Tag Archives: DIY

poor, lazy and desperate for a craving

Some people never change their style. Those are the people who wear the same hair color and cut for decades or brag about still using the same floral duvet that was popular in the 80’s (you know, the motel collection). Jennifer Anniston looks exactly the same as she did around the third season of Friends (we get it you’re so easy-going you can wear the same Lucky Brand jeans you did in the 90’s…I was 10 …I will still always be younger). Then there are the people who change their look more often than they change their underwear. My friend Annika has had more hair colors than the “Queen of Versailles” Jackie Siegel had  tacky crap faberge eggs.

How someone dresses themselves isn’t always indicative of how they keep their home….but if watching season after season of “Hoarders” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has taught me anything it is that 9 times out of 10 it does. There’s the occasional hoarder who doesn’t smell of rotten pumpkins, cat urine and a hint of asbestos…but they’re usually in the very early stages of their hoarding and still have a fully functioning bathroom that has a mirror not covered in dust and cob webs. Comparatively there is the occasional Kardashian wearing something that isn’t black and white and 3 sizes too small (we all know there is nothing small about this family, except maybe the talent level. I meeeeean, Khloe couldn’t even stand their and look pretty long enough to host a show about talent before being replaced…).

Although I am neither as hairy nor rich as the Dash klan, I do have something more in common with them than my obsession with looking at myself in every mirror that comes my way, and that’s my obsession with black and white. I have the dynamic duo of colors..or hues…or shades? whatever they are I have the duo in almost everything I could find: striped throw, eye cat pillows, bowls, paper napkins, tank tops, chiffon tops, maxi skirts, mini skirts, eye make-up brushes, even a chevron basket. But it’s not enough, to quote Ariel the Little Mermaid “I want more”.

Why are there no black and white striped bath towels??  Are they so rare that they’re only sold on the black market? And if so, how much time will I do if I get caught? And even more importantly, will I be allowed to use them once my time is served. There would be nothing more annoying to me than if I went through all that trouble of commingling with all those grimy people shoving and pushing their way around for fake Fendi  just to get thrown in the slammer with a bunch of women shoving their gang tats and corn rows at me. And all of for a set of towels that I would not ever get the chance to stare happily at every time I walked into my bathroom. I’ll admit, it seems like a crazy irrational plan for a set of towels…

Literally the only black and white striped towels I can find that don’t have a mustache or Eiffel Tower on the front of them are either beach towels or come from a European website. There seems to be some type of agreement or peace treaty between the US and Europe that decided chevron print belongs to the states and the stripe to those lucky Euros. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I would have had chevron walls, towels, carpet and tile…but I don’t need to live in Casa de Chevron to get my fix, it is ev-er-y-where. If you looked hard enough you can probably find chevron printed tampons.

Is it so much to ask Walmart to make a simple stripe in black and white? They do in every other color and pattern. The only thing Walmart has that comes close to what I am looking for is the jerseyliciousversion of a black and white stripe, zebra print.

There is LITERALLY nothing tackier to me than a zebra print, and I watch “Don’t be Tardy…“. My mom says hate is a strong word that she thinks I say it all too often (especially when referencing certain pop stars or co-workers)…but I HATE zebra print. It will never be a good look for anyone, or anything.

While dwelling on the hatred I had acquired for zebra print, my search for the anomaly that is the black and white striped towel continued. Nearly giving up on this quest I made a quick trip to the cluster you know what, IKEA. Where Europe gave me $40 for shipping, IKEA kindly and cheaply gave me  Sofia…a black and white striped material. It took me forever to figure out what I could do with her. I thought about using it for napkins or as a table-cloth. But then it hit me that the dining set my parents had passed down to us from 1970 was in desperate need of  my classic  home decor facelift.2013-04-24_12-32-37_65

My mom had this fancy fabric hand-made. So when she handed it down to my sister, 10 years ago, it was all the rage. When she handed it down to me, 10 months ago, I immediately wanted to pull out my paint brush and fabric scissors. My mom cherished this set, the hoarder in her came out when she was nearly brought to tears when I told her about my big plans to paint the wood and change the cushions. If it weren’t in our dining room, it would be in a storage unit for all the spiders and rats to enjoy as a meal. So she slowly began to open up to the idea of letting it go. But because my heart is not completely made of stone, (especially after realizing how frustrating and expensive reupholstering sounded) I decided I would let the old cherry set keep its charm and musty smell. The best solution for this project was the lazy one. No plans, no research, I would just channel my inner Summer Sanders and figure it out.

