Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 8.15

It seems like this summer I know about 1000 people who have gotten engaged or married or are about to start a family–I’m still trying to break it to myself that I’m at that age where my friends and I could, logically, tie the knot. Whoa. Try telling me that again in about 8 years and maybe I’ll be more likely to believe it. As much as it would freak me out to even think about getting married in the near future, I have to admit I sort of really love looking at wedding blogs. So today, since it’s still wedding season for a couple more weeks, we’ll take a look at some ceremony necessities.

 

Announcing an engagement looks like one of the most fun photo shoots to do. I loved browsing through 100 Layer Cake’s engagement gallery, and these giant letters are such a fun and unique way to tell everyone your great news!

 

 

Invitations are also a great way to show some style with your announcement. Oh So Beautiful Paper has hundreds of amazing ideas on their blog, but I especially like this Modern Pink Letterpress set for its handmade, crafty, and beautiful feel.

 

 

Finding a maid of honor is either an easy decision or one where you have too many great options to choose from. For whomever it ends up being, ask them with this adorable Bestie Bubbly Box from Green Wedding Shoes. Both you and your MOH will love what’s inside!

 

 

Decorating for your rehearsal dinner or reception can often seem like a daunting task. For a summer wedding, these gorgeous blooms from Splendid Supply Co. serve as colorful centerpieces for the after-party.

 

 

And lastly, no wedding is complete with a cake. This AMAZING cake from Ruffled is one of thousands of photos you can use for some wedding inspiration!

 

 

With endless possibilities like this, who knows…maybe getting married isn’t so bad after all.

 

Have a great week!

Erin


Jen Jones

Organize This: Travel Gear!

Trend: Packing up and setting off to enjoy the final days of summer!

{via}

 

As much as it hurts to say it, summer days are numbered.  With summer winding down, many folks are doing what they can to make the most of those final sun filled days.  Whether heading up north to a friend’s cabin, packing up the family to head to the beach or jet setting across the country to explore an unfamiliar city, packing for a trip can cause unnecessary pre-travel frustrations.  What should I pack?  What should I button up around the house before we leave?  How do I make the most of the space in my carry-on bag?  Here are my top ten tips for stress-free organized traveling.

 

  • Make a list, check it twice.  Create a master list of things to do around the house before heading out of town for a few days (turn down heat, water plants, set alarm, etc…) as well as a master list of frequently packed items.  Give yourself empty blanks to fill in so the list can be tweaked based on your current trip and begin filling out your checklist a few days prior to traveling.  Save the list digitally to prevent filling it out from scratch every time the travel bug hits.
  • Use your calendar of travel events when planning what to pack.  Keep a list of potential activities that will be taking place on your trip and use that as a guide when packing your clothing.  Place clothing into piles based on day/event and select items that are easy to mix and match to give you more looks with less.  Accessories go a long way in changing the look and feel of an outfit, but are much less bulky in a suitcase.
  • Use packing cubes within your suitcase to divide out your contents by type and to prevent items from mixing.  This will be handy as you begin to rummage through your suitcase more and more each day.  Toss in a few empty pouches for a damp swimsuit or dirty laundry.  Garment bags work well for this also.
  • Roll clothing vs. folding.  You will have less creases to iron and it takes up much less space.
  • Select a cosmetic/toiletry bag that opens flat and contains a hook.  Hooking the bag to the back of the door or a nearby towel bar will clear up limited hotel counter space.  Only utilize the cosmetic bag for non-liquid toiletries; the liquid items should be transferred to travel size bottles and packed within a clear plastic bag and placed in an easy to access pouch of the suitcase.  Also remember that hotels are always stocked with daily essentials which allows you to skip packing the soap and makes room for another pair of shoes (wink wink).
  • Pack an ultra-lightweight, nylon tote which can fold up nice and small (and takes up minimal space in a suitcase), yet turns into a portable market tote or beach bag for any day trips you take while on vacation.
  • Place all flight information, hotel / automobile reservations and other itineraries into a durable folio and tuck it inside of your carry-on tote.  This will ensure your boarding pass is simple to locate at the airport and that you can quickly pull out an address for the taxi driver.
  • Add a pocketed purse organizer to your handbag / tote to keep all of your carry-on essentials neat and tidy.  The added pockets provide designated space within your bag for pens, tech gear, cords, currency, ear-buds, cosmetics, etc…
  • Place shoes inside of shoe sacks to prevent suitcase contents from becoming soiled during travels.  Reusable grocery bags and even plastic shower caps work great for this purpose.
  • Be sure to add a luggage tag to your suitcase containing your important personal information in the event your luggage becomes lost, but don’t share too much.  Create a specific email address just for your luggage identification and also include a cell phone number and the phone number of the hotel you will be staying at.  Adding a home phone number or home address may ultimately put your personal information into the wrong hands.  Select a tag that is unique and easy to spot on a baggage carousel or even add decorative washi-tape around the handle to make your suitcase stand out from the rest.

