Happy Monday!

Good morning, friends! It’s been a while! Work & life has been keeping me pretty busy of late, but I am five days away from a nice long spring break – and I couldn’t be more excited and ready for some ME time!

I did take a stab at a few projects this weekend, but most of them are still drying (it was a paint & stain filled Sunday). My most exciting project, however, has been the photography class I am taking from Clickin Moms. I will tell you ALL about it after I wrap up the three week course – but I will tell you that, only one week in, I have already learned SO much about my camera & how to use it to create purposeful images!

My model this week had four legs and a little more fur than most of the kiddos & babies my classmates were shooting, but Emma was more than happy to bask in the sunlight in her favorite spot on top of our loveseat while I shot some images of her using natural light & manual focus.

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And all I had to say was “bacon” to get her to look at me. Like mother, like dog-daughter I guess.

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I had better luck shooting some stationary tulips – aren’t you just SO happy that it’s finally SPRING!??

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Nothing like a cute pup & some cheery flowers to start off the week, right? I hope you have a great Monday!

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Embroidered Wall Hanging (From a Placemat!)

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So, I was strolling through Target, admiring ceramic snails and galvanized metal trays (seriously, Target’s Threshold line is my favorite ever), when I happened upon a lovely section of clearance items. This placemat immediately caught my eye – I loved the colors, and loved the price tag even more!

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I grabbed the only remaining two, but with very little intention of using them as actual placemats. Here’s how I created this super cheerful wall hanging for around $2!

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Supplies:

Cloth Placemat

Embroidery Thread

Square Dowel

Wood Glue

Needle (with a bigger eye for the embroidery thread)

Not pictured – straight pins & twine

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I printed out a nice large “hello” in my favorite font – Sacramento – and pinned it in place.

I doubled the thread to ensure my letters stood out nicely, and then began to stitch along the center of the lettering. (I added an inch or so of lead in to the h).

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I did not worry too much about keeping the stitches consistent – I found it worked nicely to do longer stitches for the straight parts of each letter, and smaller stitches around the curves.

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After I traced all the letters, I tied the thread off securely in the back, and then very carefully removed the paper. I cut the excess paper away, and carefully pulled/tore the paper in pieces while making sure the stitching stayed intact.

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The final step was to use the wood glue to attach the dowel to the top of the placemat, and then to tie a piece of twine for hanging it.

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I am so, so happy with this. The colors are so springy and fun!

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Make anything awesome for two bucks lately? Or find a fun new use for something ordinary, like a placemat?

Tuesday Things – Yellow Inspired

I don’t care that there is still snow on the ground – I am so ready for Spring. And yellow is just the ultimate color of springtime, don’t you think? So, let’s get our yellow on!

 

1) Get some happy for your kitchen!

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These ceramic canisters from Target’s Threshold line are sporting lids in the perfect shade of springtime yellow! I imagine most people would use these for tea bags or granola, but I have my eye on them for a lovely new way to stash Emma’s dog treats.

2) Yellow in the Bedroom

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I am not in the market for new bedding (according to my husband), however if I were, I would be all over this Ikat duvet cover from West Elm. How could you not be happy waking up in that bed?

3) Grow some Sunshine

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I was given these beautiful vase of tulip bulbs a couple of weeks ago, and have been attempting to photograph them in different stages as part of my attempt to learn how to use my camera. Both of these shots were taken using something other than the “auto” setting – which is a real step for me! And how gorgeous are these yellow tulips? Now I’m bummed that they are reaching the end of their bloom-life, but I plan to plant the bulbs!

Now give this song a listen, and enjoy your day! Only two weeks until the official start of Spring!

 

Fresh Seasonal Centerpiece

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To me, yellow is the color of springtime. I always infuse yellow accents into my decorating during these months – from flowers, to pillows, and this year even new spring curtains!

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I am loving this combination of yellow & blue – seen here in this little centerpiece arrangement on my dining room table.

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The ceramic berry basket was a find at T.J. Maxx for $6.99, and I’ve filled it with artificial lemons from Pottery Barn.

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I’m seriously in love with blue mason jars. The yellow & blue tie in perfectly with that table runner – the Threshold Floral Cotton Table Runner from Target!

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Oh, Spring… how I wish you could stay forever.

 

What colors say “spring” to you? Do you change the color scheme of your home decor with the seasons, too?

Grow Baby Grow

So, as I mentioned in Sunday’s post, I’m trying my hand at a little gardening project this year. I was never that into gardening in the past (and I really do not have the greatest track record when it comes to keeping plants alive), but this year I’ve become inspired to grow myself some veggies. (I’m going to make a confession right now and admit that one of the big reasons I decided to venture into gardening THIS year was because of the overwhelming cuteness of the garden tools at Target…)
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The hubs & I live in the 2nd floor apartment of a two family home, but since the 1st floor residents are his parents, we have unlimited access to the back yard/deck (score). Even so, the yard is small & so I’ve opted to start a little container garden, and grow just a handful of vegetables this year.

We’ve got a Lowes in town, with a great garden center. I was a little overwhelmed with the selection & options at first, but I figure the best way to learn is to dig right in (get it?) and learn as I go! So I purchased a pair of wooden planter boxes that I happen to completely adore. I thought about painting them fun, bright colors, or stenciling designs on them, but I decided I really love the simple, natural look of them so I left ’em as they were.

