Creating an In-Home Spa

Harsh reality: I only have two more months to enjoy my 3 soaking tub-clad bathrooms that have been transformed from “ho-hum” to “oh wow!”

Photo proof? Got it.
Before

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After

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See what I mean? We DIYed it all; Ripped out the fiberglass surrounds, installed gorgeous porcelain tile, restained cabinets, framed mirrors, installed built in medicine cabinets, got new lights, and painted the rooms light gray. I can feel the calm just describing it!

So now what makes the perfect in-home spa? I think it varies for everyone.

My perfect slice of relaxation heaven? Lots of candles, bath oil or a bath bomb, and spa music (thanks Spa Radio on Pandora!). Follow that with painting my nails and doing my hair and I’d have to say….
You’re dreaming! Who has that much time? 😉

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But in all seriousness, take some time to spoil yourself. Enjoy an in-Home spa experience with some of these products and instructables!

Bath Bombs
LUSH – I cannot wait to splurge on some of these bath bombs and bubble bars! I’ve heard amazing things, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little afraid of the color dying my tub…any of you have experience with LUSH bath products? Ease my worries please!

DIY it! Naturally Martha Stewart knows how! She has great tips on where to find ingredients and a great cocktail of fragrance options!

Bubbles

My favorite way of getting the light layer of bubbles I love is with Neutrogena’s Body Oil. Go easy, as a little of this sesame-based oil goes a loooooong way. If you overdo it, you could climb out of the bath smelling a bit like your fave Chinese take-out.

DIY it! This recipe from Live Laugh Rowe sounds super luxe! With easy ingredients and directions, this would make a perfect gift for others….or yourself!

Burn, Baby, Burn! Candles, that is.

Don’t get me started on my love for all things scented. My home is filled with Glade/Febreeze candles (keeps the rooms smelling neutral and fresh) and it’s a good thing my husband keeps me in check and doesn’t let me roam unattended in the candle section of any store. If you asked, though, my fave brands for spa-time are Voluspa for Anthropologie (whichever scent fits your mood) and my wedding candle (shown above) from World Market that’s submerged in coffee beans that fills my bathroom with a Madagascar Vanilla and Coffee Bean scent that is oh-so-intoxicatingly-subtle.

DIY it! Live Simply has combined my fave scent ever (rosemary, mmmm) and has spa-ed it with the addition of lavender into an amazingly rich soy candle. I think when I make this I might just add in a bit of lemon zest to really make it my own!

Some DIY extras for fun? Why not! Indulge!
Vanilla Rose Body Scrub
Whipped Body Butter
Vanilla Bath Salts
Cocoa Butter Bath Truffles

What products do you love to achieve an in-home spa experience? Leave me a comment below!

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Laundry Room Renovation

Happy Friday y’all!

Instead of sulking over the fact that I’m “not allowed” to do any physical activity that involves ankles (i.e. Almost everything…) I’m going to share with you our newly renovated laundry room.

Now, apologies ahead of time that I didn’t think to take “Before” pictures besides when we first moved in which resulted in photos that look like I was on some type of “take the most pictures in 2 minutes” kind of game show. They are obviously horrible the best quality photos ever!

Ha! Sarcasm! Love it.

Anywho, here’s what our “laundry room” looked like before we moved in…

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Since those pictures suck, I also used my amazing drawing skills to make you a blueprint of the layout…

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I know, I know….I excelled in art class…it’s no big deal…I mean, look at those flowers!

When we first moved in I was pretty bummed to see that our laundry was off the garage because the concrete floor was just filled with dirt that sunk into the pores of the surface. All I could see was clean laundry dropping on the floor when I was removing it from the dryer and having to rewash it. What a hassle!

So I came up with a plan for Jeff (and I) to work on. I asked for a sealed/epoxy or tiled floor, a place to fold laundry within the room, and some shelving to hang my dried clothing and laundry supplies. I also wanted the area to look like an intentional room, not just a slab above the garage.

Here’s what we did, in two days (total time), for under $300.

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We got most of the big items from Home Depot including the Paint (Behr Paint + Primer In One “Zen”), Floor Epoxy Paint (Behr Concrete Epoxy in Silver Gray – not recommended for our use though after completing…), Molding, Table Top, and Cabinet to make the “Folding” Table. We already had both wire shelving units and the large cabinet by the washer and dryer. As for the decor, I bought the clock and vase from Target, the art on the walls from Kohls, and the clothes pins and jar from WalMart.

For under $300 and not seeing very good “before” photos, what do y’all think?!

a huge “thanks!” goes out to my amazing husband for constructing my folding area and putting everything up on the walls. He really is the best guys!

Making Treasure from Trash (and other household hacks)

One thing most of you guys know about me is that I love decorating my home. Hopefully soon, we will have a home that we own to decorate as well (yay for no more renting in the future!)

