Tag Archives: decorating

Working On My Crafty Side (or Starting Off Halloween Season!)

I love Halloween. I don’t know if it started because of working at Halloween Horror Nights or the amazing Halloween parties that my friends have thrown, but I love Halloween time. I remember when I was growing up that my parents would get the Halloween box out of the garage and we would spend an afternoon decorating the outside of the house. Now that I’m in my house, I really don’t decorate the outside but I’ve tried to be better about decorating the inside. I’m not the most crafty person, but I’m good at shopping and have found some cute decorations that work in my house.

But my friend Anne is probably one of the most crafty people I know and is amazing at decorating! She decorates her house based on the season and changes out things seasonally so that everything reflects what she is decorating for! I met Anne when I went to the blogger event a few years ago about the Hard Rock Cafe 5K and we’ve stayed in touch ever since then. We don’t get to see each other that often, so when she invited me to a crafting party at her house, I immediately RSVPed yes!

The plan was to decorate styrofoam pumpkins and she would have all the crafting supplies for us. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t know what to do with the pumpkin but I knew there would be so many creative people there that I could learn from and hopefully I would be inspired and could make something cute.

When I got to the party, Anne had all the crafting supplies out by the tables she set up. I was so impressed by everything that she had for us and even more impressed that this was all stuff that she already had in her house!

There were so many things on the table to use to decorate the pumpkins! I honestly didn’t know where to start. The only thing I knew I didn’t want to use was glitter because it gets everywhere and I try to not have glitter things in my house (I guess that proves I’m not into crafts since I don’t like glitter). But there were so many paint options, ribbons, gems, door knobs to use as stems, and other things to choose from so not using glitter wasn’t going to limit me.

Other people started to grab paint, glitter, and other things to decorate and I took a moment to observe and see what everyone else was doing. A lot of people were painting their pumpkins another color and then were going to work on decorating on top of that, but I knew that it wouldn’t be what I would do. So I took a look carefully at the supplies table and got inspired by some gem-type ribbon. Anne got a glue gun out for me so I could glue it down, I grabbed some gems to go with the ribbon, and I started working.

I covered the stem of the fake pumpkin with the ribbon and then wrapped it around and glued it down. Then I took some of the gems and put them randomly around the pumpkin. I was liking how it looked and decided that because I’m such a big Disney nerd that I needed to add a few hidden Mickeys to my pumpkin. And I was so happy with the end result!

It’s the perfect mix of Halloween and Disney and it will look so cute on my dining room table! And it’s simple enough that as I get more decorations that it should still work with everything. And because Anne had so many extra pumpkins, I took another one and took colored gems to create a pumpkin that was just Mickeys.

As expected, everyone else was so creative! The pumpkins looked like things you would buy in a store and we joked that we should create a shop to sell what we made. I wish I could be as creative and crafty as everyone else, but that’s just not a skill I have right now. I probably could be better if I worked on it, but I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do that.

And when everyone was all done, we had to get all the pumpkins together for a photo. That’s what happens when you are in a room of bloggers, social media specialists, and marketers.

I do feel like mine are the least fancy of the bunch, but I am still proud of what I made and that they did turn out cute. I was not competing with others to make the best pumpkin, I just wanted to do something that I could be proud of and that didn’t look ugly. I accomplished both of those goals.

I’m so glad that I went to the pumpkin party because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to spend an afternoon being creative. Even though my creativity isn’t usually in crafting, any time I get to be creative is a good thing for me. And it helped me kick off Halloween season early so now I can take the rest of my Halloween decorations out and start getting my house into the Halloween spirit!

Lazy Christmas (or Cleaning And Chinese Food)

I hope that you all got to celebrate Christmas exactly how you wanted to yesterday!

I spent the day at home by myself, which was fine with me. Spending time with my family on Christmas isn’t something that usually happens and last year was the first time that I was there on Christmas in possibly 10 years.

My day started off by sleeping in. This is something that I rarely get to do, so it was very nice to sleep in past 7am (I was still up by 8, but that’s an extra hour of sleep).

My entire day was unplanned, so I just relaxed. I started by hanging out reading on my couch. After a minute, I realized that one of the tv stations has the fake fireplace airing during Christmas morning, so I put that on and pretended to be reading by the fire.

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After reading a couple of chapters, I decided to work on doing a big clean up of my house. It wasn’t necessarily dirty, but to do a good cleaning job takes time, and I usually don’t have the uninterrupted time to do it.

After cleaning, I went through my kitchen to do some rearranging. While doing that, I realized that I had way too many water bottles. I get them a lot in swag bags and I have just been storing them. I counted 27 water bottles when I really only use 2 of them. So I bagged the extra ones up and will be making a stop to donate them (along with some other items) next week.

After cleaning, I decided to work on some decorating ideas. My parents gave me a teak tray back in August. They have had it for a long time but don’t use it. And I figured I could do something cool with it. When my parents were here for their layover visit, they bought me a cube ottoman and the tray has been living on that ever since.

But it had been empty since I had no idea what to do. But yesterday, I was inspired. I put some candles on there along with a driftwood candle holder my dad made and the pine branch bouquet I made at the event at the mall. I want to replace the pine branches with some flowers (the branches are dying and dropping needles everywhere), but I think that it looks pretty good so far!