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The third planter is hexagonal-shaped, and was a quick add on to my supplies when I realized I had purchased too many plants to fit in just the two boxes! (Lesson #1 – tomato plants need lots of room to grow!)

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On my first trip to Lowes several weeks ago, I bought a bunch of seed packets & thought I was going to be all Johnny Appleseed about it. Then I called my mother (garden pro) and she told me in order to grow my veggies from seeds I would have had to start them in indoor pots and care for them until they were sturdy & strong enough to be moved outdoors. Space is a limited commodity in our home, and most indoor plants run and hide from me in terror.

So I took those seeds back and waited a few weeks until we had passed the danger of frost in our area, and purchased myself some pre-planted & cared for mini seedlings. I think it’s kind of like adopting a child after all the messy diaper-changing & late-night crying years. So it’s like adopting a bunch of teenage plants. I can just stick ’em in the ground, provide food & shelter, and let ’em do their thang. Just like a kid…right?

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Let me introduce you to the family. First, we’ve got the real stars of the show – a set of tomato plant triplets. I grabbed three because I want to increase my odds of successfully growing some delicious, juicy red tomatoes. (Again, just like with children. One of them is bound to get it right).

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Next up are the easy-to-care-for and full-of-promise basil plants. (They are like the middle child – they don’t need as much attention as their siblings, but they’ll spend their whole life trying to make you proud grow delicious leaves). These little over achievers are going to become pesto before you can say… presto?

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And finally, the babies of the family who will respond to extra love & attention – some cute little sugar snap pea seedlings.

You most likely already know how to go about planting things in dirt, but in case you’ve been living in the desert or on the moon for a while, here’s what I did in three simple steps:

1) Filled the planters 2/3 of the way with dirt (or should I say dirt’s more glamorous cousin, soil. I used one bag of ‘regular’ soil & 1 bag of Moisture Control Miracle Grow to fill all three planters.)

2) Plopped in the plants.

3) Added more dirt.

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The plants were hanging out on the deck over the weekend, and soaked up lots of rain from passing showers. Even so, after I finished planting, I fed my little children seedlings with some miracle grow fertilizer, and made sure the pots were placed in the sunniest spot on the deck. There was some patting and cooing and “grow baby grow” encouragement offered as I planted, but that about sums it up.

Now I guess there is nothing left to do but cross my fingers & hope that they grow into something I can be proud of & brag about to all of my friends er… eat. Gosh, I’m going to be a great parent someday.

A Few of My Favorite Things (Birthday Style)

My birthday was a few days ago, and I was quite spoiled by my loving husband and family. If you follow me on Instagram you likely saw some pics from my fun-filled “birthday week”. Here’s a round-up!

Birthday Collage1 & 2) the week started off with a mani-pedi date with a friend, so I’ve been sporting Essie Mademoiselle on my fingers & Turquoise & Caicos on my toes. 3) Pretty tulips from the grocery store bloomed all week in our living room. 4) More tulips – a lovely flower bed outside a hotel in NYC spotted while my BFF & I walked the streets on a fun-filled evening. 5) Drinks, dinner, a show & time with my bestie. 6) Gorgeous flowers delivered on my birthday from my amazing husband! 7) New favorite shoes (Reva by Tory Burch). 8) Happiness. 9) Seriously spoiled – a new bag for toting my laptop & work essentials (Longchamp Le Pliage), a new springy cellphone case (Botanical Rose iPhone Case from Rifle Paper Co)., and a basket for my bike (Nantucket Bike Basket Company).

I love having a Spring birthday – it is such a happy & optimistic time! Now if the weather would just get it together, I would have zero complaints!

Have a great day everyone! Xo!

Move Out, March!

I don’t know about you, but March flew by for me! It was super busy, and about 15 degrees colder, on average, than I’d have wished, but now we are moving into April – my faaavorite month! But before I dive happily into the next four weeks of springtime, here are some of the highlights from March:

DIY State Love Art – I paid homage to my current home state of NJ, and particularly to the town where the hubs & I tied the knot (almost six months ago!) with an easy, use-the-materials-you-have-lying-around-the-house kind of project.

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Stylish StorageI showed off the craft storage cabinet my sweetie gave me for V-Day (move over, roses, there’s a new Valentine’s Gift Hit in town!). I’m still loving this thing – and my husband loves that my ribbons & paper scraps are now hidden from view. (When I remember to put them away, that is…)

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Pinteresting StatisticsI reviewed my ‘top pinned’ DIY projects, and invited you to follow along with me on Pinterest.

Local LoveI gushed about my love for our favorite weekend shopping trip – The Farmhouse Store – a place where you can find amazing furniture, beautiful jewelery and hand crafted items, and pillows with farm animals on them. What more could you want, I wonder?

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Burlap Bunting We welcomed the first day of Spring with some burlap & felt bunting – a sweet & simple DIY!

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Egg Happy I embraced the season & scattered eggs in all varieties around our home – including this little egg & mossy nest display:

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and then I decorated a few paper mache eggs – using baker’s twine and a fancy paint-speckling technique. (Just kidding, nothing fancy about it – but I felt so artistic in the process!)

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Baa Baa Pom-Pom SheepAnd in my favorite craft-scapade of the month, I made a little family of yarn pom-pom sheep which just ooze country cuteness! They’re not Easter specific – you can make them any time!

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Oh, and the hubs & I are sofa-shopping – any advice?

Thanks for reading, commenting, and being a part of this lovely ride! Here’s to a wonderful April! xo.