A Thoughtful Place: December 2010

12.31.2010

Friday Eye Candy

I came across these images from Horchow. I think they are jut beautiful. There is something about the mix of the stenciled wall, mirror, and pop of blue in this first image that makes me swoon. I suppose the gorgeous natural light coming in from  the French doors isn’t hurting either. And that chair. Dreamy. I am about to take on a stenciled wall . . . stay tuned and wish me luck!

This color is similar to my bedroom, so of course it has me thinking, “Hmmmm . . . do I need a beautiful desk and chair like that.”

 

I recently saw a piece just like this one at HomeGoods. This whole space is perfect to me.

 

And this bathroom reads more like a gorgeous entry way or sitting area. So beautiful. Great fabric on the chair.

 

      Happy New Year’s Eve!

               Wishing you a

   wonderful celebration with those you love.

 

12.30.2010

Thank You for the Feature {Nov.-Dec.}

Writing and maintaining a blog is an absolute joy for me. I am endlessly inspired by the blogs that I read. I am really grateful to the blogs that take the time to feature a project of mine {just knowing that someone thinks I have a good idea is worth it’s weight in gold}. So I wanted to spotlight the blogs that gave me a shout out a the end of 2010! If I have missed anyone from November and December please let me know so I can add you to my “honored to be featured” list.

Honey We’re Home: December 28, 2010 – Mom Cave: Favorite Posts

Honey We\

Ten June: December 28, 2010 – Gift Ideas

Ten June

Cottage and Vine: December 27, 2010 – Chevron Runner

cottage and vine

 

Hi Sugarplum!: December 23, 2010 – Guest Post

bob series

Michaela Noelle: December 15, 2010 – Guest Post

Michaela Noelle

Honey We’re Home: December 12, 2010 – Cable Knit Vase and Bowl

Honey We\

 

Under the Table and Dreaming: December 8, 2010 – Chalkboard Coasters

Under The Table and Dreaming

6th Street Design School: December 7, 2010 – Nailhead Bench

6th Street Design School

 

Good Life of Design: December 7, 2010 – Children’s Art Supplies

good life

 

Life of Grace – December 6, 2010 – Map Dresser

House of Grace

 

Eccentric Delirium: November 27, 2010 – Map Dresser

Eccentric Delirium

 

Good Life of Design: November 27, 2010 – Cable Knit Vase

good life

 

Just a Girl: November 21, 2010 – Chalkboard Coasters

Just a Girl

Ten June: November 19, 2010 – Guest Post

Ten June

 

They Way We Are: November 18, 2010 – Blog

The Way We Are

Eccentric Delirium: November 13, 2010 – Chalkboard Coasters

Eccentric Delirium

 

Under the Table and Dreaming: November 10, 2010 – Children’s Table

Under The Table and Dreaming

swanky::chic::fete: November 6, 2010 – Flower Frames

swanky::chic::fete

 

Thank you to all of these wonderful blogs for taking the time to highlight a thoughtful place. Wishing you all health and happiness in the new year! Can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2011.

 

12.29.2010

Taking A Look Back at 2010

It’s time to celebrate! {Instead of staring at all that needs to get done!} In 2010 we saw the birth of friend’s babies, children reaching milestones, great times with friends, the loss of lives, and the nurturing of relationships. Through all if it, we continue to learn what this wonderful life is all about. One of my very favorite parts of 2010 was beginning this blog. Not only because it is a great outlet for me, but because it has become an amazing source of inspiration. I have been introduced to so many of you who inspire me with your projects, advice, humor, talent, and even friendship. What a fun journey. Here is a look back at some of the things that I actually was able to check off of my to-do list over the last few months. I am always striving to make our house a home and love sharing a little bit of what we try to get done around here! And thank you to all of you who pop in to read what is going on at a thoughtful place. Whether you comment or stay quiet, I am grateful for you support.

Here are some things we completed!

Our Daughter’s Pink Bedroom

This room was a joy to work on. When the client is full of giggles and excitement oozes out of them, it’s super easy to be productive. We added the bead board, chandelier, curtains, bedding, and accessories. You can see it all here.

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Kitchen Remodel

Some of you might be very tired of this darn kitchen! Sorry. But I have to include it as it was a major accomplishment for us this year. With the addition of subway tile, appliances, hardware, glass doors, lighting, and a new faucet we transformed the space. Check it all out here.

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Subway Art for the Living Room

This project began when I spotted a similar sign in Restoration Hardware. I had to have it but for much less money. I made this in an afternoon while the kiddos napped {that is when I get the most done as most of you know!}. There is a tutorial here.