I didn’t make any measurements, mostly because I came up with this project while aimlessly wandering around in search for towels when this fabric caught my eye and perked up my mood. I used the best technique I have as a DIYnerd, the eyeballing method. So I bought 1 yard, thinking that would be enough…but shockingly it was not. For 4 chairs I needed exactly 2 yards…give or take.

So here was the lazy, but still do it yourself ,reupholstering job I used on this cherry-ished family heirloom.

1. First I had to find the screws holding the cushion down. As you can see, when my mom had originally reupholstered the cushions she had them made about 2 inches larger in diameter than the original seat. Apparently people of the 70’s had smaller behinds than the people of today.

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2. The screws were ancient, rusted and in there real tight. So I could only unscrew the 2 furthest from the back rest of the chair. Partly because they were screwed in tight and partly because my weak delicate hands were starting to form calluses…and I was not going to let that happen.

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3. Once the screws were loose (the ones in my head weren’t far behind) I took 1 yard of fabric and draped it over the cushion, wedging the fabric between the cushion and the back of the chair, fully covering the existing fabric.

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4. I smoothed it out over the cushion and made sure the stripes were running perfectly horizontal, checking that none of the cherry patches of the existing fabric were showing through the white stripes. Then I measured how much fabric would need to be firmly tucked under the cushion, and I cut the remaining fabric. This ends up being about 1/2 a yard per cushion.

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5. Unscrewing the 2 outer screws allowed me to lift the cushion just enough  to tuck the fabric completely under the cushion, perfectly wedged between the cushion and the frame of the chair…

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the fabric is then evenly covering the cushion and is tucked far enough between the frame and cushion it won’t pop out when someone sits in it.

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6. I took a screw driver and poked and pushed the fabric as far back as I could. It was as easy as tucking sheets into a bed frame.

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Because the back 2 screws weren’t loose it was tight enough to perfectly wedge the fabric in between the frame and under the cushion.2013-04-24_12-40-26_456 (1)

7. I screwed the 2 screws I originally took out back in as tight as they were before. Using the screw driver I tightened, wedged and poked the fabric in between the frame and cushion one last time…

8.and VOILA!

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Now I just had 3 more to do, but by the second chair I had it all figured out and I knocked out 3 chairs in 30 minutes.

Before

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After

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This project, thanks to Sofia, satisfied my black and white stripe craving…temporarily. I am still on a mad hunt for those hand towels in my beloved stripe. But until then I will just preoccupy my mind and time with more projects, rearrangements and obsessions. My newest one… stencils! Oh the places you can go with a little stenciling.

Until then, Happy Decorenting!

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Apartment botox

I know I joke how I change my mind all too often, and the botox my apartment gets every few weeks is evidence enough to prove that. But it’s not that I am consistently unhappy or displeased. It is just that I dont’t know what I want until I see what I don’t want. When we first moved into our apartment, it was a lot like Josh and my first date. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. Would it be grown up and sophisticated or fun and silly. I had moved back home and was living with my parents in a world of beige, while Josh was living in a house of penis and beer pong. Five years ago, even two years ago, all I would have cared about was making sure I had a handle of vodka in my fridge at all times; sophistication was taking shots out of a wine glass. So this apartment was my chance to temporarily step out of my alcohol induced fog and make our apartment more than just a roof over our head… through painted furniture and colorful candles! Much like our first date, our apartment started out a little uncomfortable and just like our relationship, through trial and error, it progressively has only gotten better.

On one of my latest Walmart, Target, Homegoods, or Michaels excursions, I found myself wander right into the arts and crafts aisle…fancy that. I said when Josh and I moved into our love shack that I wanted it to be a young, fun, bright and colorful place to live. I wanted nothing to do with black furniture. I had all these big kid ideas of what I would do to brighten up the plain black and boring bookshelves we had.