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After all of that housework, I spent the rest of my day watching movies and tv shows on Netflix. I didn’t really feel like driving anywhere and was just happy spending a day being super lazy.

And of course, for dinner I ordered some Chinese food from my favorite place. It’s a big calorie splurge for me, but I think that on special occasions it is worth it!

All in all, it was the absolutely perfect Christmas for me!

Minor Remodeling (or Putting My Parents To Work On Their Vacation)

Whenever my parents (or just my dad by himself) come to visit, there is always a list of things that I’m hoping to get done at my house. A lot of times it’s minor things like help hanging things on the walls (I have weird walls in my house and my dad has a special drill bit that we need to use to put screws in). But this trip, we had bigger things in mind.

It started with my birthday couch. When the plan was to get something from IKEA, I knew that my dad and I would have to put it together. But since I got a different couch that came delivered all put together, that was one thing that we didn’t have to do.

But I knew that my mom would have some ideas about how to reorganize my house to make the couch fit in better. There aren’t a lot of ways to organize furniture in a 400 square foot house, but my mom has a way of figuring it out.

When she got to my house, we moved the lounge part of my couch to the other side right away. Then we looked at moving my TV around. Finally, my dad and I took the doors off of my entertainment center because I never close the doors. After lots of deliberation, I had an entirely new looking living room just by moving some furniture (and getting the new couch).

My living room went from this:

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To this:

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I know it’s a little tough to tell the difference from the pictures, but trust me, it’s made a huge difference! My living room looks much bigger now and the flow of the furniture makes more sense.

The next project that we thought would be a huge project involved my dining room chairs. My dining room set is from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s (there’s some debate on that). My aunt actually got it for herself and then she gave it to my dad. My parents had it in storage for a while until I got my first apartment in 2003. Then they gave it to me.

I absolutely love my dining room set. It’s simple and classic and it’s so well made that it doesn’t look as old as it is. The only thing that was bugging me was the cover that each chair had. It was made of black vinyl and all the padding that was there (if there ever was any) was gone. One chair had a little tear in it, but besides that they still looked decent. The chair covers were the original covers that they came with when my aunt bought the set. So my parents agreed with me that it was time for an update.

We headed to a fabric store near my house and found a wonderful fabric that matched my house really well. And it was in a clearance section so it was only $5/yard (compared to $38/yard for another fabric we loved). My dad brought his staple gun down so we were planning on figuring out how to cover the chairs ourselves.

While in the store, one of the employees asked my dad if we needed any help so my dad explained what we needed. Turns out, that employee does chair covers on the side! He would take the fabric we purchased, remove the old fabric, add new padding, and cover it all.

That was so much better of a plan than my dad and I winging it! I’m sure we would have done an ok job, but why not leave it up to the professionals!

We dropped the seats off on Saturday and they were done on Monday morning. While I was at the dentist my parents picked them up for me and came over to my house to put the chairs back together. When I returned home, my parents had done all the work!

The chairs look amazing.

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The fabric really goes with the style of the chair and they are so much more comfortable now! I have some of the scraps of fabric from the cushions and I really want to do some sort of project with them. There isn’t enough to make a table runner, but I’m thinking maybe figuring out if they could be turned into placemats (anyone know anything about doing that?).

Besides our decorating work, my dad also washed all the outsides of my windows and my screens so my windows are super clean now. We also did some work with the plants in the front of my house (my dad brought me another bark planter and we did some touch up work on the old one).

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Considering I live in a rental house and I can’t do a ton of work to the inside, my parents have really helped me make the space my own. And after living here for 4 1/2 years, having things freshened up really makes it feel new again.

And I’m so lucky that my parents are both willing to help me fix up my house, each in their own ways. My mom is such a great decorator (so much of the artwork in my house was either originally my mom’s or she got them for me), and my dad is an awesome handyman (who only charges me in beer).

Creating My Bombshell House (or I’m Glad I’m Mom Is Great At Decorating)

One of the things necessary for feeling like a bombshell is having a great home. It doesn’t have the be a big house (I live in a 400 square foot bungalow), but it needs to be comfortable and feel like home.

When I moved into my current place, I was going from a 1600 square foot 2 bedroom apartment that I shared with roommates to my little house where I live alone. Clearly, not all of my things would make the move. I ended up selling a lot of stuff on craigslist and making a bunch of stops at Goodwill with donations.

When I finally moved into my new place, it didn’t feel like home. It seemed cold and not friendly at all.

Enter my mom.

My mom kicks ass at decorating. She’s done an awesome job on the house I grew up in (although she’s had help in organizing the study and her closet from me). And as soon as my mom saw my house, she knew exactly what I needed.

She got me some artwork (cheaply at Bed Bath and Beyond) and a new area rug. And since I’ve moved in 2.5 years ago, my mom continues to help me make my house feel like a home.

One of my favorite things that my mom has given to me for my house is my photo collage on canvas.

I helped by picking out some of my favorite pictures and choosing the colors, but my mom made it look awesome. I have it above my desk, and since my house is so small, I can see it from most places in my house.

I think that when you have things you love and that make you smile in your house, it makes it a home. And part of being a bombshell is being comfortable where you are.

I’m glad my home is one place that I feel awesome.