Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Curtains and DIY Curtain Rods

Living in the city,
 it's a necessity to have some type of window coverings. 

There are many times I wished I could go without,
at least for the Summer, 
but I know it would not feel right somehow...
especially at night with my massive windows bare for all to see inside.

I grew tired of my cream lace dining/sitting room curtains,
and I needed a solution that would
let the light in, 
give us privacy,
but not cost a fortune.

I decided on cafe style curtains.
It seemed the best of all worlds.

I found the curtains online at JC Penney.  
Here is a close up:  


The fabric reminds me of what burlap would look like
  (if  burlap was more of a fabric),
 with ivory embroidered flowers and vines all over.

There is another obstacle with curtains for this room.
The windows are so large it makes it difficult to find curtain rods.  
When I do find them,
  aside from the fact that they cost more than the curtains,
 the rods are so big and heavy,
they require middle brackets to keep them from buckling.
With cafe style curtains,
I couldn't put a bracket in the middle of the window,
so I needed another plan!

I researched a bit and decided to make my own curtain rods!
 My husband thought I'd lost my marbles when I suggested it,
but he dove in and got to work on it anyway.

It's nothing more than electrical conduit, spray painted,
along with L brackets and hole straps.
Then I capped off the ends with furniture knobs from Hobby Lobby.  
Piece of cake and so inexpensive!
The best part for us is the conduit isn't super heavy,
 so they don't require a middle bracket to hold them in place.  


See?  Kind of cute, huh?

Here's how it all looks now:


I have no problem sliding the curtains aside if I want,
like in the photo below.


I love this new look for my dining/sitting room.
It was just what I was looking for.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cheerful Cherry Kitchen (Summer Fresh)

This Summer, I wanted to add a little fun to my kitchen.
I thought I would begin by trying to make curtains.

When I got to the fabric store, I struggled to find a fabric that I liked.
Then I spotted the cherries and thought, 
why not?

There was just something about them...
so fresh, so fun, so full of Summer...
so I went for it.


The simple curtains I made led me to switch out our
 cobalt blue pendant light to a bright cherry red one.
I love it!


As I continue this "one thing leads to another" saga,
I decided to pull out some cherry dishes 
and put together a counter top vignette.


My cabinets with the glass doors got a lot more red added to them.
(I had to open the doors in order to get a picture without the glare.)


The wall art below was already hanging in the kitchen, 
so no need to change it.



And that is how I gave my kitchen a cheerful cherry Summer fresh look.
(now there's a mouthful!)  



 

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Proper Foundations for Women and Rug Pads Alike

How's that for a title?

Can we talk today?

I would like to talk about rug pads.  
Now I know what you're saying...
"Rug pads? Seriously?"

Please bear with me, I'll tell you a tale, we'll share some wisdom 
and maybe we'll even have a laugh.  Deal?

♥♥♥

Any fashion expert will tell you in order
for your clothes to look their best, you must start with the basics.
Those basics being properly fitting undergarments.
They are essential to how your clothes will look on you.
(Spanx, anyone?)

Yes, I know you're now saying...
"Wait.  What?"  
"I thought we were talking about rug pads?
We are. 

 When it comes to area rugs, the rug pad
is the foundation for making your area rug look its best!
(Just like those properly fitting undergarments.)

I shared my new rug with you a few months ago.
We purchased a rug pad from one of the big box stores,
laid it down, added the rug on top and called it a day.

I noticed, however, that the legs of my furniture
were digging into the rug, making it look,
for lack of a better word, wonky.  
See?




 My husband was quick to tell me that this "wonkiness" was
because I had bought a poor quality rug.  I quickly dismissed his
statement, but secretly began to worry that he might be right.
(And you know as well as I, we don't want our husbands to be right.)

But then....
I got my hands on a Premium Lock rug pad
from Rug Pad USA.

Now take a look:




Pretty amazing, right?

