Friday, December 27, 2013

Santa sure can paint!

I begged my dad to create a pair of coastal paintings for my dining room for Christmas.  In true type-A fashion, I whipped up a little PowerPoint presentation that included art style examples, composition examples, fabric samples (which I also mailed to him) and pictures of my china.  Well, he has one happy client / daughter!  I love the pop of color they add to my dining room and how they remind me of the trips to the Cape / Shackleford Banks and coming back through Beaufort.

The sweet artist on Christmas morning

The 3" gold leaf plein aire frames came from my favorite bargain art store in town -- Jerry's Artarama.  They were only $60 each (they are a little more online than in the store for some reason) -- such a steal!

Do you think it's weird to have beach scenes in non-coastal homes...especially in a formal dining room?  I personally love the beach, so I want to bring it inland.

Let me know if any of you ever want my dad to whip something up for you.  He would gladly do it for a great deal.

Christmas pics of our celebrations with both families to come...


Monday, December 16, 2013

DIY Crib Skirt (no sewing!)

I decided to make my own crib skirt out of a very reasonable fabric I found at a local fabric store (Printer's Alley for you Raleigh peeps).  One reason I opted to do it was so I could make it where it's always the right length no matter how high / low the mattress is set with some simple adjusting and tucking.  It's also nice because it's custom and inexpensive.

Supplies needed:

  • about 2 yards of fabric (I had a fair amount left over so you may be able to do with 1.5 or 1.75 yards)
  • fabric glue
  • iron
  • measuring tape
  • pencil / pen
  • scissors

Step 1:
With the mattress on the highest setting, you'll need to start by doing some measuring.  Measure from the floor to the bottom of the mattress.  You will also need to measure the width between the end crib posts.

Step 2:
Iron fabric and then lay back out on floor.  Olivia kept thinking this was a new bed for her...

Step 3:
Cut out your 3 rectangles of fabric (one for the long side and 2 for the short sides since my crib has one long side against the wall).  My seam is 1/2 inch on each side, so the piece I cut was 1 inch longer and 1 inch wider than it needed to be finished.  Also - make sure you add an inch or two to the finished height of each rectangle so you have some excess to tuck.  I marked this all out with a pencil prior to cutting.  The circle geometric pattern made it really easy to keep all of my lines straight when cutting it out.

Step 4:
The circles in the fabric I picked were exactly 1" so it made it really easy for me to seam and keep straight lines.  I folded up each end 1/2 inch and glued with fabric glue in place.  It requires doing a little bit at a time and putting some pressure, but stays quickly and makes no glue marks.  Much easier than sewing.

Step 5:
I didn't do a good job photographing the last steps, but after my rectangles were seamed on all 4 sides I was able to easily tuck the 3 pieces between the mattress and box spring.  I started by trying to safety pin to the box spring, but it ended up not being necessary.  As the mattress is lowered as the Otto Bean grows up, I'll just tuck more and more of the crib skirt so that it is always just shy of the floor.

I ordered two pairs of crib sheets during one of Serena and Lilly's sales - Aqua Trellis Crib Sheet and the Kite Crib Sheet (they no longer have in blue, but have in green / blue and pink / purple combos).

Still working on the rest, but it's coming along!  


Sunday, December 15, 2013

SheInside - a happy ending

I spied this outfit on Pinterest a month or so ago and have been obsessed with recreating the look.  Like many Pinterest pics, the link didn't lead me to the source, but that certainly wasn't going to stop me.  I did some internet searching and found a few similar cape options (some were quite pricey!) and then ended up stumbling upon the very one on


At only $76 plus a 15% off code for being a new customer -- it was quite the bargain.  I was a bit skeptical since I'd heard mixed reviews for the site, but ended up taking my chance and ordering it.  I did pay for expedited shipping, but after processing time it still took about 2 weeks to arrive.  Overall, I'm happy with the quality for the price.  It will be quite comfortable during my third trimester.

Have you ordered anything from


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Modern Calligraphy Fonts Obsession

I've had a lot of friends ask if I learned calligraphy or had my Christmas cards done by a calligrapher.  No and no.  

I actually bought a font I'd been eyeing for quite some time - Bombshell Pro - and printed them myself at home.  I love how it's a little more modern and fun variety of calligrahy.  At the time, I didn't realize that it actually is one of the same fonts on the front of my Christmas cards (from Tiny Prints again - Golden Holiday card).  Bonus!

My sister, Bailey, found an Etsy Shop that does fun personalized stamps.  She ordered a few stamps and embossed her own save the dates where it looks like gold thermography.  I don't want to spoil that surprise until they go out, but you will be so impressed when I can show them off!  