Another thing you may know about me is that I hate spending more money than I have to on home decor. Just check out our curtain fiasco in my previous Around the House post here

So I have vowed to take thrift store finds or other inexpensive home decor and make it into the best declarations ever! Here’s what I mean:

IKEA hacks

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Ikeahackers is a great resource for DIY projects from items that can be bought from IKEA and upgraded to look more unique and expensive.

Thrift Store Treasures

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Not only are thrift stores like Goodwill, AMVETS, and The Salvation Army great causes to donate your gently used and unwanted items, but they are usually a great place to find one of a kind and vintage pieces that are great on their own or spruced up to become something new! I found a great set of three pillar candle stands at Goodwill for $10 for the set! Super Steal!

The blog Pennies and Blessings (photo credit) also has a great list of things to look for!

Flea Market Finds

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See my post all about my best friend’s amazing Flea Market Finds here!

Let’s hear about your favorite thrifty home decor! Share your stories below!

Creative Housewarming Gifts

As we continue our search for a home here in California, I have started thinking about all of our friends who are also new or looking-to-be-new homeowners. Since we live far from many of our family and East Coast friends who are on the hunt for a new home, I got to looking around for fun, creative, or unique housewarming gifts that I could send them. Here are a few of my favorites:

DIY & Drinks

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A bottle of wine or their favorite spirit with a hand-tool is a great gift! A cute saying like the one above makes it funny and memorable for years to come!

Welcome Home!

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An inexpensive, plain doormat painted with the couple’s initials really helps make the threshold feel like home.

Burlap & Monogram

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A scrap piece of burlap, a dollar store frame, and a mat from the craft store help make this easy DIY project a unique way to commemorate the year your friends bought their new place!

The Small Things Gift Basket

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A basket or package filled with small, commonly used (but forgotten) items is great for those people who are embarking on their very first home purchase. A flashlight, batteries, Goo Gone, hand soap, and other miscellaneous items are a life-saver for those times when you think you have it all, but don’t!

Have any other great gift ideas for new homeowners? Comment below!

Dream Kitchen

Happy Wednesday! As some of you may know, Jeff and I are house hunting since a mortgage on many beautiful townhomes are less expensive than our current rent. We have put a few bids down so far, but no luck yet. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we can get a place by Christmas! The biggest changes that we have been wanting to make in these early 2000 townhomes are details in the kitchen. Now while the appliances are nice, many of these places come with tile counters (eewwwww…), yellowish wood (I think they were going for pine??), and tiled white floors (can you say dirt?!)

We’ve decided if faced with these challenges in our eventual home, here is what we will be doing; aptly named “Modern Country”

thank you Pinterest for the ideas…

Concrete or Butcherblock Countertops

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Dark Wood Laminate Floors

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White Cabinets with Brushed Nickel Hardware

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Extras
Mason Jar Chandelier

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Glass Tile Backsplash

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Over the Sink Utensil Rack

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What do you think? Any changes you’d make? Keep your fingers crossed for us as we are supposed to hear back on a great home that we bid on this Friday!!

Happy Halloween! Pinterest Style!

Hi guys! I hope you’re having a spook-tacular day so far! See what I did there? HA! So corny, I know 🙂 Yesterday I was feeling a bit under the weather and went to bed by 9 after getting everything done around the house. So next week I will complete my Buying a Home 101 post! Today, I’d like to share with you a blog post that was sent to me by a rep at Paul Fredrick, an online retailer specializing in men’s dress shirts, and asked to be shared. This post is filled with a few DIY male costume ideas for those of us that (still!) don’t have a costume for tonight! Check it out here: 5 Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas For us females, I searched Pinterest and found some of these that can be thrown together with articles you probably already have in your closet! Enjoy! Rosie the Riveter

20131031-100238.jpg With a pair of jeans, a chambray shirt, and a red bandana, this is one of the easiest and most classic costumes ever! Where’s Waldo Wanda

20131031-100536.jpg Jeans, a striped sweater, a warm stripey knit hat, and your favorite camera make this easy costume a great way to capture all of those Halloween night memories! Audrey Hepburn

20131031-100647.jpg Going someplace classy tonight? Throw on your best Little Black Dress and a statement necklace and hit the town! An easy DIY updo will complete the look. A Contestant on The Price is Right

20131031-100918.jpg This silly costume was my choice at work last year. It not only works well in small groups (always have someone bid $1!), but it only requires jeans, your favorite old college sweatshirt, some cardboard, and colored paper! How easy is that?! Whatever you choose to do tonight, please be safe! I hope tonight is filled with many more treats than tricks 🙂

Pinterest Post: DIY Nanny Binder

So I told you all yesterday that I would share with you my DIY Nanny Binder that was inspired by Pinterest. If you search “nanny binder” on Pinterest you will see a couple different options, all that can be purchased. Now I’m all for using someone else’s work if its genius, but these binders looked like some thing I could replicate on my own!

