The Real Housewives of Bucks County is now East Coast Creative!
Make sure you update your favorites to www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com to keep seeing new content! Thanks! -Monica and Jess

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Risky Business...

So, I'm not a huge risk taker in most areas of my life.  I'm not into extreme sports, I don't buy high risk stocks, don't go wild with my clothing or my haircuts.  My husband is a bit more of a risk taker and his annual cliff-jumping trip at the Adirondacks proves that...

(I pray a lot during this annual trip!)
One area I am brave enough to take a risk in is my decorating.  I was inspired by The Nester to share my thoughts on being willing to take a little risk in your home.

She wrote, "We don’t risk because it’s easy or normal or natural, we risk because of hope."  So often when I want to try something new or different, I find myself thinking, "I sure hope this works out!"  and sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't.  It really isn't about it always working out perfectly, but it is about being willing to try something that would make you happy if it works out! Now, don't go knocking down walls right away, but maybe a new color paint (you'd only be out about $30 and two hours if you don't like it) or rearranging the furniture in a room (you simply move it back if you're just not feelin' it), or maybe attempt a fun DIY project you've seen on a blog. Here are a few tips that The Nester shared:

TIPS FOR TAKING RISKS IN YOUR HOME:

  • start small and pick a project that won’t take much time
  • don’t invest too much money
  • don’t force perfection
  • be open to changes and new ideas during the process
  • don't be afraid to put a nail hole in the wall (I added this one, but so many people are afraid of hanging art.  I promise, it's no biggie! If it goes poorly I'll buy you some quick dry spackle!)
Here are a few of my recent, minor risks...
Outdated bottom half of my hutch...
 Meet awesome orange paint
 Fingers crossed as I was painting (sorry for the non-glamorous painting scene).  I'll share the end results soon and let you know if this risk worked or not.

 This was a little bigger risk because Eric really liked this mirror.  It was fairly expensive when I bought it for our old house, but I didn't have any place for it in the new home.  I liked the size for this playroom, but I wanted it to have some color! I finally decided to take the plunge and paint it!
 Here's a risk I actually wouldn't recommend, wearing your favorite jeans and sneakers while painting. I'm not sure if I was just feeling really risky or lazy!
 (Thankfully no shoes or jeans were harmed in the making of the awesome mirror re-do)
 I chose a really cool mustard yellow paint and was just a wee bit disappointed when the paint wasn't taking and it looked canary yellow at first!
 But, after 4 coats, I finally had a finished product that I really love.  I can't wait to show it to you in the room. 

So, what risks have you taken?  What risks are you going to finally try?
Let us know, we'd love to see what Risky Business you're up to!
 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the Market for a Basket

I want a basket. A big basket. There is a big gaping hole in my living room, in my opinion, that needs to be filled with a beautiful, handwoven basket that can hold a few throws or blankets. But did you know that there are a million basket options? It's overwhelming.

Here's the space that needs to be dressed up:

I did some browsing, and found some really lovely possibilities.
A Beach Cottage traditional porch

I was definitely thinking that I wanted a basket, but this wooden box really got me thinking. But what I'm really hooked on is that beachy, coastal, cottagey look this picture has. Take all those things, throw in a bedroom and a kitchen, and you have my dream house.

The Old Painted Cottage traditional kitchen
I hadn't considered a round basket, but the shape might really work in the space I have.

This is definitely my favorite basket from Pottery Barn, but I can not justify paying $189 for one. Or maybe I could save my pennies, and buy one in five years.


Another simple, basket that would easily fit the bill.

These restoration hardware baskets are super cool, and I love the dark color, which is the direction I'd like to head in my living room.

How can I ever choose?

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Perfect Spring Outfit

Well, we both were inspired to put together our perfect Spring outfit because of this cool contest being held on another blog. The winner gets 2 FREE pieces of jewelry and $200 towards your perfect outfit. Yes, please, count us in! Oh, I could browse my favorite store sites all day and find a million things I like, but I'll be realistic, I'm not going to be able to buy these gorgeous things anytime soon. But it's fun to design a fun outfit, and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll win! (Shhh, don't tell Monica!)

