Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Target Hack: From Dorm Room to Home Room

I've been looking for a small side table to sit next to our cane chair in our living room.  I originally wanted a ceramic stool like this one here, but they can be a little pricey! 

While on one of my many shopping trips to Target I ran across this hot pink side table in the dorm room section for only $20.  I was going to grab it right then, but I thought about my husband and his input on our home décor and decided to wait...heck it would be there on my next trip.

When I went back to grab one, to my surprise they were marked down to $17...heck yeah!  I wanted to get "Pinky" home and gold her down like this. 
The top was just screwed onto the wire base so I removed it instead of using any tape.

I took the wire base outside and sprayed it using my simple spray painting techniques.


I have something special planned for the top of this table, so look out for that post soon!

Hint:  It rhymes with Sierra....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 ways to be HAPPIER in your Home!

Our homes are an extension of who we are: what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.

It's amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home.

1. Make your bed. In a popular post last month, I explained the many benefits of daily bed-making. Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to "ready." I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul's clever book, It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys. It's a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to "ready" before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

3. Display sentimental items around your home. One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire cycle of enjoyment that experiences provide: planning the experience, looking forward to the experience, enjoying the experience, and then remembering the experience. Make your home a gallery of positive memories.

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal. Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. (If you have kids, you can ask them, "What was the best part of today?") Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude. (An added bonus: Later, when your memory is defunct, you will already have all of your meaningful adventures recorded!) If you have trouble getting started with journaling, consider buying a book to guide you. Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, is a great one.

5. If you can't get out of it, get into it. This tip comes from The Happiness Project. I love the message: The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume, do a couple fist-pumps while shouting "Can I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!" and pretend you love it.

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. In The Art of Happiness, the Dali Lama says ""Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it." Wow. What a wise man. I tend to wake up with a strong visceral reaction that says, "Attention human beings: Be afraid of me before coffee. Be very afraid!" Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like "be productive" or "enjoy today's delicious moments" or it could be something more specific like "say thank you to my loved ones today." But it should not be another "to do" item on your list.

7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!). (That's right, I said it: nothing!) Mow the lawn for your husband, but don't expect him to pat you on the back. Make the bed for your wife, but don't try to get bonus points for it. Take the trash out for your roommate, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost. (No! It's YOUR turn to clean up the dog poop!) It's a well-known fact: When you do good, you feel good.

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day. You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed, or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don't feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better.

9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain. Plan a summer barbeque, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don't forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.)

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on your annoyance with the those-are-definitely-not-mine-and-they-are-abso-fricking-lutely-repulsive socks under the coffee table. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. (Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet?)

A special thanks to Apartment Therapy for getting us Happier in our Home!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Design Porn Fridays: Mid-Century Modern with Emily Henderson

I've always been a fan of modern with a dash of vintage, subtle with a pop of color, and mixing bold prints and patterns, but I've never had the heart to paint that picture in my own home.  I've been a fan of Emily Henderson for a while now and I just love, love, love her sense of style!  So you can imagine why I'm lusting over Emily's design for Bri Emery's living room.

A good "before and after" is like design porn to me. I'm easy like that. - Emily Henderson

Head over to Styled by Emily Henderson and check out the deets on this makeover.  I'm sure it will put a smile on your face, it's such a bright and happy space!  I sure love to stalk a good space!  Although my space has more of a subtle, beachy feel to it....I'm thinking it's time to take some chances and do what I LOVE!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sneaking Around: Home Tour

 As a lover of design and DIY you can imagine that our house changes quite frequently.  Our house has come a long way from the dark ages of HMH...check out those photos here!  I'm in the process of updating our home tour page, so you guys can follow along with our progress and be somewhat up-to-date with our current style...although it's always evolving along with the size of our wallet! 
Our living room currently has a beach cottage feel and it's starting to feel like home.  A lot of the pieces have been thrifted, like the media console which was actually our first project on the blog and one of my favorite pieces yet! It's so functional because it holds all of Kennedy's toys and it's easy to tidy things up when we're expecting company.  We also just recently added the floor to ceiling curtains which were made out of drop cloth, we discuss how we did that here.

I had been looking for a globe and stumbled upon one at a local thrift store called The Love of Jesus Thrift Store for just $5...what a steal!  Especially when these things are going anywhere between $30-$60 on eBay.
Since we have a two story home, it's hard to get Kennedy to play in her room if we're not upstairs with her so we currently have her Ikea MALA Easel in the living room for when she feels the need to let her creative side shine.
There is so much that I love in this picture!  I am super excited to have a fiddle leaf fig on display in our home I could just scream (and it's doing quite well by the way).  I lucked up and paid only $12 for it at the local Great Big Greenhouse...no really that's the name ;)  The cane chair was another thrift store find for only $5.  I still haven't gotten around to painting it or dipping the legs gold...something like this but I hope to get to it soon.  The Insta-Frame was another project that stemed from a $7 thrift store frame.  It's so easy to just change out pictures from time to time and it's a big piece of art that doesn't overwhelm the space.  The white rooster has made his way around our house and it's something I can't get rid of!  I found him at Thrill of the Hunt when they first opened and he was a mess and now he's simple.  Just the way I like 'em!
This buffet is a real diamond in the rough.  It originally looked like this and needed a face lift and now it's a perfect piece for our dining room and has tons of space for storage. 
My husband built this farmhouse table out of pallets and it actually won 2nd place in the Project Pinterest Challenge.  It's been updated quite a few times now and I still want to paint the base of the table white, but we'll see!
Our "EAT" sign was DIYed using paper mache letters from Joann Fabric and recently got a face lift to match the rest of the house.  We also installed the molding over the windows, which really adds height to the room.  I originally wanted to put curtains back up in this space, but I don't want to hide the lovely molding.

There you have it...a slice of our pie!  We have so much more to share with you guys, but for right now...that's all folks! :)