 

travel checklist / packable travel bags / jewelry roll / hanging toiletry bag / nylon tote / passport cover / luggage tag / folio / purse organizer / toiletry bottle / luggage grips / carry-on suitcase

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Rachel Shingleton

Get the Look: Yellow Sofas

A few weeks ago my husband Simon and I took a little weekend getaway to Dallas. We were perusing all the lovely things at Crate & Barrel when my eye fell on the most gorgeous canary yellow sofa. My mind started spinning in all the ways I would decorate with a fantastic yellow couch.  ”What are you doing?” Simon asked, wondering why I just continued to sit there.  “Just leave me for awhile. I’m in love,” I told him.  He laughed – he knows how I get on a design kick and can’t leave it alone. So I’m going to live vicariously today and talk about all the yellow sofas that I could love. And why you should love them too.

I absolutely adore the idea of unexpected colors on furniture. My assistant Nancy has the most fantastic vintage wingback chair upholstered in yellow velvet, and I’m halfway tempted to break into her house in the middle of the night to steal it. She is forbidden to get rid of it without discussing it with me. And every time I see that chair, it immediately reminds me of blog friend Will at Bright Bazaar, whose lovely yellow sofa graces the color of his new book.

source: Bright Bazaar

Yellow is a statement-making color but can work in almost any room – just plan on it being the focal point. And color is one of those things that can be used no matter what style of furniture you prefer. Want it modern? Traditional? Contemporary? Mid-century? The sky’s the limit – and sometimes an unexpected color on a traditional piece can create a completely new and modern spin on a room.

source: A Beautiful Mess

Whether you accent it with neutrals, primaries, or even fellow warm colors like orange or pink, yellow can run the gamut from soothing to exhilarating. Here are my top yellow sofa picks!


BHG Guest Blogger

DIY Library Wall for Less Than $600

 

 

Hi there! I’m Kristin and I write the DIY/design blog Bliss at Home where I share my Do It Yourself projects and my obsession with all things home. I love to share how to achieve high-end looks on a budget.  I think no matter what you can afford there are things you can do to make your home personal and comforting. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger on Style Spotters today to share with you more about my “I Did It” Library Wall.

 

 

 

 

 

Being creative has its faults. Let me explain…

 

My husband and I bought the house I grew up in and have been taking on the challenge of remodeling it from top to bottom. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, an exterior overhaul…and the list goes on and on. I have a million ideas floating around in this creative head of mine. So, when I decided we needed to have built-in bookcases in our living room, I shook the piggy bank and not a lot came out. This is a creative hiccup, but one I felt I could overcome.

 

I priced out building materials so we could build our own custom library wall. The cost was way out of what I was comfortable spending at the time. It came out to be over $2500. My library wall dreams seemed to fade.

Since I  like to get the look for less, it was Ikea to the rescue! I started to hatch a plan to get that library wall. The Ikea Billy Bookcase was the perfect answer to my library wall woes. Four Billy bookcases, good hardware and quality wood to make them look built-in, paint and painting supplies, brass library lights on remote, and installing a sound system and speakers all came in under $600!!

 

We picked the bookcases up on a Saturday and got to work. It took the rest of the weekend and four evenings that week to complete the library wall. Don’t you love how I was already playing around with styling the shelves before they were even finished!?! It’s a sickness, I swear!

 

Once we built the frame to attach our wood panels, we went ahead and wired up our speakers and placed them on the top of the bookcases. The speakers run to the sound system that is cleverly hidden on a bottom shelf. We left the top panel open to the ceiling and it is great for sound quality.

 

We also made the center panel a pop off panel so we could access the cords to the speakers and the library lights in the future. Roller ball and hinge hardware made that possible and just a side note here– we use this to hide presents from the kids too!

 

The brass library lights were a great online find. They are actually brass picture lights and were only $14 each. The cords all run to a power strip that is hidden in the pop off panel. We purchased a power strip that came with a remote and VOILA! – lights on remote!

 

By adding details like baseboard and crown molding, the bookcases have a built-in look. To finish it off even more, we chose to fill in the pre-drilled shelf holes. We used a product that can easily be removed if we ever choose to change the configuiration of our shelves. Details like this really finish off the bookcases.

 You can see every detail on how we made our library wall here:  DIY Library Wall

To date, this is one of my favorite projects. It has enhanced how we use our living room. The kids love to read their books in here. My husband and I have coffee and listen to music here on the weekends. When we entertain, it is our go-to room. The library wall adds charm to our home. The shelves hold our memories and favorite things. Definitely time and money well spent!

