A Thoughtful Place: September 2010


Family Chalkboard Journal

I have had so many wonderful comments about our framed chalkboard in our kitchen. The quote that was written on it in the kitchen photos is one of my favorite inspirational quotes.

But it's the story behind the chalkboard that has made it so special for us so I wanted to pass along what has become quite a unique tradition for our family.

I have always been "in charge" of the chalkboard. I made it . . . I get to write on it!! {he he}. But seriously, my husband looks forward to what quote or message will be on the board and it's always served as a great conversation piece for friends and family. My goal is to change it once a month, but whatever is going on in our life often dictates that. HERE'S THE LIFE CHANGING IDEA {ha ha}: each time I go to erase the board and write something new, I grab our "Chalkboard Journal". I keep it in the kitchen where our board is. I jot down the date, what was written on the board, and a short blurb about what has been going on in our lives. The idea came from a friend who saw that I make up many of my sayings and thought I should keep them. I then realized that they really tell such a great tale of our family journey.

Let's keep it real. It's not all lollipops and roses around here so sometimes it says something like this

And for special events it comes down off of the wall and joins the party

It's always fun to sit down after one of our parties and write down the guest list and funny things that may have happened. In a perfect world I try to update the board once a month. Does that always happen? Of course not. But at the end of the day, we love looking a back and reading through our Chalkboard Journal. Is it a perfect story? No . . .but it's our story.

What's your story? What do you have written on your chalkboard today?

Linking it up:
  The Shabby Chic Cottage

  Sixty-Fifth Avenue


Z Gallerie Sale!

Just lookin' out for my fellow shoppers! I am not a spokesperson for Z Gallerie, but maybe I should be! Do you know that they have some amazing deals right now. Was just looking around at bedding for a friend who asked for help. Stumbled upon a pretty big sale! Fun to look around.
 z gallerie labyrinth duvet {less than $100}

 z gallerie casablanca 29" lantern {$12}

 z gallerie bianca pillow {$35}

 z gallerie pintuck duvet {less than $100}

You have to admit those are pretty good deals for Z Gallerie. Wish I needed bedding for myself.


Pretty Cupcakes

So I am definitely not a baker!!! I wish I were the girl who could whip up a birthday cake or a mean batch of cookies from scratch. That just isn't me. Is anyone else out there a "baker from the box?" I know my limitations! But that doesn't mean they can't be pretty. So here are some tips for making your cupcakes look much fancier than they really are { no one needs to know they are straight from a box, right!}

Tip #1: For the cupcakes pictured above, add two drops of peppermint extract to your icing. This gives it a nice mint flavor and doesn't taste store bought! Awesome on dark chocolate cupcakes. You could also add almond or vanilla extract depending on your flavor choice!

Tip #2:  Even when using store bought icing, stir it until smooth and put it in a zip lock bag. Squeeze it all to one corner, snip the end of the bag with scissors and use it to pipe the icing on top of your cupcake. The larger the snip, the wider the stream of icing. Only ice the very top so you can see some of the cupcake.

Tip #3:  Use one piece of fruit on top. The green mint leaf is always a nice touch as well! The green looks great with a blueberry, too.

Tip #4: You don't need one of those fancy plastic cupcake carriers! If you are taking them somewhere, keep them in the pan {like above} and then transfer to a nice serving dish once you arrive.

Tip #5:  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg to the top of your cupcake. Especially yummy on spice or pumpkin cupcakes for the holidays!

Do you have any fun tips for making desserts look fancier than they really are? Do share!


Featured with Emily A. Clark

I am so honored to be featured over at Emily A. Clark  today. She is an incredible designer with an amazing eye for color and scale. Her home office makeover and master bedroom are among my very favorite inspirations. If you haven't visited her blog arleady, please take the time to do so. You will be blown away by her talent. I am thrilled to have my kitchen facelift being showcased. You can check it out here


Time to Get Your Fall On!

So I must admit that I am not huge into decorating for Halloween. I much prefer the fall decor that can take me all the way through Thanksgiving. But I did make over our mantle with an Ode to October 31st!  It was simple, cheap, and easy to do. Keep in mind what I am working with, girls. A very narrow mantle! I will admit to having mantle envy and hope to one day expand on what we do have. Until then, I accept the challenge of finding things that are less than five inches deep.

I am most proud of the $4.00 "boo" letters that I made while the kids were putting on their pajamas. Love a cheap and speedy decorating project. I used frames from The Dollar Tree. The striped background is actually a set of dinner napkins {$1.50} from Target I only needed two so I have a bunch left over for the holiday. I printed out the orange letters from the computer and outlined them with a black marker. Cut, glue, frame and ta-da!  Added a little bit of twine and a spider to each. DONE! Five minute project.