I think the idea was bigger than my stomach and I feared it would start look like a Lizzie McGuire original movie set. So I stuck to the basic frat boy pieces of Ikea furniture…aaand this is what our living room looked like.

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I was so concerned with getting rid of boxes within boxes within a box (or our apartment) that anything to get our prized possessions crap out of cardboard and up onto the bookshelves so I could walk from the kitchen to the bathroom in 30 seconds rather than 30 minutes was all I really cared about. Much to my dismay, the colorful and fun apartment I had envisioned was a black and white blob with gold accents. When I wandered into that paint aisle it opened up my eyes. I remembered the young fun do it yourself kind of girl I was and that I had 25 more years until gold would be a good look for me. I was able to embrace my quarter life crisis and bought as much paint that $20 would get me, which is actually a lot.

I started out with my usual craft; painting a picture frame here and adding a colorful candle stick thereIMG_9451. I bought colorful rugs and other accent piecesIMG_9449

I finally shooshed up my gallery wall from this

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And remember this

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and how I changed it to thisIMG_8301(picture credit: Josh Branham),

and then thisIMG_9199

and now it’s thisIMG_9438

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So there’s no pink and there’s a bar, that’s manly…. right?

And those candle sticks finally found a permanent home.

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Everything is fitting into the right place, finally. Whats next you may not be asking? I am actually going to paint those bookshelves and bar area rather than just fantasize about doing it. Color makes the world go round, everything looks better when its painted a nice glossy yellow or bright green. Maybe its just the Spring season and all the pastel Easter bunnies that make black seem so boring to me and in a few months everything must be black. But that is why paint is my best friend, you can have an all new piece of furniture with just a simple stroke of the brush.

This past week my family lost someone very special, my Uncle Eric. He was taken too young and too fast by lung cancer. He was an amazing man and he will be missed by more people than he ever imagined. Cancer is scary, but it is real and it can happen to anyone. My uncle was a smoker, like a lot of people, but we need more awareness in the dangers of smoking and as always the search for THE CURE.

As always Happy Decorenting and hug a loved one …. and then flush all of their cigarettes!

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I’m baaaaaaack…

It’s been a long few weeks catching up on the new season of FTS (or Full Throttle Saloon for those of you Google-ing this), forgetting a friends day of birth (sorry girl) and living in the stone age with a broken cell phone…but I’m back bitches! I am all caught up on my DVR, the card is in the mail and my phone is refurbished. I had several weeks of bitching and complaining about my boyfriends serious lack of cleanliness or my 19 year old co-worker thinking of herself as my superior and I couldn’t wait to flush it all out of my system and onto your computer screens, but it’s been so damn long I can’t remember why I was annoyed to begin with! There are plenty of things that annoy me….cars that are pink, 15 year olds, pinatas…but forgetting why I was annoyed in the first place has got to be #1. Josh likes to say that I bitch just to bitch, that I do it because I like to get my way….I like to respond to this with a long confused stare.  It wouldn’t be called bitching if it were welcomed with open arms by the bitchee. And of course I do it because I like to get my way. I wouldn’t nag somebody to do something that wasn’t in my best interest. Nagging Josh to play a video game while the trash can is literally overflowing with red goo is the exact definition of an oxymoron. But at least he takes out the trash, the red goo literally makes me vomit.

But enough about the annoying nagging girlfriend in me and more about my mansion apartment. I have neglected writing about it, but the never ending and always changing Barbie Dream Home of mine has not been neglected. The changes are minor, so minor actually that only I know or even care about them but still major enough for me to stare at and  brag write about. By now you know I change my mind anywhere between 2 and 30 times a day about anything and everything. So when I was over things that were once gold and changed them to a bright green or shiny blue, I knew major changes were coming to our humble abode. Which reminds me, about my gold obsession… What was I thinking, that we lived in Dubais? At our apartment, the paint is cracking off of the walls, the neighbors speak Spanish (and spanish only) and every screen door has broken off of the track and is leaning against the patio walls. There are no marble pillars or mother of pearl bathroom tile, just pink carpet and plastic wooden frames. Gold was made to drape across my neck, poke through my ears and jingle on my wrists, not greet me at every inch of my apartment.

