My Mini Nerd

I've told you before that I married a nerd. I highly recommend it, he's loyal, level headed and is always thinking about something interesting. Well, as a result of marrying a nerd I also gave birth to a mini one.  Meet Dylan Robert. Olivia, my 2 year old, dominates my instagram feed, because she's with me all day long and she's pretty darn cute. But, I want you to know about my other amazing kids as well.  I introduced you to Denali a couple months ago.

Dylan is my middle child and our only boy. He is a nerd. He's smart and very curious about life and how things work. He's in GATE school and takes it very seriously. He's also my sweetest, most thoughtful kid. He usually hugs us 2 or 3 times before he goes to bed. He's a bit of a clean freak and keeps a pretty organized, neat room (for an 11 year old).  He LOVES lego. Since he was 3 years old, he's probably spent a couple hours a day building and creating things (mostly Star Wars type space ships) with Lego. He's very generous and he loves his sisters. He asks lots of questions. And his personality is most like mine. He is passionate about perfection and is very diligent.  He doesn't do half-hearted and he's a great artist.  This kid is going to go places, I know it.

We got Dyl ready for back-to-school with a little shopping at P.S. from Aeropostle. I made my life a little easier and did all his shopping online.  With a couple pairs of skinny jeans, I great pair of black high tops and two new shirts, he's set for Fall.

Thanks P.S. from Aeropostle for providing Dylan's wardrobe. 


3 West Elm Looks for Less

Who doesn't love West Elm? I sure do, I've been drooling over their catalogues for at least 8 years now. And I love when I get a chance to visit a store. So much inspiration in one spot. This company is spot one and they are the trend setter. And while their prices are great, I know you are going to want these 3 West Elm looks that you can get for a lot less.

At West Elm for $79.00
At Hobby Lobby for $11.99 for the glass and $1.50 for the wood base. (and definitely use a coupon to save more)
At West Elm for $14.00
At Michaels for $2.99 (or even less with a 40% off coupon)
At West Elm for $49.00
At Homegoods for $19.99
Not bad, huh? You can have the look you love at a fraction of the price. If you like this series, I'll try to find more looks for less for you. It's what I do best. I'm a sucker for a good deal. And I really do believe you can have a great looking home for very little money.

I did the Math. If you went to West Elm and bought all 3 of these items, you'd spend $142.  And if you shopped the look for less, you'd spend $36.47 (that's without coupons).  That's a savings of $105.53. WOW!!! I just impressed myself.  

Back to School Doodle Art

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Office Depot, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #inspirestudents http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Happy Monday morning. Well, we are ready for our second week of school. I always have mixed feelings this time of year. For many years, back-to-school meant I was meeting a new class and starting a brand new year of teaching for me.  For now, I'm blessed to be home with Olivia while she is little and pursue my dreams of trying out a creative career through blogging.  I'm still a teacher at heart, so a little teacherish apple art is fun to make and give to special teacher and then also load them up with a bunch of great school supplies.

This little Back to School Doodle Art was a lot of fun to make. And something your kids would enjoy making as well. I started with a 12x12" piece of card stock.  Using the thicker markers first, I begin making lines both vertically and horizontally.

Then I started adding thinner lines and rows of  dots with the finer point markers.  Working from the center out, I created a very lose apple shape. And to make it a real art piece, I put it in a 12x12" frame.  

This year I loaded up on Office Depot.  They have all the brands I love and right now they have a great deal on select Newell Rubbermaid (Sharpie, Mr. Sketch, PaperMate, Expo Neon Window Markers, and Uni-Ball) products, if you spend $20 you get $5 off and they always have great weekly deals (this week: select PaperMate Flair 4pk's are $4, Sharpie 12ct Asst. Fine and Ultra Fine Asst are $6 and Sharpie Dozen Box Black Fine and Ultra Fine are just $6 while supplies last). And if you sign of for the Office Depot Rewards program, there is even more savings in available.


Industrial Dining Room Chandeliers

Now that I have a new table, I feel like a few other things in this room that need updating.  The chandelier is number one.  I think they are really important to a dining room.  It's a chance to make a statement and this is one room that I feel can be a little more formal in.  Because the chandelier is the only light source in the room, I think it needs to be one with quite a few bulbs.  The one we currently have, I bought for about $30 and installed it about ten years ago.  It replaced an ugly white ceiling fan.  We've definitely gotten our money out of it and a change would be nice.

Because I live in a 1920s house with gorgeous original built-ins and have a mid century table I think an industrial style light fixture might be just the balance I'm looking for.  Lamps Plus has some amazing options in this industrial style.

