore!

Sure, graduation brings on approximately one billion more things to worry about, like full time jobs and paying back student loans, but I am ready for that trade.

So, here's to me. A wish that I will finish this year on a high note, blogging about all the fun stuff along the way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Year 'Round Mantle

In the fall, our mantle changes with each month. I go all out for the holidays. (Check out last year's Halloween, Autumn, and Icy Winter mantles!) But throughout the rest of the year, I just don't have the time or energy to change the decor for each month, so I keep it "seasonal neutral" and just match the scheme of our living room.

It's colorful and simple. I always love having the drawing of our wedding done by my sister-in-law front and center. To the left, is a simple black matte framing a magazine page that matches our decor. (It actually says "May" but I like the way it looks so I leave it throughout the summer months. Hey, it's about what makes you happy, right?)

Further to the left are two silver candlesticks, which were a wedding present from my grandmother and a purple bouquet.

On the right is a grouping of purple vases (which were heavily discounted at Hobby Lobby last year) and one of our wedding reception centerpieces (tutorial here). I added the purple ribbons to tie it into the colors.

And, there you have it. Our year 'round mantle. I must admit that I am very excited to start breaking out the holiday stuff. But, alas, it's only August!

What do you do with your mantle? Change it up every month? Or leave it the same year 'round?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dream Design: A Colorful Breakfast Nook

Right now, I am so in love with the idea of a breakfast nook. I've always liked the idea of having two dining spaces; one formal and one casual. When I saw this particular nook, just fell head over heels. It's bright, it's airy, and it's colorful. Three characteristics I covet in design!

Source: DIY Magazine

But what most appeals to me about this room is that it can very easily be emulated. Find the colors and patterns you love and throw them together! With a neutral backdrop, it can all pull together easily! Enjoy all of your favorite colors! And for your enjoyment, I whipped up a little design board for more inspiration on how to create your own colorful nook!

1. For this room, I chose to go with a true gray as the wall color. Gray is actually my favorite neutral. It's a bit more modern than your typical beige and cream. Benjamin Moore's Silver Dollar is a great "true" gray. It will make all of the colorful accessories really pop.

2. Perhaps the focal point of the nook is the pedestal table. White keeps it crisp and, again, neutral. The key making this room work is to keep the major items subtle and then fill in with lots of colorful accessories. For this board I chose the Odyssey White Dining Table by CB2 ($199.00).

3. Start the color parade off with your chair choice! These Tutti Frutti Stacking Chairs by Target (2 for $69.99) are a fun shape and come in several different colors. We actually own them in blue. Of course, any color would be great. I chose pink for this board because

4. I love this pendant lamp! The photo above displays a simple white lamp, but I really loved the pattern and color of the Retro Honeycomb Drum Shade Pendant from Shades of Light ($129.00). If you have a similar set-up as the photo. This colorful lamp can break up the white space if you choose to forgo curtains.

5. Textiles is where you really get to have some fun. These throw pillow are all from The Inglenook Decor, and while they are gorgeous they are a bit pricey ($64, $95, & $80 respectively). You could easily hunt down fun fabrics from your local craft stores or even design your own on Spoonflower and make your own. Same with curtains, if you choose to use them. Short, cafe styled curtains would be another fun way to break up the large windows.

6. I kept accessories down to a minimum for this board. There are so many cute things out there, it's hard to control myself, but this space doesn't necessarily lend itself to lots of knick-knacks. Table decor should be kept to a minimum, to keep as much room open for actually eating. This cute Peacock Blue Recycled Glass Vase from Pier 1 ($39.95) and this Ceramic Owls also from West Elm ($9.00) are adorable table toppers. I also added this Oversize Seagrass Basket by West Elm ($129.00) to stash extra pillows that might get in the way with extra guests.

Do you love breakfast nooks? Or are you more partial to a different dining space? What characteristics do you favor in design? Share below!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday Night Dinner: Enchilades Verdes

Josh and I have lived in South Texas our whole lives. Which means we're used to two major things. The heat and great Mexican food. Even our move to North Texas for school meant Mexican food that wasn't quite up to par with our hometown.

Well, you can imagine how I felt when I realized that our planned move to Oregon would mean a serious decline in the authenticity of my Mexican food! A challenge!!! I am going to be working on honing in the skills needed to make my favorite meals up north.

So, yesterday, I whipped up some Enchiladas Verdes. (Recipe adapted from All With chicken, queso fresco, and an amazing verde salsa, this dish made my confidence spike! It was delicious! The general consensus was that the salsa was a bit on the spicy side (which is ironic because I only added 2 of the 5 required serrano peppers!!) but other than that it tasted authentic and amazing!

I served up these babies with a sprinklin' of queso fresco and cilantro and had Pomegranate Acai Margaritas to drink. (They were the Daily's Frozen pouches. Have you tried these? Amazing!!)