 

Having one of my favorite projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens is definitely a dream come true!  Getting that first email from editor Kit Selzer saying they would like to feature it was a pinch-me moment for sure. Stylist Lindsay Berger and photographer Greg Scheidemann were a joy to work with and I would gladly have them back anytime. I loved seeing them in action and it is an experience that has made me more and more passionate about what I do. I’d like to thank the entire BHG team for all their work!  It was an awesome experience!


Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 8.8

Hello, friends! Another week has come and gone, and here we are to talk about cool things from the internet yet again. I’m not complaining. This week I came across a ton of DIY projects, and I wanted to share a couple with you today, because some things just need to have that hand-crafted touch.

 

I’ve dabbled in printmaking a little bit, and I have to say that big prints are A LOT of work. Luckily, for all of us who don’t have weeks at a time to spend in the print studio, Yellow Brick Home has found a way to make it a little easier. Their DIY giant frames not only make dinosaurs look even more awesome than normal, they do it in a quarter of the time.

 

 

We all know lighting can make or break a room. We also all know that the design of the lighting fixture is a vital part to any room design, as well. These simple-but-chic copper wire DIY pendant lights from Kristi Murphy carry the perfect balance of light and unique design. Ideal for a home office, study or bedroom, these lights are sure to brighten any room’s aesthetics.

 

 

If you’re looking to add a little more texture and color to your walls, look at this wood frame gallery DIY from Christina’s Adventures. I especially love the paper flower centerpiece–and what a better way to put those old books collecting dust on your shelves to use!

 

 

If I could post pictures of my cat on here, I would (never thought I would say it, but I’m totally that person who obsesses over their cat on a regular basis…). Alas, she will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, look at Cuckoo 4 Design’s cats, and the wonderful outdoor enclosure she created for her furry friends! I’ve already told my boyfriend to start planning on how he’s going to build ours. Yes. We will be those people.

 

 

And because it’s almost September, that means one thing–football season is nearly upon us! As an honorary Midwesterner, I can appreciate the rivalry shown with this broken bracket sign DIY from Sawdust & Embryos. Specify your team hostility as much or as little as you want with this fun way to (equally) show your spirit with your spouse or friends!

 

 

Until next week, compadrés! Go Broncos!

Erin


Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: Painting with Bleach

Painting with Bleach Lampshade and Napkins DIY // thepapermama.com
Last week I decided to try painting with bleach. Instead of adding color with paint, I’m taking it away. I have to say this was a fun experiment. You don’t really know how it’s going to turn out until everything is all washed and dry. It’s inexpensive and you can try it on most cotton fabrics! I painted on napkins and lampshades for my first attempt. Want to try it out for yourself? Check out the directions below.
Supplies:
  • Clorox Bleach Pen
  • old paintbrush
  • solid color cotton fabric napkins and/or a lampshade
  • gloves
  • goggles
Directions:
Painting with Bleach Lampshade DIY // thepapermama.com
Painting with Bleach Cloth Napkin DIY // thepapermama.com
STEP 1:
In a well ventilated area: put on your gloves, goggles, and apron (I did all this outside). Open the Clorox Bleach Pen and squirt some of the bleach into a jar.
Painting with Bleach Lampshade DIY // thepapermama.com
Painting with Bleach Cloth Napkin DIY // thepapermama.com
STEP 2:
Dip your paintbrush into the bleach and brush a small horizontal line onto the fabric and/or lampshade. You can do little short lines, or long lines. Create a little pattern with the lines. Don’t worry if the design isn’t perfect, freehand painting this project will give it charm. Though, if you’d prefer, you can always use a washable fabric pencil and ruler to mark where you want the lines to go.
Painting with Bleach Lampshade DIY // thepapermama.com
Painting with Bleach Cloth Napkin DIY // thepapermama.com
STEP 3:
Let the bleach sit on the fabric until you start to see the fabric turning white. Mine sat for about 3 hours.
Painting with Bleach Lampshade DIY // thepapermama.com
Painting with Bleach Cloth Napkin DIY // thepapermama.com
STEP 4:
Napkins: Wash and dry the napkins (separate from any clothes) before using.
Lampshade: Rinse off the bleach in the sink and let dry completely before using.
Painting with Bleach Lampshade DIY // thepapermama.com
Painting with Bleach Cloth Napkin DIY // thepapermama.com
You are done. Feel free to get creative with your designs! You don’t have to brush the bleach on with a paintbrush, instead you can use the tip of the Clorox Bleach brush to make a neat design. Polka dots, lines, and swirls. Maybe some flowers? Words? You can paint with bleach on most cotton items. Blankets, placemats, pillowcases, clothes… etc. Have fun!
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
P.S. if you try any of my projects, I’d love to know! You can share a photo in the comments below, or tag me in a photo on Instagram. My username is: @thepapermama