Jessica's Perfect Spring Outfit
(Clockwise from top left)
 1. Necklace from Jess LC
2. Ruffled Pintuck top from Banana Republic (on sale now!)
3. Jeans from Banana Republic (also on sale!)
4. Hobo Bag from Piperlime
6. Bracelet from Jess LC
7. Shoes from DSW

*Can you tell I'm a neutrals kind of girl? :) Also, this proves to me that I am no clothing stylist. Now I know I'm doing what I should be doing.

Monica's Perfect Spring Outfit
Ok, just to give this a little perspective... When I told Eric about blogging an outfit he said, "You know nothing about fashion, why would you do that?"  He didn't mean it in a rude way, he was just being honest because I am pretty Plain Jane and comfy when it comes to my clothing choices.  My number one staple in my closet is sneakers! They're my favorite and of course they'd need to be a part of my perfect spring outfit. 

(Clockwise from top left)
 1. Sweater from Hollister
2. Belle Classic Shirt from A&F (on sale now!)
3. Astor bead necklace from Jess LC
4. Earings from Jess LC
5.  Sneaks from Zappos (I actually have these in yellow & grey)
3. Chunky bracelet watch on Ebay
4. Hobo Bag from Melie Bianco
6. Crop Jeans from A&F
7. Glasses from Banana Republic

*Can you tell I'm a no frills kind of girl?  I will most likely be the only woman in the retirement home someday still wearing cool sneakers!

Have a great Monday and have fun planning your perfect spring outfit!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fab Find Friday- ZOTS!

During the years that I owned a homestaging business I became a master at hanging artwork quickly and getting it straight the first time.  Since I'm no longer doing that as my job, I've gotten a little lazier with how I hang artwork and sometimes just take the one-nail, easy way out. 
Using one nail usually looks great at first, but eventually looks something like this...
 Have No Fear... ZOTS will save the day!
These little adhesive stickies were a homestager's dream come true and I still use them all the time! I've used them to hold curtains in place, keep pictures straight, put together little spa bathroom accessories, and more.  Although they were originally created for crafting and scrapbooking, they are super-helpful around the house. 

 They come on a roll, and you just pull them off and stick them where you need something to stay put!
 The end result is much better and I know these don't appear perfectly straight in this picture, but measurements and my level promises me they are.  The shadows and colors on the edges make it seem off by a bit, but I'm trying not to obsess over them (I'm not as laid back about perfection as Jess is... I'm working on that! )
  You can get ZOTS for about $3.00 at Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. 
Add them to your home decorating supplies today!

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring has NOT Sprung!

How did we go from this...


and this, on Friday...
to this today?
 
(Ok, ok, this picture is a slight exaggeration, but it's what it feels like.)

A glimpse into our weather future

If we wake up to more snow tomorrow morning, good luck trying to reach me. I'll be in my bed....crying.

A Favorite

This picture is an absolute favorite of mine, for several reasons. First, it perfectly captures the way Kevin feels about C1 and the love he has for her. It also clearly shows how much C1 enjoys being with him. Secondly, it brings back such great memories of the boating trip we went on last year on our family vacation; the weather was perfect, the scenery was idyllic (we saw dolphins!), the kids were well-behaved, and we were getting to spend quality time with my family. It's just priceless to me!

I want to do something with this picture, but I haven't felt any particular inspiration as to what, yet. Here are two possibilities:
Modern Bird Studios- Sleek and Modern
Modern Bird Studios creates personalized, modern art from your photographs. Each work is a one-of-a-kind, original studio piece created with a combination of digital, hand, and painting processes on an Oak composite, or, for the extreme modern enthusiasts, on acrylic mounted to Oak.

These prints are really fun, and would be a great addition to our basement game room/play area.

Canvas People- Traditional and Timeless
I do love the simplicity and beauty of a wrap-around canvas.

That's as far as I've gotten. Maybe you can help me. Suggestions, please!

Do you have a favorite photo? What is it and why do you love it so much?
*When you comment, if you are able, add a link to a location where we can see your favorite picture (facebook, blog etc.) We'd love to see them!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Japan

Sometimes it's hard to really make something like the tragedy in Japan seem real when we're so far away.  We can watch the news, see the YouTube videos, but still it can be hard to even imagine the devastation and even harder to have the same heart that Jesus does when his people are hurting.  This blog is called REAL housewives for a reason... we're trying to be real and transparent with our readers and even more importantly, living out a REAL, authentic faith in God.  So, I'll be honest, I don't always have the kind of compassion and burden for those that are hurting that I should.  I let myself and my life get in the way.
Japan does seem real to me because I've been there.  I've met wonderful people and I had the privilege to meet a family that has dedicated their life to serving the people of Japan. 
The Bengtsons
Please be praying for their family as they try to put life back together and offer hope to those hurting in Sendai, Japan.
 Last night I took a few minutes to look through some pictures from my summer in Japan.  It was amazingly beautiful and every person I met was incredibly kind.