What have you been cooking up lately? Do you stick to a meal rotation? Experiment a lot? Or both? What's your favorite recipe?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Room Love: pretty & rustic, DIY dining room

Room Love: I save so many photos from the interwebs of gorgeous houses and rooms and I want to share some of my favorites.

Image from here via Young House Love

There is a lot I love about this space! Of course the openness, which I have been craving lately (as seen here) but also the mixture of finishes and textures. I used to hate mismatched everything; furniture, towels, silverware, you name it. It would bug me that things didn't go together. But, as of late, I have really been getting into mixing styles and finishes. It can look amazing if done right!

Here, you've got refinished chairs, an awesome round seat, and even untreated wood in the light fixture but it gels like the room was made that way. This should be inspiration to get those cool mismatched chairs from the flea market, spruce them up with a new fabric and coat of paint, and use them at the dining table. Mix natural elements like natural fiber baskets, a table runner, or (if you're lucky enough to find one) a round bench to liven up a room with a almost entirely neutral color scheme.

And, of course, the coup de gras, is the killer chandelier. Save those recycled wine bottles and create something totally unique. You can easily find bottle cutters on Amazon. Save the tops for a light fixture and bottoms for storage vessels or vases. I bet pillar candles lit up in the evening would make that light fixture look gorgeous!

What do you think? Do you stick with one finish/texture? Or do you mix it up like above? What DIY projects complete your home? Please share!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our reason to DWIT: A Big Move

When I first introduced dwitting, I didn't explain the biggest reason why we were "doing what it takes" and since today marks 5 full years of being together, I thought it would be extremely appropriate to elaborate. Josh and I have lived in the state of Texas for our whole lives and when we moved to college and got married, we decided that it would be amazing to get out of Texas and experience a different state. We pinpointed the northwest as our preference and even further narrowed it down to southern Oregon.

PoppyandPinecone on Etsy (Get your state!!!)

The weather is better, the land is prettier, and you don't have 40+ days of temperatures over 100 degrees. (Yes! That's what's happening in Texas right now. Blech!) It sounds a little crazy, especially since Josh and I haven't ever visited this state, but we're up for a leap of faith. We're in the perfect position to do something like this. No kids, no huge obligations. We just need to get there.

So, this is why we're dwitting. To get to Oregon and start our life. (Hopefully by the end of 2012!)

Have you ever taken a huge leap of faith like this? How did it turn out? Any great advice? Leave it in the comments below! I want to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Bedroom Makeover: Easy changes = Big improvements

Well, fall approaches and things are finally getting back to normal around here. Josh spent the summer working out of town. I stayed home to take some summer classes and work. It wasn't necessarily fun living by myself for the past few months, but I'd like to think I took advantage of the opportunity by sprucing up the apartment. I made major changes to our bedroom and the kitchen and I have plenty of pictures of both!!

There wasn't really anything wrong with our bedroom before, but I felt like the blue we chose when we first moved in turned out to be way too dark for me. I wanted more of a relaxing oasis. I really inspired by a card I bought for my best friend's wedding. (I loved it so much, I bought the card for myself and then baked cupcakes to match!)

want to see more of cupcake pictures? check out my company blog for my eye candy!

Our room already had gold accents with the budget statement art and some other accessories, so only a new wall color was needed to acheive the light airiness of the card I was inspired by. Take a look at the difference it made!

I added to revamped nightstands that I purchased from Goodwill. A quick sanding, coat of white paint, and some new hardware made them clean and stylish. I also got some simple bedside lamps (also from Target) for night time reading. For the past year, we have used TV trays for nightstands and have had no bedside lighting so these additions have been the best by far! New white curtains (also from Target), keep the room feeling airy.

Now for some detail shots. I styled our nightstands with books in a similar color scheme of the room and added a few punches of pink to tie in with the artwork we have by the dresser.

Josh's nightstand is clearly more masculine with the addition of darker woodtone accessories, which tie in well with the furniture.

I was a little sad to see the original curtains I had made for the room go, but I knew white panels would make a huge difference. I contemplated making another set as I had previously and then I found these sheer white panels from Target and fell in love. There is a very subtle, circular pattern on them, and during the day time it is much more pronounced as the light shines through. It almost gives the room an ethereal feeling.

Here you can see the circular pattern on the curtains.

And this revamp was pretty easy on the wallet. Here's how it breaks down.

  • 1 gallon Color Place's "Nature's Cool Water Pond" satin finish: $15.96

  • Extra paint supplies: $15.00

  • Nightstands found at Goodwill: $22.50

  • White paint for nightstands: already owned

  • 2 curtain panels from Target: $15.92 (2 @ $7.96)

  • 2 table lamps from Target: $29.98 (2 @ $14.99)

Total: $99.36

Have you done any budget revamps lately? Or maybe a simple improvements that made a huge difference? Please share!