I've picked a few of my favorites and would love your input.  Which one do you think would be best in my space?  I love anything with edison bulbs, can you tell?

1 // 2 
4 // 5


DIY Painted Pineapple Tote Bag

I'm not done with pineapples yet.  I loved them last Summer, I still love them this Summer and I hope they stick around for next year.

I've taken my simple DIY Painted Pineapple Print and turned it into a little tote bag.  My Cricut Explore machine made it super easy to cut a freezer paper stencil of a pineapple out.

I participating in the Cricut Design Space Star challenge. This month's them is Fashion and Gear. So, if for some super lucky chance I make it to the top 10, you guys gotta help me out by voting for my bag.

So, here's how I did it.  First I logged into my Cricut Design Space account and started a new project with a simple 12x12 mat.  I inserted my favorite pineapple image, it's from the cartridge called Serenade.  The great thing about Design Space is that you don't have to buy the whole cartridge anymore, you can just buy one image.  Ok, so once I have the image big enough on the mat I simply hit cut.  You will be see a preview of the cutting mat and the pineapple will be in the top left hand corner of the mat.  Click and drag the image over to the center of the mat.

Place a 12x12" piece of freezer paper on the cutting mat, shiny side down.  Load the mat, turn the dial to custom and then on the custom pull down menu select vellum (that's the closest material to freezer paper and it works perfectly).  And then hit GO!  In a matter of seconds, you'll have a beautifully cut stencil.

With your iron set to no steam, iron on the stencil, shiny side down in the center of your bag.  I bought this simple canvas bag at Hobby Lobby for just $2.99.  

Now the fun begins, select a few bright colored craft paints, I used for for my bag.  I use Martha Stewarts paints, if they are heat set with an iron, you can wash them.  

Applying one color at a time, make small brush strokes in one direction over the entire pineapple shape.

Try to evenly space each color, overlapping them some.

Allow the paint to dry completely and then gently remove the stencil.

So great, right?  A nice clean line.  The freezer paper really makes a great seal for your stencil.  Put a small sheet of parchment paper over the painted pineapple shape and iron to set the color (about 1 min.)  Now your bag is ready to head to the beach or pool and if it gets dirty, no worries, just throw it in the wash!

I am a member of the Cricut Blogger Network. I may receive prizes in exchange for my winning projects. Even though I am not being directly compensated for these posts, I am under consideration for a prize with Cricut Design Space Star. All opinions are 100% my own.


Table Runner Made with Nate Berkus Fabric

As soon as I heard that Nate Berkus had a new fabric line at Jo-Ann Fabrics, I was in my car heading to the store.  You guys, Nate knows what he's doing.  I know this would be fabric I couldn't resist.  Yep, Nate gets me, grey triangles, yes please!!!!

I bought 1 yard and made a long table runner for my new dining room table in about 30 mins.  I cut the yard in half and joined the fabric in the center of the runner (if I made it without the join, I would have had to have bought over 2 yards).  It's a busy enough pattern that I don't think you even notice the seam in the middle.  Because this fabric has a very linear pattern, I followed the lines and cut an extra 2 inches on all sides, this left my room for a nice wide hem.  I turned the fabric under twice to give a clean finish.  This is just what my table needed.  I love the bold, geometric pattern.  Thank you Nate!

Here's a look at some of the other great patterns and colors in Nate's line.

Maybe I need more yellow in my life!

And I'd be more then happy to have all three of these black and white combos in my home.  

P.S. This is not an ad or a sponsored post.  I just really love Nate and everything he designs.


White and Wood Chair

I spent the weekend getting ready for the first day of school (which was today) and refinishing a couple pieces of furniture. This little chair was a fun, quick fix. I bought this chair for $4.99 at my local Goodwill. The yellowy light birchy wood look is so very 90s to me.  Light wood paired with the silver colored metal seems dated as well.  

I bought this chair for the bent plywood and the airy shape of the metal frame.  At first I thought I might just paint the whole thing a bright color.  But, then I decided that with a little stain, the grain in the seat and back might look really sharp.  So, I sanded the seat and back down to the bare wood and then used a dark walnut colored stain.  I sealed the wood with a almost matte finished water based varnish.  The frame got a good sanding and a fresh coat of flat white spray paint. 

I replaced all the screws, most of them had been pulled out. When I replaced the stripped screws, I used a couple broken off toothpicks in the holes to hold the screws in place. It's a great trick when screws get pulled out of hingers or cabinet doors. 

See what I mean about the shape? It's modern and clean. And now with the white and darker wood, I love the higher contrast.