This is what the pad looks like: 


One side is rubber, the other felt.
I used the rubber side on top since my rug was
going over a carpet.  If I was looking to put the
rug on a hardwood floor, I would put the rubber side down,
making a perfect non-slip surface.

Honestly, not only does my area rug look better, 
but it also feels better underfoot.  Which really surprised me, 
I wasn't expecting that at all.

If you are in the market for a rug pad, please keep
Rug Pad USA in mind! 

Their pads are eco-friendly,
made in the USA (I love that),
and are shipped quickly with free shipping!

And...
They can be cut to size!
(Because just like women's undergarments, one size doesn't fit all!)

What more could you ask for really?

I'll be working on my living room soon.
New couches are on order and will be here shortly.
I know, without a doubt, I'll be ordering
a new rug pad for the living room area rug.
I've been spoiled now, there's no turning back!

Have a super weekend!
I'll be taking a short blog break to enjoy Summer.
See you soon!









**I was provided a rug pad by Rug Pad USA, however, all opinions are strictly my own.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pantry Door Whimsy

Back in 2009, I painted my kitchen cabinets. 
They went from oak to white.

 I have a pantry that's just off the kitchen.
For some unknown reason, 
I never painted the doors to the pantry 
when I painted all those kitchen cabinets in 2009.

I guess I was thinking the pantry is not actually in the kitchen, 
so I could leave them alone.

 It only took 5 years for me to realize those pantry
doors would look better in white!!! lol
 I wish I had a before picture. 
 Why didn't I take a before picture?

Here are the doors, after I finished painting them:


In this narrow hallway,
the kitchen entry is to the left, 
a window to the right.

I bought new curtains for the window.
Having always admired these from Country Curtains
for their cottage appeal, 
I decided it was high time I bought them:



I love those wide ruffles!

Now the trouble was, 
because there is always trouble when I do something,
there seemed to be a lot of white in this hallway now, 
with most of it concentrated in this one area.

So, I decided to add just a little something to the doors to
break up some of that white. Something different.

A little whimsy....

...in the form of  vinyl decals, purchased on Etsy,
(This was the same shop where I purchased my stair decals.)


It's funny how just by adding a little detail
like this, is enough to change
the look, break up all the white, and make me happy.



When I come in my back door, 
I now see this as I enter the kitchen.  
Simple though it may be,
the little birdies make me smile every time.


A lovely week to all of you!


 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lighter, It's a Wonderful Thing!

I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, 
but I never could sit down long enough to do it.
Well, that and the fact I was afraid I'd hex myself.

Can I just say that lighter is a wonderful thing?

I know you're asking, 
"What exactly does Gina mean by lighter?"

Well for starters, here is heavier:



Yeah, Heavier, with a capital "H."

Believe me, I was never one to have my picture taken.
Being Heavier (capital H),  I  ran from the camera.
That picture was taken on Christmas Day 2013.


Now I will share lighter.
7 months later...taken this past weekend.
(Sorry, I don't have the selfie in the mirror thing down, so 
you'll just have to bear with me.)



44 pounds lighter! 

 We used the old Weight Watcher system and did it
with a "let's try & just see what happens-no pressure" attitude.  
I think that helped, along with the fact that 
my husband came along for the ride, and my kids too.  
I didn't put the kids on the diet,
 but they endured my lighter, healthier cooking 
with rarely a complaint.
(Funny thing:  looking at that before picture and looking
& my daughter today, she too, looks thinner to me now.)

In case you are wondering, I highly recommend 
this website, Skinny Taste,
if you are looking for healthy & tasty recipes.
I've made many, many, many of her recipes
and I've been pleased with 98% of all I've tried.

Now, there has been shopping, lots of shopping!
My entire Summer wardrobe was too big.
Not that I'm complaining, but wow, it's hard building up a 
wardrobe from scratch, especially when you 
have to have something to wear to work everyday. 