Anyways, it all started with the infamous dresser we had longed for so long. It sat in our room without knobs longer than we waited for it to arrive on our doorstep, which just gave me more time to need, ok want something different. I obviously couldn’t have the knobs be left plain (the DIY-nerd would not allow it) but I also didn’t want a Kindergarten cubby with a hodge podge of different colors (Josh would not allow it). But then I remembered that I was bored with our old (6 months) and gold living room dresser. And I had recently found all of my brightly colored acrylic paints….bazinga! I busted out my paint brush, channeled my inner Van Gogh and  let the magic happen (and yes I just compared my amateur furniture painting to that of The Starry Night as if it were a MindFreak Vegas magic show).

Lime green knobs and I had a brand new chest that didn’t look like it belonged in my Grandmother’s Egyptian inspired condo. (I would like to say that wasn’t true, but she had tiger statues, monkey chandeliers and might as well have had mother of pearl tile. She wore Channel everything all day every day and had an all white room no one was allowed in…she would’v been proud of my Dubais inspired apartment).

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And all I did was a good ol’ wife swap (with knobs not wives, obviously) and I got a brand new dresser out of it too!

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Yes, to answer the question you are asking yourself right now….that is a 42” TV strategically placed in front of my mirror displays. I treated myself to some new knobs and Josh got himself a new TV the size of our “master” bedroom. That’s ok though, because the TV we had before was the size of our dinner plates. And I have plenty of other white walls that can be styled with mirrors.

I have lots of other projects on the horizon at the Hayham residence, giving the patio some colorful love and maybe get some use other than the lazy dog owner bathroom is definitely a high priority. But in the mean time I have an art store’s worth of paint products, a gallery wall that is in desperate need of the faces of our friends and family (only the attractive ones) and I keep busy by saving every glass jar I come across. Right now they’re decorating my counters

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and housing my tulips

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I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something and it’s not going to be baking rainbow cupcakes.

Anyways, I’ll try not to let my love of reality TV shows about biker bars and rich women fighting over who has more plastic surgery get in the way of sharing my decor-journey with you all ever again…all 13 of you. That is of course until the new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County comes around (nope, still not ashamed).

So until then, as always…Happy Decorenting!

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booze, buttons and bows

As you know, I have been honoring Christmas tradition and resisting every temptation to get into the Christmas spirit before its rightful month. But I won’t lie, it was hard to relax and pace myself with spreading my Christmas cheer when Santa was setting up shop the day after Halloween. Ok, I admit, I put out a few festive candles and maybe a bow… or 2, but that was only to change the smell inside the house from stale turkey sandwiches to gingerbread cookies. Our lovely Thanksgiving table has become a storage space for Walmart bags full of half off Christmas decorations that I probably paid too much for, even at 50% off. But finally, IT’S HERE! I can stop living like a hoarder trying to keep my extensive Christmas stock pile a secret from the outside world. Josh can stop being inconvenienced by the house being a mess from of all my stuff….because obviously Christmas decorations in bags, nicely placed on the table is a messier situation than the trail of clothes he left from the front door, to the kitchen and back to the bedroom. The dogs can stop fighting the urge to disobediently urinate on anything but the grass“mark their territory” on anything that is an unfamiliar smell; specifically the 18” dinosaur I bought for my nephew…but it will be fun to watch my 3 year old nephew rip off the wrapping paper and giant bow only to find an old iron box…to answer your question, yes I have become that aunt. And I, well I can finally pump a few jingle jams, hang the garland and DIY (or drink) myself silly.

Ok so I started the DIY a little early, but now I can freely display my Christmas creations without feeling like I have let my neighbors down. I started with my wreath. I wanted a real wreath, but I was fearful it would die before the season was over, which is Christmas decorating no -no # 1. Luckily I found a wreath that wasn’t shiny or already decorated with purple and turquoise birds, it looked as natural as synthetic pine can look.

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Notice anything familiar? Maybe a naturally glittered leaf or pinecone? Yes, this Christmas (seeing as my wallet seems to be deflating) I went green and took my Thanksgiving center piece apart to add some flare to my equally natural looking wreath.