Here’s what I bought from Target to make it happen:
– A 1.5 inch binder
– 5 plastic page dividers
– A paper folder with pockets (do not buy if your binder has pockets!)
– A planner/calendar with 3 holes punched (to place in binder)
– A spiral bound notebook

Here’s what I’ve got now:

Front:

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Left Pocket
I had to paste in my own pockets into the binder by cutting apart the folder and rubber cementing them into place
Nanny 911 Printable – on Pinterest here

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Section 1
Baby’s Daily Schedule – made by me

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Section 2
Notes from the Nanny – made by me, inspired by this and this

I love the first printable inspiration page, but it used terms like “nappies” and “niggly” (cranky?) which is not commonly used in the US

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Section 3
Photo Log – made by me

I can’t imagine how hard it must be being away from your little ones, so getting a Polaroid or making little crafts to show mommy and daddy when they get home is helpful!

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Section 4
Development & Milestones – info taken from Early Childhood textbooks and resources as well as baby activity websites like this one

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Section 5
To Dos and Notes for the Nanny – made by me
I can use this section to remind myself of things I need to do in a day or overnight to prepare for the next day/the week

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Section 6
Planner/Calendar – now I can keep mommy’s, daddy’s, and my schedules all in one place! And it’s Chevron! Bonus!

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Section 7
Spiral Notebook – anything I need to write down can be put here as well as notes from the parents

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Back Pocket
Any extra papers necessary

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If any of you would like my Printables, leave me a comment and I can email them to you! I’m more than happy to share 🙂

UPDATE: I’ve had a great response from this post and my readers (thanks guys!) so here are my files for anyone wanting to use them!

Word Files
0-3 Development and Activities
3-6 Development and Activities
6-9 Development and Activities
9-12 Development and Activities
911 Nanny Form
Daily Child Care Schedule
Nanny Photo Log
Nanny To-Do and Reminders
Notes from the Nanny Daily Log

PDF Files

0-3-development-and-activities
3-6-development-and-activities
6-9-development-and-activities
9-12-development-and-activities
911-nanny-form
daily-child-care-schedule
nanny-photo-log
nanny-to-do-and-reminders
notes-from-the-nanny-daily-log

Pinterest Post: Doily Envelopes

It’s Thursday and I’m starting to get burnt out…we’ve been running nonstop for the past week decorating the apartment and exploring. It’s a good kind of exhaustion 🙂

I’m really hoping I can get the cupcakery up and off its feet while we live in San Diego and I think these cute doily envelopes could be just the trick to start marketing. I found this awesome idea on a weddingbee forum and knew what I had to do.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– Kraft paper envelopes
– Paper doilies
– Glue (sticks are less messy than the liquid I used!)
– Stickers from your company/theme
– A stamp of your choice with ink pad

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Instructions are pretty self explanatory with pictures:

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To jazz them up a little more, try off-setting the doilies and trimming off the excess! So cute right?!

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I’m going to stuff these babies with my menu cards and a business card and hand them out as soon as I get everything done to set up a stand at the farmers market!

Welcome to Our Home!

So I told you guys I would give you a house tour as soon as I got here. Before I do that, though, you will need to know that some organizing and redecorating will be in order over the next few weeks! Our home looks amazing and Jeff did a GREAT job on getting everything set up and organized! Now it’s time for refining and decorating.

Kitchen

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Dining Room

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Living Room

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Master Bedroom

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Master Bath

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Master Closet/Guest Bedroom Closet

To be shown at a later date (i.e. too unorganized to show) 🙂

Guest Bath

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Guest Bedroom/Office

Wayyyyy to disorganized to take pictures of right now… Lets just say that I made a big mess of everything on my desk and made good use of the bed as a storage area when I was hanging the new curtains in there….

So as you can see there is a lot to be done! The apartment is beautiful and I’m in love with the location, I just can’t wait to make it a home with decorations and personal touches!

Pinterest Post: DIY home decor with COLOR!

So as I’m sure many of you can tell by my Around the House posts as of late, I tend to stick to decorating with neutral and pale colors. My life’s motto is simple, clean, and organic. I love the simplicity of whites, beiges, grays, and earth tones. They just look so polished! My husband, amazing as he is, loves a little color in our rooms, though. He’s an adamant earth-tone lover, too, but always mentions how neutral my tastes are.

This week I have been scouring Pinterest to find simple, colorful DIY home decor ideas. Here’s what I’ve found (and will be doing when I get to Cali):

Dipped Plates

b

Brought to you by: Uncovet 

Chevron Kitchen Rug (In Coral)

c

Brought to you by: The House of Smiths

Bright Wall Art

a

Bright Curtains

a

Brought to you by: Taylor Made

Fresh Flowers

a b c

Brought to you by: My hubby, hopefully! 😉

So that last one isn’t really a DIY, but a girl can dream, right?!