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Friday, September 30, 2011

Fab Find Friday

This fab find is truly fabulous!  About a month ago, I went into Stuff to take a look around. I had both kids in tow, but was so curious to see what they had to offer, and was completely blown away! I could have spent another hour or two just browsing, but couldn't because of the kids. So, I dragged Monica (I didn't literally drag her; she was pretty willing and excited about going) in and she loved it just as much as I did.

. It is absolutely huge, which means they have tons of great furniture and decor!

You can find some really cool, unique art pieces there, for a fraction of the price you would pay somewhere else. They have several LARGE mirrors (like the one I'm sitting in front of) that would make a major statement in your home, without emptying your bank account. And I love that rust-colored chair Monica is sitting on, too. (Doesn't she look adorable? What a great picture of her laughing. It must have been something I said. ;)
Stuff is the closeout store for their store Dwelling in Manayunk, Pa. The farmhouse tables they have are to die for, and we could not believe how affordable they are.

Plus, the decor items, like those moss balls, those colored vases and that red buffet are so super cool, and really different.

You can find something for every single style. Monica loved the funky accessories, and I was digging the rustic wooden bowls and containers.

You should absolutely go check out Stuff Closeouts and Consignments. It is located in Colmar, PA and is open Friday through Sunday
I have my eye on those tall basket vases for my dining room (please ignore how I'm lovingly cradling them. It's just wierd and kind of creepy, but I do adore them), and Monica, well, that sign sums up the story of her life pretty darn well. :)

Find out more about Stuff on their website, and even better, go visit the store! This weekend you can get 40% off all sofas, chairs and accessories. You won't be disappointed.

Tell them the Real Housewives sent you! :)

In the interest of full disclosure, this is a sponsored post, but all opinions, words and picture are ours. We only share things that we REALLY love with our favorite readers. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow & Steady {Bathroom Update}

We've been making some slow and steady progress on our hallway bathroom redesign (see my game plan here), but it feels like the eternal job.  This is because of two things: we're making sure all the funds are in place (even though this is a small job, we still want to be smart with our money), and I've been searching for all the right pieces. Here's what we started with:
Not the worst bathroom you've ever seen, but it definitely had lots of room to improve. I'm so excited about this bathroom because it will be the very first room in our house that will be completed in the coastal/cottagey (neutral colors, weathered materials and warm wood tones) direction I'm heading in. I finally feel like I know what my style is, and now am taking baby steps to get my house in line. We started by breaking down the process into steps:

Step One: Prep the Area
First off, we had to take down that plain jane mirror and remove the builder grade vanity.

My he-man hubs cut through the caulk around the countertop with a razor and after that,  just lifted it right off.

Removing the behomoth vanity came next. This was a bit tricky because we didn't have a clue how to didn't want to turn the water off completely to the entire house (he turned the water off locally, of course, though). After a bit of debating, Kevin decided to cut a small hole around the pipes with a jigsaw so that we could lift the vanity up and over the pipes.
Can you even believe the color of the walls behind the mirror? When we moved into this house 4 years ago, this was one of the first rooms we painted. The color was just unsettling. Still is, as a matter of fact.

Uh-oh. This was so not a happy moment. Actually, as we were pulling the vanity out, I said to the hubs, "I really hope the wood floor continues to the wall under the vanity." Ugh. It did not, and so, this project just got a little trickier.

Thankfully, the previous homeowners kept a few extra planks of wood flooring, but no matter what we do, there's going to be a difference in the staggered pattern of the floor where the vanity used to be. It's a good thing I don't care about everything being perfect. Why sweat the small stuff, you know? The final part of the prep stage was spackling and sanding the walls, and applying the base coat of paint to the walls (Olympic Quill color-matched in Valspar Premium from Lowes- A warm neutral gray.)

Step Two: Beef up the Moulding
This is a very simple and inexpensive designers trick that makes a world of difference.  Some homeowners (ahem! Monica) are fortunate enough to have chunky baseboard trim, which just has a high-end, finished look, but we are not so fortunate. So, why not fake it? We bought 32 feet of half-round trim- enough to go around the entire bathroom, plus a little in case we made any mistakes. Then we took a piece of wood we had laying around to use as a guide (this is a must! It makes the whole job sooooo much easier).

Our piece of wood was roughly 3.5 inches tall. Cut the half-round so that it has nice corners that will match up using a mitre saw.(You can find loads of tutorials online that will teach you how to use a mitre saw and make the right cuts.) Place the wood on the top of the existing baseboard trim, lay the new cut half-round trim on top of that, level and then shoot in a few nails using a nail gun.

Next, use paintable caulk to fill in any gaps, and wood filler to fill in the nail holes. Finish with primer (ok, we did not do this because we NEVER prime, but you should do as I say, not as I do. We are such rebels. :), and a fresh coat of white trim paint.

Voila! Chunky and fabulous.

Step 3: Paint Stripes
I'm not going to go into detail about this step, because we followed the exact instructions for painting the perfect stripe.  I decided that we would paint a total of 3 stripes, and the middle stripe would be the darker color (Olympic Stormy Weather, color-matched in Valspar Premium)

The perfect stripe method worked perfectly! No bleeding at all. This picture does not do either color justice. They both lean towards gray, but are still warm like a neutral tan. I'm seriously in love with both of them, and am now contemplating painting the hallway/foyer one of these colors as well.

Step 4: Make a Huge Mess (Optional)
This is what our hallway currently looks like. How long can one live like this and not go crazy? We are are trying to figure out the answer and will fill you in. You're welcome.

Step 5: Install New Lighting

Yup, after all the votes were tallied, I decided to go with this large, bronze fixture for above the sink.