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A few bells later (because what’s a Christmas wreath without a little jingle) and I was ready to display my Christmas spirit to my neighbors, who live only in my imagination since we never see or hear them.

He seems to like it/he knew I was taking a picture so he did his hair and “accidentally” walked outside (diva).

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Since she is always begging me to make her things she can’t make herself (usually all things food and DIY related), I found a little spare time in between creating a Christmas palace Santa would be proud of and putting bows on everything to create a Christmas decoration for the Christmas wonderland of Mama Bear. A button tree!

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I told her I would need a plain wooden tree cutout, thinking it wouldn’t be a challenge, it being the Christmas craft season. That proved a little bit harder than I had anticipated, since she searched quite a few stores before bringing me back just a big square piece of green foam. I know I can be pretty crafty and creative, but a flimsy piece of foam board was of no use to me. After glueing what I over exaggerate to be hundreds of buttons, the foam tree would bend like a “16” year old Chinese olympian or a slinky. But just before I could come up with an excuse as to how the dogs ate my project, I found these cardboard christmas trees in a pack of about 100 at a DIY-nerds safe place, Michaels. They were thin and white, but they were at least the shape of a tree already. I glued about 6 together to make the tree stable and once it was dry I began to sporadically glue any and every green button I owned to this little cardboard cutout.

IMG_8451 A few glitter splashes later and nail polish remover to separate my fingers from one another, and I wanted to keep this cutie for myself! But I didn’t, I gave it to Mama and you would have thought I handed her a solid gold tree (it’s the little things that maker her happy).

I have put up a few more candles and bows on the TV, door knobs and various other places. I saved a few for wrapping purposes but I still had more bows than one needs, partly because they were 2 for the price of 1 and then half off of that price (how could I not). With all of these left over bows I was planning on putting them away for a rainy day, but then I realized that my lamps (we would be living in the dark if not given to me by my wonderful sister-in-law), were bottomless. So I stuffed, color coordinated and stuck as many bows up there as I could. IMG_8457

I’m still thinking of places to stick bows, then the next day I take them down and glue them onto a cardboard tree or put them on a Christmas card…the life of a DIY(nerd) is never dull.

And what’s a house decorated for Christmas if not decorated with some festive chocolates? Not a very good one. Josh wanted peppermint bark and peanut butter cup christmas trees. The only problem with that was the peanut butter cups were still in orange packaging…that was just not going to cut the candy bowl standards, so Christmas Kisses it was! They almost look too good to eat.

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Before I got too excited too quickly, I stopped myself. We’re holding off on decorating the tree for a few more days and In the meantime we are enjoying the “rainy” San Diego weather and booze we can drink out of a mug!

We also enjoyed the photobooth at our corporate Christmas party last night…a little too much.

