It’s the Little Things

Two frames. That’s all we needed at Ikea . .  two frames. Somehow Ikea suckered us in with five ceramic vases for my roommates baby shower centerpieces, two frames, and a shoe caddy.

And a cup of coffee for Greg since today’s post discusses our inability to do anything without a cup coffee.

Just kidding, it’s about our new shoe cabinet.

Over the summer we visited our nice neighbors’ house and noticed a table in their hallway which we (ok, I) swooned over. The table completed the hall and didn’t over power it in the way I imagined it would. Greg agreed with my table lust but not to same level of enthusiasm.

Just look at the emptiness

Just look at the emptiness

Enter Ikea. We went earlier in the summer to look at shoe cabinets for the ridiculous amounts of shoes I own and needed to corral but the cabinets didn’t fit the measurement of our closet wall. Although, they did fit perfectly in our hallway table search.

We love adding storage to the house and our hall closet needed it due to keeping our hats, scarves, gloves in a yaffa block bin at on the top shelf (yes, the block is from my freshman year of college). By adding drawers in the hallway, cold days won’t involve me digging through a bin and leaving a trail on the stairs.

ikea storageIkea offered us two solutions: 6.75″ deep and 8.75″ deep. This might be one of the few times when smaller is better. For our hallway, two extra inches overpowered the space but it took an afternoon of me walking past with cardboard 8.75″ inches wide taped to the wall. Taping a piece of cardboard might sound silly but we’ve found by taping up the dimensions or depth of something, it truly helps us get a feeling for a project. By doing this, we’ve saved time and money by knowing what does/doesn’t work size wise.

Ikea storageWhich brings us back to the two frames. We went just to look at the cabinets and add one to our Christmas list. As you can clearly see from this post, we couldn’t wait for Christmas (darn you, Ikea!) Fast forward through us trying to locate the Stall cabinet and the hour spent building it to this–

ikea storageA new home for our keys and winter accessories! The depth works perfectly in the hallway, any deeper it would be intrusive. The drawers are dedicated to hats, gloves, and scarves just in time for the predicted bad winter.

ikea storage









Chalk One Up

Close your eyes and imagine a frame with potential but an ugly punctured canvas inside.  Have that image?

Good, because I’m an idiot who erased all the before and during images from this project.

A local thrift store hosts a monthly half off everything sale and for $5, we couldn’t go wrong with the frame (due to all the potential).  I knew it would make the perfect chalkboard sign for our patio and it would only take a few steps to achieve the desired results.

Chalkboards have been popping up everywhere from weddings to birthdays. Our patio’s cabinets have chalkboard contact paper on the top for when we have parties.  Why? Well, we tend to serve all drinks from the cabinet and it’s a great way to label what we are serving and where the beer is.  A framed chalkboard for above the bar has even more uses—during our Phillies Challenge (one beer/one hot dog per inning), we can keep tally on it, for Hazel’s third birthday we can write fun facts on it.  For our upcoming BBQ, it lists our libations.

DIY Chalkboard frameThe only reason I am willing to add so many chalkboard to my life is due to Chalk Ink.  Chalk Ink removes the need for old school chalk.  It works like a marker but is easily removed like old school chalk.

DIY Chalkboard frameSo let’s get started!

What you will need

  • Chalk Ink
  • Foam Core
  • Chalkboard paint or contact paper
  • Frame
  • Staple Gun
  • Spray paint

1. Remove any print/canvas that might be in your frame.

2. Spray paint it the color you desire or keep it as is (depending upon your frame).  I was aiming for a more Tuscan red but ended up with apple red.  Oh well.

3. Cut a piece of foam core to fit inside the frame.

4. Paint with chalkboard paint according to the can’s instructions.

5. Staple gun into the frame.

6. Chalk it up!

DIY Chalkboard frame

Sneak peak: Office Love

Three months ago we started my office transformation and after three intense days of “let’s just finish it” projecting, I am officially in my office. This definitely was one if the few projects when we almost call in professionals (damn you, subfloor!) but we pushed through a learned a new skill or two.

We still have a few finishing details to do before we have a big reveal and I have hundreds of photos to edits before to have a project tutorial but we wanted to give you a sneak peak.





What’s a Girl to Do?

Are you a to do list-aholic?  I am and it became an even worse addiction after attending project management seminar at my old job.  Seriously, the class makes your addiction even worse because they promote the use of a daily to do list!

Sure, I’ll make my daily to do list and write it on a post it note but inevitably gets lost in the desk vortex.  Over the past two months of working at a temporary desk (aka the folding table) my desk vortex transitioned into a straight up black hole.  Items start on the desk but disappear, never to been seen again.

I can’t even blame the dog since she’s not allowed upstairs.

Something needed to be done since my manager is due any minute and I received new responsibilities to handle in her absence. Let’s face it, a disappearing post it note would not serve me well in this situation.

A white board is what I needed but would not work on my wall. The next best thing (and much prettier) solution was a picture frame.

Picture frame? Yes, the glass works like a white board! I picked up a pack of thin tip dry erase markers and a frame from HomeGoods.

to do frame

Once home with all my items, I created a lined to do list template in word (attached here) and printed it.

Then I laid the frame’s glass over it to determine how to cut. Trace the shape and cut. Place everything back in the frame and start to doing!

Since my office is still scattered throughout the house, I modeled one of my to do frames with my personal laptop.  The great thing about this whiteboard, is that you can put it anywhere– buy a large one and hang it, small one in the bathroom room to remind kids to brush their teeth, whatever you desire.

to do frame-2

Apparently, all this working bored Hazel.  She believes she is too pretty to work.



Greg and I have been make a huge amount if progress on a few projects (meaning that several will be completed this weekend)! My Monday our new curtains will be hung, the dresser makeover will be complete, and new art will be hung . . . Or at least, this is our plan. Here’s a small sneak peak of our current projects.


