Monday, September 29, 2014

my {not so} fall mantel

Over the last few weeks, I have shared a number of ideas for DIY fall projects and ways to decorate your home for the season.  So today, I thought I would share my mantel for fall...
It looks a lot like how it did a few months ago, doesn't it?
I already put out a number of fall decorations this year, and decided that I didn't want to take more time and money to decorate the mantel (or any other spaces in the house), when I already love the way it looks.  

Now, would I love to have my mantel look like this?
Yes! Of course I would, wouldn't most of us?  But, here's the thing about decorating: it takes time.  It doesn't need to be an overnight accomplishment, especially since all those little purchases throughout the home add up quite a bit.  Perhaps next year I will purchase/make a lovely new wreath for above my mantel, but for now I'm content with what I have here.  
This is the time of year where Pinterest starts (well, continues actually) becoming overwhelming to many, as the blogosphere turns into a sea of seasonal/holiday decorations for every nook and cranny of our homes.  I'm here to tell you, don't get overwhelmed!!

Our not-so-fall bedroom...
I have been told many times that Pinterest and blogs (like my own), make a lot of people self conscious about their decor (or, lack there of).  But the thing to remember is that we all have different lives and different priorities.  Maybe one of these scenarios rings a bell?

You have a house full of kids running around, and getting the house clean and dinner on the table is work enough.
Work is extremely busy for you and when you get home, you just want to kick your feet up instead of messing around with fall craft supplies.

You  feel like you should keep up with all your friends and their "perfect" houses, but to be honest, you don't give a hoot about vignettes, throw pillows and accent decor.

Right now, I have a good amount of free time, I don't have kids, and I really enjoy decorating.  However, that may not always be the case.  In a few years, I may not want to put the time/energy/money into all these efforts and the decor may stay the same, or be simplified.  You may already be feeling this same way!

Our not-so-fall kitchen...
I'm not saying that decorating for fall is a bad thing, as I do it myself.  I'm not even saying that decorating every nook and cranny for a specific season is a bad thing; not if you love it! I'm simply saying to so many of you (including dear friends of mine), don't stress about it! Because honestly, it's really not that important.

But, if you are interested and want to implement one idea into your house, or take off and decorate the whole place, that's great! That's what we're here for.  As bloggers, we want to inspire people, and show them that they can do so many things, if they want to!  That's why I shared this post last week with a few simple and inexpensive updates I made in our home for the fall season.
I hope that this has been encouraging to someone out there feeling overwhelmed by the perfect Pinterest photos we are all surrounded by! xoxo

{yet another} diy sunglasses & key holder

Could I make more of these, honestly? This is the 4th sunglasses and/or key holder I've made in the last few years.  But I know that everyone's organizing needs are different, so maybe this will be the best fit for you.

I actually shared this sunglasses & key holder last year as a guest post, but completely forgot to share it here.  If you look at this first picture, you can see our old floors, and even the old oak doors showing on the pantry.  Whew! Glad that's all gone!!
This project was super simple and inexpensive.  I actually had everything I needed, and it took  me about 20 minutes to complete.  Here's what you need:

1. Piece of Wood
I used a scrap piece of 1x8, but you could do any size you want, depending on how much you want to store.

2. Fabric of Choice
I chose a duck cloth in green chevron from Hobby Lobby.  This is leftover from the barstools I re-covered a few years ago.

3. Piece of Ribbon
The length should be the width of the board, plus a little bit extra to wrap around.  For instance, I used about 14" of ribbon for this board.

4. Cup Hooks
As many as you want, to hang up keys.

5. Cup Pull
This is a drawer pull that you can get for about $5.

6. Tools: 
Staple Gun, Staples, Power Drill/Screw Driver

To get started, cut your fabric to size and wrap it around the board like you would a present.  Staple the fabric down so it is tight.
Then, wrap your ribbon around the board at the top, and staple in the back.  I also stapled it once on each side to keep the ribbon tight when the sunglasses are hanging from it.
Measure where you want each cup hook, and make a small cut in the fabric on that spot and drill a hole a little bit.  Then, screw your cup hooks in.
Finally, drill holes for your cup pull, and screw it in place.  I love this addition to the board, because it's a great place to stash your chapstick, or even some loose change.  Depending on the size of your board, you could even add a few cup pulls for more storage.
Keep this next to the door, either hung on the wall or sitting on a table and everything is right where you need it for when you leave the house.
 Here are some of the other sunglasses & key holders I mentioned...

Friday, September 26, 2014

it's the little things

Another week is coming to a close and we are in full fall mode here in Colorado.  We plan to do a little yard work and maintenance this weekend, and then maybe try to just take it easy.  I love that it's starting to cool down, and the evenings have been cool enough that we've begun enjoying our evening cup of tea together again.