 My primary purpose while I was there was to help take care of Dean and Linda's two sons while they prepared for a move.  I also assisted Shauna (one of my dear friends and life-long role models) teaching English classes. 
 In addition to praying for The Bengtsons and Japan as a whole, I also found a cool, tangible way to help.  The Salvation Army has designed this great shirt and 100% of the proceeds go towards aid for Japan.  I looked into these shirts closely and due to donations the cost to produce them is almost non-existent, so the money is actually going to help.  I really like the shirt and it's a good reminder that even after the media dies down, and the next big news event comes along, that the people in Japan will need our prayer for far longer.  So maybe consider ordering one as a way to help and a reminder to pray. 

Just a few gifting ideas for these shirts:
1- Teacher Gifts- I guarentee you the teacher will love it and it won't be the same old
2- Christmas presents- yes, I know it's VERY far away, but I think it would be a good lesson for my kids to give them one months later and remind them that we still need to be praying.  (I hope my kids don't read my blog)
3- Graduation Gift- stick it in with some dorm stuff

If you're looking for a place to provide support financially and aren't sure who to go through, the organization that the Bengtsons have recommended, and are working with is CrashJapan and you can donate through that link. 

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Alphabet Print

After C2 was born, I was looking for something to put on a shelf in his bedroom. I came across this awesome print below on Etsy.

Childrens Art Alphabet Poster Make It Personal Custom Wall Art
The Paper Tray

I loved the idea of having one of these made for C2 that I could frame and put in his room, but it cost $23.00. That's not outrageous by any means, but I knew that if I put a little effort into it, I could make something similar. I had the frame and mat already (both from Ikea), and I used regular old printer paper, and here's what I came up with:



I painted the mat a green color that I already owned to match the colors of his room.

He likes it!



Obviously, it's not exactly like the original print, because I changed the font to one I thought was a little more fun, and the spacing of the letters is a bit different, but it works! Wouldn't this be a great gift for a couple getting married? Or someone having a baby? Or even to put your kids names on to hang in a playroom? Unlimited possibilities!

Sometimes all it takes is a little time, confidence in your abilities, and a tiny bit of creativity to save a few bucks and create something you love!

Have a great Monday!




Friday, March 18, 2011

Fab Find Friday

Seeds Family Worship gets our Vote for
Fab Find Friday

We learned about this amazing ministry through a blog that both of us follow.  Tonight I took some time to explore their website and watch some videos, and I love it even more now! I will admit that my 2 and 3 year old sing some Lady Gaga (Kids Bop Version) and that my 9 year old does know a good bit of current pop music (actually, more than Jess does perhaps! Hehe), but we are also always on the lookout for great, encouraging Christian music. 
Seeds has great music and it's all directly taken from Bible passages. I don't know about you, but I'd love to have another resource for helping my kiddos commit scripture to memory. They learn a lot through church and school, but for me, music is an amazing way to help retain important passages of scripture.  I can still remember my 10th grade Math teacher Mr. Dyrli taking out a guitar one day and putting I Corinthians 10:12-13 to a tune. To this day, I still sing his version in my head and it's a passage that has been really important in my life. 
A few super-cool things about Seeds Family Worship:
1. When you purchase their CD, you actually receive 2 CDs... one for you, and one to give away- Planting Seeds in other people's lives!  There's even an interractive map on their website where you can share where you "planted" your seed. 
2.  They have awesome resources on their website.  A few cool resources are scripture memorization cards and checklists.  
3.  They've put lots of their songs on YouTube so you can check them out there too!  

We hope you'll take some time to check out and support this awesome ministry.  I can't wait for my new CDs to arrive and I'm already thinking of where to "plant my seeds"!

This is a FUN and COOL song- I think Kenzie will love it!
Check out their website here and let us know if you too are going to "Plant some Seeds"!
Happy Friday- Have a great weekend!