Five on Friday: Patio Pleasure

All summer, we’ve been holding back a big change from everyone as a surprise.

No, it’s not a baby. Hazel is more than enough for us at this point in our lives.

We’ve replaced our Florida room/enclosed porch! As I type, they are out there finishing up the installation and I cannot wait to break it in this weekend. Hazel is going to be in for a big shock when she gets home from doggie daycare. I’ll get more into the how/what/why next week when I have pictures but today’s Five on Friday is all about the little things (and one big thing) we need to focus on with the enclosed porch.

Patio in progress

Now on to the Five!

Five on Friday Patio

1. Patio Light

Patio Light

The current patio lights on the porch are ancient and look old lady-y. We’ve already found new lights which mimic the feel of ceiling fan (different brand but amazing matching). If we had not found these earlier in the summer, I would be searching out something unique/different like this one from Lamps Plus.

2. Hardwood Ceramic Tile

The one downside to having our patio replaced is the damage to the carpet currently on the floor. After living here for three years, we realized carpet isn’t exactly what we want on the floor. Tile offered us the best solution–easy to clean of leaves and we don’t have to worry about mold growing if it got wet during a storm. Ceramic hardwood tile has me swooning and I don’t swoon that much (only for Greg and sparkly jewelry).

3. Area Rug

Outdoor Patio Rug

Cold feet and I do not get along. If we have tile, we are going to need an area rug to keep my tootsies warm (and Hazel’s too). The room offers us several options for rug selection– indoor or outdoor. Personally, an outdoor rug seems to be the better choice due to it’s ability to withstand dirt and Hazel. You all know of my love for Target and their Threshold collection and guess what, they offer quite a large selection for rugs!

4. Twinkle Lights

Patio Twinkle Lights

The 18 year old in me wants to decorate everything with twinkle lights. The 30 year old in me wants to decorate everything in twinkle lights but realizes the they only work in every room at Christmas time. Fortunately the 30 year old in me realized, the only room in the house which could handle them all year is the patio. Pinterest offers a twinkle light lover like myself plenty of options to chose from. Now the contractors just need to finish up!

5. Mason Jar Glasses

Mason Jar Glasses

Decorating our patio certainly takes a lot of work and makes me thirsty. Guess we need the perfect glass for the patio! Mason jar glassware serves as the perfect glass for serving drinks in the patio. Now I just need to find a great cocktail.

Have a great weekend!


Color Me Awesome

What a week it’s been for us!  Do you ever have those weeks that seems to have a theme?  Well, the past week it’s been an arty week for us.  We had a bunch events which enhanced the house through art.

Let’s get started.

The Uncorked Artist

As part of my birthday celebrations, we used a Groupon for the Uncorked Artist Paint Your Pet event. Now if you’ve never heard of Uncorked Artist you are in for a treat—it’s BYOB painting. Typically everyone paints the same painting while drinking. I guess it relaxing the nervous painter. We decided to do Hazel and Indy at our event. They affixed the picture of our pet to the canvas and let us have fun! The teacher gave instructions along the way and walked around the room offering advice.

By the end of the night, we had two wonderful works of art to bring home. I gave Indy’s portrait to my mom and Greg placed Hazel proudly on the mantel.20130618-160550.jpgI guess this proves Hazel truly is a spoiled puppy—we have two paintings of her and she’s not even two yet!

Ambler Arts and Music Festival

Speaking of Hazel, we paraded her around at the Ambler Arts and Music Festival on Saturday. We bring her because we love playing the game, “Tire Hazel Out.” If any of you have a dog, you’ve come to the realization that a tired dog is a good dog.


Now back to the Arts & Music Fest– Ambler closes the main street to setup booths for each vendor or as Hazel thinks of them—petting and cookie dispensing stations. We’d move a few booths and someone would want to pet her or give her a cookie.

Seriously just look.

20130618-202516.jpgWhen Greg and I attend arts fest, we have a method—go up the street looking at one side’s vendors and go down the street looking at the other side’s. We walked up the street lusting after several works of art before hitting our designated turnaround spot.


On the way back down the street, we hit Chad Rosenthal’s BBQ booth who not only opening a new restaurant in Ambler but is appearing on Food Network Star.

Apparently sad puppy dog eyes don’t work on him. Then she tried it on us. Just look at how much she wanted the pulled pork sandwich. Neither one of us was willing to give up any of the sandwich for her.


Later on she even tried to have our beer.


For the past few years, Ambler has held an Arts Fest in June and we’ve always seemed to walk away with something Philly themed. The first year we attended, a watercolor print of Boat House Row came home with us. The next year we purchased three oil paintings of different places in the city that meant something to us.

Of course, this year followed the same trend. . . .

Yep, we bought a Philadelphia print pillow from Belovely, a new store to Ambler. Walking in I knew the store and I would get along since they offered so much art from Girls Can Tell (we own several of her works). The owners mentioned they are working with the pillow artist to create an Ambler print.

Guess we know what will be getting next.

The whole time at Arts Fest I kept repeating to Greg, “We’re not buying anything,” and somehow I ended up with a $45 pillow.

20130618-202527.jpgWill power and me just don’t get along but look at how pretty (and perfectly) it matches our living room. The pillow draws the wall color down to the couch and accents the other throw pillows nicely.

Color Me Rad

We ended our artistic weekend on a very colorful note—with Color Me Rad 5k. If you’ve never done one of these color runs, I recommend finding one near you. We ran (ok, walked) with our color buddy, Michele. You start off in a white outfit and run past five color stations where volunteers douse you in color. After you finish the race, you walk around taking pictures and repeating that it’s the best race ever.