I'm back today with another round of the images that have inspired me or made me smile in the last few weeks...because it really is the little things in life. 

I hope you feel as inspired as I do! Have a wonderful weekend!! xoxo

Thursday, September 25, 2014

easy updates for fall

Over the last couple weeks, I've shared a few projects for fall, and I wanted to round up a couple other ways I've added some fall touches to our home, without breaking the bank.

 1. Place Mums by Your Front Door
These flowers are a fall staple, and aren't very expensive either.  On their own, they add the feeling of fall to the front of your home.
One way I save money on mums is by buying small individual ones when they are on sale, instead of a single big pot.  These orange mums for instance, are actually 6 smaller individual plants for $0.98/each.  A single plant this size would have been around $12.
2. Add Fall Floral Pieces to an Existing Vase
You can pick up pieces like this from a craft store like Hobby Lobby.  These three were less than  $13, during a 40% off sale (which happens most of the time).  They add amazing texture to my existing decor on the console table, and I feel like they were missing the whole time.  I plan to switch them out for different seasons.

 3. Add a Burlap Runner
Burlap is a staple in fall decor and I picked up this runner for only $5 with a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon (available on their mobile site, pretty much all the time).  Along with a centerpiece I've had for years, our dining room feels like fall.  
This runner goes to show that sometimes it is cheaper to buy than to DIY.  Plus, sewing burlap can be kind of a pain, so that's another benefit!  You can place a runner on a dining room/kitchen table or even a console table/dresser with other decorations.
4. Change Pillow Covers
Another great way to bring fall touches into your home is by switching out 1, 2, or maybe all of the pillow covers on your sofa and/or chairs to add warmer tones/textures to the space.  I was inspired by these pillows at Crate & Barrel, and picked up a yard of flannel fabric at Joann for less than $5 with a 40% off coupon (available on their mobile app most of the time).  

I followed the same tutorial for these that I used for the non-plaid covers pictured here.  You don't even have to have a plain pillow form to do this.  You could add a pillow cover over an existing throw pillow you already own, and remove it after the season has ended.
Even if you just implement one or two, or all of these updates, you will instantly add some fall to your home! 
Another great way to get great fall decorations (and really any other season/holiday) is to shop the clearance sales at Target, Kohl's, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc right after the season has peaked.  I've gotten so many amazing deals, and when I unpack them the next year, it's like I have something brand new!

What are your favorite fall decorations?  Here are the other fall projects I've done this year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

a valance for the master bath

Just a small update today.  A few months ago, I was looking for a window treatment idea for our bathroom, and I stumbled upon this tutorial from Young House Love.  It was perfect for our master bath, and I had some tablecloth fabric (from Target) leftover from my cork board in the office. I followed the tutorial, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Sorry for the poor lighting; this space is incredibly hard to photograph.
That's all for today! I'll be back tomorrow with some small decor changes you can make to transition your spaces for fall.

Monday, September 22, 2014

choose joy {free printable}

For years now, Matt and I have been listening to the Bobby Bones Show on the radio.  We absolutely love the show, and they have created something so real, and truly special.  In the last few years, one of the show's co-hosts, Amy, announced that her mom, Judy, was battling cancer. Despite her illness, Judy has chosen to find joy in all situations.  Relying on her faith in God, even when she's feeling down and miserable, she chooses to look for and share that joy with others.
Judy and her daughters
After sharing this, the show started their #pimpinjoy campaign, encouraging people to choose joy and perform random acts of kindness for others.  The impact was huge, and inspiring.  People were doing everything from shoveling snow from their neighbor's walk, to buying a whole set of tires for a stranger; a single mom in need.  You can read more about all of it on the Pimpin Joy website.

I too was  inspired by Judy and her incredible outlook, and have tried to apply this to our daily lives, no matter what is happening.  I had this little picture frame sitting on our mantel for months with no picture in it, just waiting for the perfect fit.  It finally dawned on me to make a printable with this message.
It's nothing over the top, but just simple and a great reminder in our lives.  And, now I'm sharing it with you!  Click the link below to download this printable; I have it available in 4x4, 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10!  You can simply save the file and print it out on a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper (I recommend cardstock).  Just print and trim down with scissors to fit your frame.
I hope you enjoy it in your home as much as I do in ours!!

This printable is free for personal use, but must not be sold.  The foliage graphic used in this print was created by We Lived Happily ever After; you can find the link to this and other fabulous graphics like it, here.  The chalkboard background is from How to Nest for Less.
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