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Happy decorenting! 🙂

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Wannabe Housewife…

Much like my obsession with gold spray paint, I have a Real Housewives of every city and state guilty pleasure…and am aspiring to one day be a housewife of the real variety. You can never tell what boobs are real and what diamonds are fake, who wouldn’t want to live that lifestyle. They never have time for petty drama what with keeping up a house (paying 7 housekeepers) and chasing 5 kids (nannies) around. I admire how they keep their figures hot and their bank accounts up with their very busy tour schedules and book signings. Although I was confused at first… because I assumed being a housewife meant you wore sweatpants and had too clean up after your children and cook a meal or two. I have 2 weiner dogs that have a new skin rash every week, a boyfriend who would be sleep deprived if I didn’t rub his back every night, a job that I have to pleasantly interact with people (old people) all day long, an apartment that 3 needy weiners make a mess of(they’re so cute though), a social life to maintain and after all of that I have to worry about staying skinny….and I still find time to get my nails done, write this blog and bake cookies. If I can complain about all of that while not being the one to clean up dog poop or cook dinner, I’m in.
I have many, MANY, annoyances: stuffed animals in the back window of sedans, kids over the age of 3 who pick their nose, when people watch surf videos for pleasure, when my boyfriend says he’s funnier than me…just to name a few. But in the past 2 or 3 years I have noticed that people telling me “one day you’ll understand” increasingly creeps to #1 on my list. My mom is the Queen of this, “you’ll get it when you’re a mom”. As if I don’t get it? What is there even to get? As far as I’m concerned being a parent means less work for you. Isn’t that why parents invented chores? Until I moved out my dad was having me do his dirty work always saying “that’s why I had kids”. Every time my mom couldn’t read a menu and had to have me read it to her she would say, “that’s why I had a kid with youthful eyes”. If having a kid means I don’t have to read or take out the trash EVER again…I’m in.
 Excuse my Jerry Seinfeld tribute…but what is with people that have kids? When did having kids become a handicap? Personally I can’t wait to be a mom, but I sure as hell am not giving up my wine nights or wearing my skinny jeans. But here’s the thing, I’m not a mom so why should I get it? Why do I even have to get it now and why is it so important to you that I know I don’t get it but “one day will”? As a twenty something year old I only need to “get” how to one day be a Real Housewife when I’m a thirty something year old…everything else I’ll get around too later. The marriage and baby part of the housewife life will have to be continued later. And seeing as my bank account, boobs and jewelry are no match for a real housewife’s, I’m stuck living in an apartment buying the knock off’s…and sometimes the buying part is even a stretch. I have champagne taste on a beer-mosa budget. Hopefully you can take the girl out of poor and the poor out of the girl.
Anyways I have seen this “dipped” effect on a lot of furniture and decorative items lately and lets just say my mom and I are OBSESSED. We love anything dipped; our pretzels in chocolate and our furniture in paint. If I could, I would have dipped my entire apartment, but since that is only a little unrealistic, I started small. I had been looking everywhere for 3 vases small enough for just one flower and all of a different shape. I don’t think I really knew where to look until I went to Walmart with my sister-in-law. It can be a very overwhelming place, there is anything and everything you could want in one store but not knowing where to look is the most overwhelming. I usually stuck to my 3 general sections: grocery, holiday and home. Venturing out of those 3 seemed…again overwhelming. Baskets? Shelving? Office suplies? I didn’t want to take a wrong turn and end up in outdoor living or in baby clothes…I get lost in those places thinking about buying things I don’t need and then over-thinking my original thinking. I usually head to the check out line leaving a trail of things I realized I didn’t need after over-thinking them. But not my sister-in-law, she knew exactly where these little vases would be so we b-lined it there and never looked back. My plan was to spray paint them white and put them on my shelf. Don’t tell Josh, but once I brought them home I was bored by all the white. I wanted them to look unique, and being a crafty nerd I pulled out my glue gun and got busy.
All I did was make dots and stripes to add dimension.
I didn’t really worry too much about it being perfect, I did want them to look unique after all.
Then I (obviously) spray painted them gold…then it dawned on me to dip these little stem holders in a glossy white. So all I did was put some painters tape about an inch or two around from tops of each vase, and got my spray on.
They’re no designer label or porcelain master pieces, but they’ll do…until my Real Housewife dream comes true…they’ll do.
Happy renting!!
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Rain!

Finally rainy weather! Which in San Diego is the only excuse you need to stay in sweat pants past 10 a.m., eat and drink everything pumpkin spice and wear UGG boots even though it’s 65 degrees outside. Everything is better when its gloomy; being lazy, candles, brownies, Baileys and hot cocoa…Hocus Pocus. We’ve been so busy worrying about couches and storage organizers that I almost forgot to bust out the fuzzy glitter spiders and ghost pillows. I had to take a trip 30 minutes up north to my sisters and then 45 minutes down south to my sister-in-laws and smell the pumpkin spice, witches and black glitter to remind myself it was Fall!  Although lighting every pumpkin spice candle I can find and watching football in my jammies while resisting posting about it on Facebook is all I can motivate myself to do on a gloomy Sunday, there are still so many lists in my head that need to be done (decorating pumpkins before Christmas being one of them). I find that making 3, 4 maybe 5 lists a day calms my insane need to get everything done in the same day. Most of my lists are exactly the same plus or minus a few goodies, I just write them every time I feel overwhelmed and it bizarrely puts me at ease. I think that’s called crazy, but I’m not sure. I’m not as free spirited as I was when I was only 20, my days off aren’t busy drinking, eating and sleeping. Now at almost 25 years old, my days off are growing more stressful than my actual work days. So much has been done, our living room looks like a living room and all that’s left are the fine details that no one but my mom will notice. But theres still so much more…we’re talking an HGTV marathon of work. It’s like the designers version of plastic surgery, I can’t stop!