It's awesome and huge, but there's just one problem:  Because it's an outdoor light, the recommended max wattage is 60W. That makes for a very dim bathroom. I'm not giving up on this light, though, because I'm basically already married to it. I'm toying around with adding additional lighting somewhere else, and switching out the bulb to a 75W bulb (I'm a rebel, remember?)

See how there's almost no light shining above the fixture? Any suggestions?

Here it is, as it stands today:

Lovely beefed-up trim.

Gorgeous stripes in neutral colors. I just had to throw my old ladder in there because I'm so impatient. And guess what? It's a keeper.

Wheeee! I'm totally loving it so far.

To Do List:
1. Add crown moulding. We're holding off on this until we can get a friend to help since we've never done it before and we've heard it's pretty scary.
2. Fix the flooring under the vanity and install baseboard in that area.
3. Paint and apply an antique glaze to the mirror.
4. Figure out the vanity situation.
5. Accessorize! (My favorite part!)

So, it's slow and steady progress, but it's progress nonetheless!

Happy Thursday,

A big welcome to our newest sponsor, Dream Dinners in Colmar! If you don't know about Dream Dinners, your life is about to get a whole lot better. Save 10% on your first order, when you use the code DDNC201110. Head on over and check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not your Mama's Pumpkin!

Maybe you noticed something missing from our Fall Lovers Series…  Pumpkins! We’re not haters and we didn’t forget… we were saving them for this special pumpkin post! We had the pleasure of sharing some fabulous, non-traditional pumpkin ideas for the 69 News in Allentown, PA and now you’ll get to see the inside scoop on how to make your own. 
We got together this week to have a pumpkin party of sorts… it included lots of pumpkins, a large bowl of uncooked cookie dough (yum!) and a big old mess!

I Can’t think of a better way to spend time with a BFF can you? 
Tac Pumpkins

This is a Horchow knockoff and we’re thrilled with how cool it looks.  Jess said it looks like a “biker chick pumpkin!”  Simply spray paint your pumpkin (we used Oil Rubbed Bronze) and when it’s dry, simply push the tacks in a cool pattern.  This literally took about 5 minutes. 

Sticker Pumpkins
If you have kids, they’ll love to help with this one.  We used simple “teacher stars,” but you can use any sticker shape.  Make sure your pumpkin is clean and totally dry, add the stickers, and then spray paint.  When the paint is pretty much dry, remove the stickers and reveal the awesomeness!

Ribbon Jack Be Littles
These guys would look great in a big, black wooden bowl.  It doesn’t get any easier than this folks… Simply wrap the ribbon and hold in place with a thumbtack. 

Mr. Pumpkin Head
If you've seen Toy Story 3, the you know that Mr. Potato head works even on a pancake, so why not try pumpkin?  If you have little ones that are a tad young for real pumpkin decorating or carving, this is the idea for you!

No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this tutorial! You do need to poke the holes with a pen so that the pieces stay put.  I promise I used Novocain before starting the procedure. 
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box (cliche, but oh so true) and use fun items you already own!

Sexy Lady Pumpkin
Vera Wang might want to hunt us down after this post, but we love the look.  We took some sexy tights and believe it or not, squeezed a pumpkin in! It was really quite hysterical and I almost wish we had it on video.   

It’s definitely a two person job!
We cut the bottom end and then wrapped the stem with the other. 
I think Vera might be proud!

Decoupage Pumpkin
The key to this funky-punky is cutting thin strips of paper. Simply take scrapbook paper or fabric and cut it into ½ -1 inch strips.  This was a small pumpkin, so we used ½ inch.  Apply modpodge heavily to the back of each strip and start wrapping the pumpkin.  When it’s completely covered give the outside a coat of modpodge as well.  This one is to go with Monica’s Poe Inspired mantle. 

Modpodge goes on white, but don’t worry… it dries clear. 

By about this time in our pumpkin party, here’s what the kitchen looked like.  We never claimed to be neat crafters did we? 

Crackle Paint Pumpkins

This project was inspired by Beth who was inspired by Jen… don’t you love the sharing of ideas in the blog world? We sure do! For these you’ll need some cheapo dollar store pumpkins… and man, they’re ugly at first. 

First, spray a base coat.  We used flat, black that we already owned. 

We had a little spray paint station outside.  The hubs loves our multi-colored grass! Then, apply the crackle medium.  We bought Martha’s brand from Michaels.  We patiently waited grabbed the blow drier to pick up the pace and once it was totally almost dry we brushed on the top color.  The key here is long, even strokes.  Crackle paint can be a tad fussy. 

Let the top coat dry and watch as the cracks magically appear.  It’s pretty cool!

House # Pumpkin
Another simple idea, but one that would look adorable on your front porch. 

We picked up these numbers at Lowes and then used a mallet (a hammer would work too, but there’s just something fun about a mallet) to bang in the screws.  Presto- Chango… house # pumpkin!

Cookie Cutter Pumpkin
Since we're committed to being the REAL housewives of Bucks County, we're sharing once again another FAIL with you! We were inspired to try banging cookie cutters into pumpkins.  Sounds simple enough right? 
Well, it would have been simple if the pumpkin wasn't thicker than the cookie cutter.  I do think it would have worked on a smaller pumpkin... Instead, it broke the cutter and we had to do quite a bit of work to get it out.

You can barely even tell it's a bat.  Drats!  
If you've tried this and it worked, let us know and give us some tips!

So there you have it... some non-traditional pumpkin ideas to try in 2011.  If you want to see us in action, we'll be posting the clip to the 69 morning show soon.  Be sure you "like" us on Facebook, because we'll link it there. 

Happy Wednesday, thanks for pumpkin partying with us!