She inspired me and I shopped around and ordered a stamp from AngeliqueInk on Etsy to use on gift tags.

I ordered the handwritten calligraphy address stamp, but worked with Angi to customize to make the wording appropriate for gifts.
The process was so simple and I couldn't be more thrilled with the result. 

I bought gold and black ink from Michael's and ordered the white square scalloped tags on Etsy  ($5 for 20) as well.  


Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Supper Club

Last night about 30 girls came over for our annual Christmas Supper Club.  So nice to have some quality girl time!

After being in FL all week for work, Target made my day with this fun $14 pitcher (by Threshold, naturally) and straws to spruce up my last minute hostess duties.  I can't find the pitcher online, but they have highball and old-fashioned glasses that are quite festive too.  The punch consisted of cranberry juice, OJ, sprite, pomegranate seeds and was topped off with champagne.  Easy and always a hit with ladies...Josh had a glass or two as well.

Everyone brought an app or dessert to share and we had a feast.

We've stopped doing Secret Santa and sponsored children from Myers' elementary school.  So much more rewarding....and as much as I just mentioned Target making my day, who needs another random Christmas platter?

Most of the girls -- a few hadn't arrived and a few had already left.

Olivia was shaved (a little too shaved!) by the groomer yesterday and now looks like a real pea head.  She's been sporting a tacky Christmas sweater from Target to cover her up.  This little miss was caught red-pawed standing on the kitchen island after most of the guests had left eating a piece of chocolate chip cheesecake (the hit of the party!) that I'd cut for Josh.  She devoured the entire piece!  That was after sneaking little pieces of peppermint bark all night.  Naughty, naughty girl.  I am now calling her Peppermint Cheesecake.

Looking forward to more Christmas celebrations this weekend.  So thankful for our friends!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pink Christmas

Having just reupholstered my dining room chairs, I decided to tie a little pink into my Christmas decorating this year.   

A few photos that got me inspired:
Christmas inspiration...

Looking for vintage ornaments for dining room

I wanted to find some vintage ornaments and did find some good ones on Etsy (like these), but ended up going the cheap and instant gratification route and purchasing ornaments 50% off at Michael's instead.  I loved the mix of pink, decorative gold that look vintage and the gold pine cone ornaments (also look vintage).  I put these in my big bowl on the center of my dining room table with my gold spray painted pine cones and scented pine cones that I'd had mixed in with spray painted gourds during the fall.  Made it holiday festive for about $10-15.

I also snagged some wide pink organza ribbon for $2.99 at Michael's (hint: it's on the bride aisle) to tie around wreaths in my dining room, foyer and powder room.

The rest of my Christmas decorations are pretty traditional Christmas colors and won't match the rooms they reside in, but it was fun to tie in a little pink and matchiness this year.

Do you try and match to the room?  Or just consider the Christmas decorations to be a neutral no matter the colors?


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A little tweaking

aka "arts and crafts" as Josh calls my projects.

First up, I received my DaVinci Jenny Lind crib from Amazon and LOVE it.  Great quality and very easily assembly -- not to mention you cannot beat the $150 price point.  The only part I was not wowed by were the wheels -- they were plastic and down right cheap.  I still wanted wheels to raise it up a little, so I headed to my local Ace Hardware to purchase some that look like lucite and brass.  They can be purchased for $4.79 / pair here.  I love them!

They very easily snapped right into the legs.

Second, our wedding reception was held at the Mint Museum of Art so I decided to give each of my bridesmaids a piece of art that reminded me of them.  I gave my middle sister 6 signed dog prints framed in the black and gold frames on the left.  When she moved to Boston last year she had no space for them so they are on loan to me.  About 6+ months ago I decided to reframe them in larger frames to allow for a white mat and to put in simpler gold gallery frames.  Actually I got these at Jerry's Artarama and they were black so I painted them gold with gold leaf paint.

They are now hanging in the hall alcove between our room and the future nursery.   
Now I need something with a little pop of color to go on the chest.  Or maybe down the road I'll paint the chest or put a bench here instead.

The third project was a little Christmas sprucing (more to come on the decorating progress).  I pulled out some of my decorations and decided to spray paint these little reindeer gold.  Then after putting them in my dining room I ended up tying some little pink ornaments I got for $1.00 at Michael's around their necks.


We had a great Thanksgiving weekend here in Raleigh, which I didn't document too well.  We ate lots and spent quality time with the extended Otto family on Thanksgiving, put out so much mulch in our backyard (my back is killing me now!), had a little Oyster roast, ate dinner with dear friends and saw a sweet friends' baby baptized.  I did manage to get one picture last night at dinner with 3 of my college roomies and their hubbies.  So great to see them, but we missed the other two girls (and their men)!

I promise to post more this week.