My bedroom is like…well it’s a disaster. Remember those glow in the dark stars that everyone had to have in their room circa 1996? They made going to be less of a drag. They always reminded me of a slumber party, going to bed was more exciting when you knew those little plastic stars would be glowing all night long. I have seriously considered buying an adult version of them, which really is just me as an adult buying them. Josh and I are in serious need of some glow in the dark stars to liven up our bedroom party. I’m forgetting what a bedroom feels like, as if the butt dents in the couch don’t prove that already. I’m use to sleeping on a couch, but not when MY bed is 10 feet away. I often ponder what my clothes in a dresser would look like or how checking myself out in a full length mirror will feel again. I can vividly imagine what pictures of family and friends reminding me of good times on the walls will look like and matching bed linen will feel like against my skin. I know I sound winey, but I’ve been drinking some wine. Josh reminds me of that on the reg, but since we’ve been sleeping in a dorm room (pre-occupado) I feel justified. One piece of furniture at a time, soon enough the room that houses our bed will be more of a party and less of a landfill.

In between watching football, lighting candles and writing lists I found some spare time to clean up my closet…well, a portion of it anyways…one shelf. Along with having too many clothes I can’t bare to give away, I had a department store’s worth of jewelry (and not the “Finer” section, the turn your finer green and give you an ear infection). When you have the room for useless things, you convince yourself you need them. When room is tight like booty shorts on the cast of  “Honey Boo Boo”, you find every reason to throw it away. And of course, like most of our crap, I couldn’t throw enough away. This was AFTER I purged. I swear, I wear (or plan on wearing) all of it!

I saw on Pinterest a while ago a self made earring stand and thought “One day i’ll do this”, but getting distracted by a healthy bbq chicken pizza recipe, I never got around to the “how too”. I decided I would take on the task, figuring it wouldn’t (couldn’t) be that hard, without the instructions.

It wasn’t brain surgery, hell it wasn’t coloring by numbers, but it did take me the better part of my day. I don’t know if I was just distracted by the…ok I don’t really have an excuse…it just took me a while to figure it all out. I started with an extra IKEA picture frame that made my gallery wall an even number, which according to mother hen is no-no #1 when producing a gallery wall.

…pretty typical and I’m sure 90% of you reading this have a version of it hanging in the room your sitting in right now.

I also had a stray piece of fabric swatch lying around begging to be used. I figured this could be easily poked with the earrings and 2 minutes later my project would be complete. After a few seconds of consideration, I realized it was just the perfect size, but it didn’t leave me enough slack to glue the swatch to the edges of the frame. It was clear (probably from the get-go) that it would need some type of backing, it being a piece of fabric and all. Luckily we just moved a month ago and boxes are like bottles of wine around here, there’s plenty. This was the only time I was thankful Josh hadn’t taken the boxes to the dumpster in 3 weeks.

Naturally this looks fabulous. But for those of you considering doing this…remember to glue the fabric to the cardboard. It took me, let’s just say, longer than it should have to figure this step out.

A few stares into space, frustrated sighs (screams) and one glue gun later…

…all the 100 other earrings I have will be shoved in a box in the junk drawer never to be seen, unless needed of course. But for now, the long dangly ones that always…ALWAYS get tangled are hanging nicely for me to pluck off and complete any outfit. I’m actually obsessed with this, and if I wasn’t so busy being lazy today, I probably could have made it even better.

At about 5 P.M I got my daily burst of energy and started a few more projects. Finally I can start crossing things off my lists and start enjoying a glass of wine out of my .99 wine glasses (don’t ask I’m ashamed…but anything under a buck is coming home with me).