Here's some of the old Summer wardrobe, stacked up
getting ready to be donated:



Lots of empty hangers:


Summers are short here.   When it's time to try on my
Fall/Winter wardrobe, I'll probably have triple the amount of
clothes to get rid of.  Eek!  

A lot of good has come from this weight loss...
besides all the shopping and being able to buy clothes 
anywhere & everywhere now.
I take the stairs everyday at work and I no
longer have to gasp for air when I reach the 3rd floor.
My cholesterol was borderline & it dropped 72 points.
I try to go for a walk regularly and I just plain feel better.

I don't want to give the impression that I am
the perfect dieter and have been for the past 7 months.
There are always days, or even weekends,
where I've been to parties or out to dinner,
and I've eaten more than I should have.
What is very different with me this time around though,
is the fact that I can tell myself, 
"it's ok, just begin again tomorrow."  
Whenever I'd dieted in the past and
had a bad eating day, I would get angry
with myself & give it all up for lost.
Not this time!

People are always asking me what my goal is.
I never set a goal when I started this.  
Remember I was just doing this with that 
"let's try & just see what happens-no pressure" attitude.
It worked & I'm very grateful.  
I do realize I have more weight to lose.
 I'm still heavy, just with a small h this time.  :)

I know I was not meant to be a size 2 and I'm fine with that.

Lighter is good,
lighter is a wonderful thing!




Sunday, June 29, 2014

Patriotic Mantel (4th of July)

My goodness, where is the time going? 
It's hard to believe that June is almost over! 

We're still running around with baseball, 
 but look forward to enjoying Summer 
and the beautiful weather we're having.

I thought with the 4th on its way,
it might be time to show some
patriotic spirit with a 
4th of July mantel!


This mantel came together quickly 
and with everything that I already had on hand.


Do you remember I used this sign last year on
I made it out of the left over slats from my mom's window blinds.


What is it about red, white & blue that I love so much?


I hope you have a happy week
and 
a wonderful 4th of July!



 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teen Girl Bedroom Reveal

 I was going to share my daughter's bedroom redo with you late last year.  
Being the bad blogger that I am, I never shared it.
-----
 One day, I got a bee in my bonnet.
I realized my kids were getting too old,
and in my son's case...too big & tall, for their twin beds.

Wouldn't it be nice to buy the kids bigger beds?
They'd be so much more comfortable.
It'd be nice to have the extra room.
(I think those were the phrases I used to convince my husband.)

Well, one thing lead to another & before I knew it,
both kids had a complete bedroom overhaul,
just because bigger beds were in order.

Fair warning:  
You will not see a room that is devoid of real life. 
 Magazine-ready kid bedrooms are unreal & unnatural.
Kids have stuff, and stuff has to go somewhere.
It can't always be hidden behind closed doors.
It took me years to understand this.  

Phew...glad I got that off my chest!


Olivia loves books and she loves New York City
(among many other things).
Her room came together from those loves.

Bear in mind, this kid loves her stuff and doesn't
want to part with any of it.


Gray, white & yellow became the chosen color palette
when we found this pretty quilt at TJ Maxx.


NYC pillow from this shop at Etsy.


I shared my DIY lamp shade for Mr. Pig here.
NY Public Library art found on the streets of NYC.
(a no brainer for this room!)




Our Lady Liberty and a favorite book of New York.


You can't talk NYC without some subway art!


Here are her shelves...
loaded with books & other stuff.
The shelves were here when we bought the house
and they are the sole reason why Olivia selected
this smaller room as her bedroom.
For her,
shelves = books; books = happiness.




More things she loves.



Celebrities, etc.


Sherlock Holmes ala Benedict Cumberbatch!
Found here on Etsy


The music box from The Phantom of the Opera.


I hope you enjoyed your tour of Olivia's room.

See you soon!

P.S.  I've been thinking about adding an area rug. 
Any thoughts on that?

Linking to:

Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy & Elephants

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