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Master Bedroom Stripes

For our master bedroom, I wanted some more texture and interest behind our bed. We painted stripes using the same paint color, but in a semi-gloss finish. It’s super subtle and that is why I love it so much for this room. See more about those here.

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Laundry Room Makeover

How much time do you spend in your laundry area? I am there every day. So I wanted to add some life to our very drab laundry room. It isn’t huge, but with some paint, fabric and lighting it made a world of difference. More about that here.

 

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Before & After Map Dresser

This dresser has been in the family for generations. I am so excited about giving it new life as it will rest in my son’s big boy room that I am tackling in 2011. The before and after of this little baby is here.

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Chevron Runner

With a drop cloth, painter’s tape, and spray paint you can make some pretty fun stuff! Here is a runner I made for our Christmas Eve table. The tutorial is here.

 

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Adding Trim and Crown to the Hallway

So the post about this hallway is more about the mirror. But looking back, adding all of the woodwork, trim, archway, and crown to our house was a big accomplishment. My husband did much of the bead board and baseboards throughout the house, and we had the rest done. {boy do things take longer with toddlers in the house!}. More photos of the hallway are here.

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Gift Ideas: Chalkboard Coasters

Part of what I love to do is make handmade gifts. I made these coasters for myself, and then ended up realizing that they make a fun gift as well. You can see details in this tutorial.

 

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Gift Idea: Children’s Art Supplies

And I end this round-up with another gift idea. These art supplies have provided HOURS of fun for my children and for the kiddos that they get delivered too. A tutorial on putting this together is right here.

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Thanks for taking a look back with me. I am sharing these with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Drop by her blog and see a year in review from some fabulous bloggers. It’s chalk full of inspiration and accomplishments to celebrate. Happy New Year, everyone!

Fancy Cupcakes: Super Easy!

While looking back at 2010 posts, I realized that many of my friends and family have asked me about my cupcakes. I thought I would post this again in case you are up for sharing some cupcakes at New Year’s or for any upcoming birthdays.
 
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!}
Secret #1: Flavor your icing so that it tastes homemade
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!
Secret #2: Pipe your icing on with a plastic bag
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. Also, once you start icing one cupcake, keep the pressure constant on the bag and be sure there is enough icing. Otherwise, you will get not so pretty air bubbles in your icing.
Secret #3: Add something simple to the top
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.
Secret #4:  You Don’t Need a Fancy Cupcake Carrier
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.
Secret #5: Add a Sprinkle of Something to the Top
Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg to the top of your cupcake. Especially yummy on spice or pumpkin cupcakes for the holidays!
                                                   Here are some fun cupcake ideas from Martha Stewart.
                                       Pretty darn cute to arrange them in a shape and vary the frosting color.

                                      And fun sprinkles atop the icing would be great for New Year’s Eve.

                Yes, please!!!! A cupcake with a mini brownie on top. How cute are those and so yummy!

Do you have any fun tips for making desserts look fancier than they really are? Do share! I think adding some gold flakes to the top for New Year’s would be incredible.

12.28.2010

Hopping on the Tray Train

You may have seen yesterday’s post where I showed you a New Year’s inspired tray from Martha and a fantastic chevron tray from Megan over at Honey We’re Home. With all of the entertaining that we do, I knew I needed to jump on the tray train and start adding glitz to ours. Here are two simple versions. One is made from Target wrapping paper and the second is made using my new Silhouette.

Wrapping Paper Tray

I needed just a couple of things at Target yesterday, but I couldn’t pass up taking a leisurely stroll through their leftover Christmas d├ęcor. I wasn’t too tempted to stock up for next year { I have learned my lesson in doing so as I rarely really like what I buy the next year} but I did fall in love with much of their wrapping paper. At 50% off I tossed a few rolls in my cart. My two favorites are a black and white damask and this gold foil paper. This one is shimmery and looks so pretty in person. Here is how it looks waiting for a friend to pop in for a glass of wine.

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Monogrammed Tray

This next tray was monogrammed using my Silhouette that Santa brought me. I was super intimidated to use it. My husband basically challenged me to take it out of the box. I guess he knows me pretty well. It might have sat there for three more weeks, otherwise. I am officially in love with it. {although I managed to ruin one cutting board already . . . if you have one, do not use the cutting board with the vinyl paper . . . the backing will stick to it and not come off . . . oops!!!!}. Besides that minor mishap, the whole designing and cutting process took probably ten minutes. Not to shabby for a first attempt. I used the cream vinyl roll that came with the Silhouette. The font I used is Copperplate Gothic Bold.

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Have you spiced up any trays lately. I am so happy that I have hopped on the tray train. Send me a link or photo of you have a fun tray to show. I would love to show it off.

Sharing these trays with Just A Girl

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