I also added a $2.00 bag of candy corn to the hurricane and wrote on my chalkboard vase! This also happens to be one of my favorite transformations . . .needed a very narrow vase for my mantle. Hated the way it came, so I whipped out the chalkboard paint and it's now a great conversation piece. I shopped my own house for the rest of the decor, so all in all I managed to get my "Ode to Halloween" up and running for just about $7.00. What have you done to get your fall on for very little cash? Would love to hear about your projects!

Linking it Up!

Friday: The Shabby Nest 

Wednesday: Nesting Place
                            Cottage and Vine

My First Feature

As a new blogger, I am over the moon to have one of my projects featured for the first time! Thank you to Wendy over at The Shabby Nest for giving me a shout out! If you haven't already been sucked in by her amazing blog, go check it out!!! What an inspiration!


Keeping Stripes Subtle!

I am a huge fan of a well-done accent wall. I have been so impressed with the many stenciled walls I have seen lately. That might be on my radar soon! When I set out to do our master bedroom accent wall, it was really important to keep it extremely subtle. I wanted the overall look to be elegant and understated. The number one key to keeping the  stripes subtle is to use only ONE paint color. Here is the outcome:

They are super hard to capture on camera (or maybe it's my lack of photography skills!), but I think you can get the idea. They really give the effect of fabric on the wall.

To accomplish the look, I painted the entire room in a flat finish.  I used the same color, but in a semi-gloss finish, to paint the stripes. Another hint is to use an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of card stock (landscape orientation) to measure out your stripes! Works like a charm.

Linking it Up

Friday: Just a Girl


Warm or cool tones for fall?

So I really want to move towards the cooler tones in my family room and dining area. But being surrounded by the fall fashions and the warm colors, make me want to toss in some more earth tones. Anyone else being pulled toward the warm and cozy colors of fall?

Such a great skirt. Here are some rugs inspired by it:


Although I want to make the switch to cooler tones and pops of color, the earth tones keep sucking me back in. How cute are these new looks for fall from Anthro?

Maybe I should wait until next spring to introduce the cool tones in my house! Or mix the two together. I love the cool blue shirt above with the plaid skirt. Are you planning any color changes in your house for fall?


Restoration Hardware Knock-off and Tutorial

I walked into Restoration Hardware the other day and immediately saw this

$795.00 Restoration Hardware

As soon as I saw it I wanted to casually say, "I'll take that please!" Only in my dreams. I have a crush on subway signs right now, but not on their prices. So the wheels started turning and I decided to make my own. And since I was doing it myself, I decided to use street names that my hubby and I lived on as babies and growing up. I am a huge believer in artwork holding some personal meaning. So I got busy and the next day this was hanging in my living room

I am thrilled with how it turned out and even more thrilled with the $34.00 price tag! Here's what you need to make your own:

matte mod podge

foam brush

place to print your sign

coffee { yes, coffee . . . or tea}

one rag

canvas { i used 24" x 48"}

I used Publisher to create my sign. One simple text box and you are ready to go. Just make sure you keep the same ratio with your canvas and text box. For example, my canvas is 24" x 48" so my text box is 5" x 10". My length was twice the width on both. Make sense? Once you have typed out the street names, change the text to white and fill the background with black. Here is a look

I took mine to Staples to have it printed. The key is keeping it black and white. It is far cheaper to print. The poster cost me a whopping $4.00! Next step is to cut it out very carefully.

Apply mod podge to the canvas and adhere paper to the canvas. Do not panic. It will look bubbly and wrinkled. Keep the faith.

Let this layer dry (I waited 30 minutes). I know some people suggest smoothing it out. Not a bad idea. Then you are ready to put a layer of mod podge over the whole sign. This is where I was sure the project was toast. It looked HORRIBLE because of the wrinkles. Again, keep the faith. They will go away.

After it dried, I wasn't thrilled with the stark contrast of the black and white. Trying to figure out what to do, I saw my leftover coffee sitting in the pot. Perfect. Using a rag {so that it absorbs into the rag and comes out as you squeeze} I applied it to all the letters.

I wish you could see the creamy/aged looking letters better in the photos. They really turned out great. And that's it! It took a couple of days for all of the wrinkles to settle. And any imperfections make it look a little more vintage! Good luck.

Linking it Up:

Friday:       The Shabby Nest
                         Just A Girl

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...