Until next weeks list…Happy rentinggggg

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IKEA Was A Bad Choice

With our move in date just around the corner and boxes beginning to stack on top of each other in the hallway, my list of “must have’s” and “to do’s” keeps growing and growing and growing! It never ends, and neither do the arguments about color schemes and fabric choices I am having with myself, and surprisingly the BF. He wants to stain our dresser a dark brown…I know, I couldn’t believe it either. The last thing we need in a small dark apartment, is big dark furniture! When we first agreed to move in together, I assumed he knew that he forfeited all decorating rights to me…as long as he could have a man cave or, more realistically, that the couch was comfortable. That was a deal I was willing to make. I wasn’t about to hand over all decorating rights to a man who is refusing to give away a monkey lamp and Sasquatch painting he bought at a yard sale. But again, I didn’t want this apartment to be too girly or too manly…it needed to be a little bit of both, a tranny of an apartment if you will.

I had just begun to get into the groove of things putting the finishing touches in my bedroom at my old roomies (my parents) house, it was hard not to take all of my inspiration and decorating ideas from that room and incorporate them into our apartment. I liked my colors, fabrics, pillows, picture frames…everything! It was like I was giving up my bachelorette pad for something more brown and boyfriend friendly.

Reminding myself that I couldn’t keep my leopard print everything or pink picture frames, we decided to do a walk through at IKEA. Bad…BAD idea. IKEA on a Saturday, much like how Ron Burgandy felt about milk on a hot day, was a bad choice. Not only was Josh hungry and therefor grumpy, but the people! No boundaries, these people. I was convinced IKEA had to be giving anything and everything away for free. Why did all of these people decide to go to Ikea at the same time on the same day! Realizing how appealing the insanely cheap prices and cheesy advertising were, I quickly moved on and did what I had to do to survive,  join the herd. Other than people aimlessly wandering from department to department with no concept of personal space, as if they were shuffling onto Space Mountain, I noticed they were all choosing the same products in one of 3 different colors (usually black, red or white). I too began to feel myself being drawn to the black and white dish towels and red picture frames. I couldn’t be a part of this. But the prices! The prices are so affordable, especially on the poor people budget I was on. I knew I couldn’t pass up the .99 dinnerware collections or basic wooden furniture pieces begging to be DIY’d, but I had to come up with a way to break from the herd and individualize my soon to be generic collection.

Josh and I desperately need a dresser because, well, I need the closet to myself. We needed something big, cheap and (of course) unique. Apparently my yellow chevron bed spread was too “girly” for the man’s man, so we have to find (and agree on) a new bedspread we both like because obviously the faded and torn gray one he had been forcing me to sleep with was NOT hanging around.

Not to mention, the weenies have used the gray hunk o’junk as their own blanket, toilet and grooming station (it has got ta go)

The cookware, pots and pans Josh already has, have been used for 3 years by 5 guys…’nuff said. I mean we really need it all. We have a bed, an old dining table with cherry fabric, and a huge TV. Our budget doesn’t really allow us to be picky, but the designer in me does. I wouldn’t (couldn’t) settle for generic.

Like a kid in a candy store, I was drawn to everything. I could’ve spent the entire day in there. My creative juices were a flowin’ and my hands couldn’t write anything down fast enough (that could have something to do with the doll friendly pencils the give you to write with). Josh of course wanted to power through and eat meatballs. Everything he liked was brown, and everything I liked wasn’t. I just dont like brown. I can tolerate different shades of brown, like cognac, beige and tan…but dark chocolate brown is better left on my brownies. We did find a couple of things we both agreed on though (as if it really matters): a lazy susan and a begging to be DIY’d dresser. It’s a start. Luckily the rainy season is on its way, because it looks like I’m going to be in a DIYers dream.

On the list:

-an IKEA wooden dresser (in need of some DIY lovin’)

-2 black hand me down bookshelves

-1 black hand me down cabinet

-1 hand me down, cherry covered dinning set

-1 gallery wall (minus any girly colors/prints/frames)

– 1 apartment in desperate need of some homey touches and unique pieces ..and much much more.

I have my work cut out for me…making black bookshelves not so generically black won’t be so hard, but transforming black bookshelves into trendy more man friendly ones might be a bit of challenge for me (deep breath). Trendy, man friendly and sophisticated…I’m sure I’ll have it all figured out and set up perfectly by the time our 1 year lease is up!

Wish me luck and happy renting!

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