Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All that glitters...

Another year has whizzed by! And what a year it has been.
For starters, in the spring we purchased this house which led to the launch of this little blog.
Then, in the summer my brother married my best friend!
Now, they are almost finished building an ah-mazing house on the water (a.k.a. my future beach house).
Then this fall, my sister got engaged to the best guy around.
And lastly, the most surprising and exciting event was finding out that Chris and I will have a new addition to our family this spring!
Can 2014 top 2013?

Anyway, we are sticking to a low-key New Years Eve this year in front of the fireplace with some champagne (and sparkling cider) and something delicious that I will order (cooking more is one of my resolutions haha).

Even though we are staying in, I had fun checking out some New Years Eve party ideas
(maybe I'll try them next year):

Okay these might be more of a mess than they are worth, but I love these blinged out champagne bottles!
Click on the link below the picture for a DIY tutorial.


Continuing with the glitter theme, these mason jars look awesome with some glitter and simple flowers. 
Sparkly and festive.


These champagne glasses just have gold stickers added to them with different fun words.
Such an easy project!


Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!
- Caitlin

Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Blinded" by the price

The bedroom bamboo blinds are up!

I ordered them from here for a ridiculously low price (thanks to a sale and a coupon code).
They shipped fast and were easy to install.

I like how the color of the shades pick up the wood legs on the chair and ottoman.

By the way, I need to make a correction about the history of this chair that I posted about earlier this month.
My mom, after reading this post, called to remind me that the chair was in fact purchased not 20 but 30 years ago. It was also re-covered not once but twice (and now three times) AND it served as the "time-out" chair when my brother, sister, and I were little (although I don't recall ever being sent to sit in it but I'm sure my sister does haha).

Our bedroom is still very much a work in progress.
We need to paint, potentially wallpaper the wall behind our bed, get new bedding, buy a rug, and build or buy an armoire or dresser.
No big deal, right?

Thanks for stopping by!
- Caitlin

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Fashion Fix: these boots are made for walking (in the snow)

The weather here in the Northeast has been seriously wacky. 
It has snowed an unusual amount already and then this past weekend it was practically warm enough for shorts and flip-flops. 

For those days when it does happen to snow, it's good to have a pair of boots like these very affordable Target ones below that look unmistakably like the more expensive Sorel versions I usually lust over. 

Women's Merona Nancy Snow Boots- Natural

Women's Merona Norma Snow Boots- Black & White
I can't decide which version I like the most (maybe the natural?) but will definitely scoop up a pair during my next visit to Target!

Have a great weekend :)
- Caitlin

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry everything!

I'm stepping away from the computer today to spend the holiday with our loved ones.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Eat, drink, and be very merry!

This past weekend we had an early Christmas party at the house with some friends and family. 
Now that we are all getting older, it is harder to get everyone together in one place for the 25th, so we have been trying to celebrate a week before. It was fun hosting and Chris and I are so lucky to have such great family to help pitch in to make it easy and seamless. 

In our dining room, we set up the hutch with plates and utensils for dinner and had all the food set up on the dining room table (that is finally built yay).

I found these red burlap bags at Michael's (2 for a $1) and used them to hold the utensils and napkins.

Now that the party is over, I hope to re-purpose the bags in all kinds of ways.

I'm all about what is easy when it comes to hosting, which is why we used paper plates and napkins. There was no spending hours in the kitchen scrubbing dishes and these (that I found at Home Goods) were festive and worked just fine.

We had a bar set up in the kitchen but I also set up this bar in the family room.

I love using what I already have! 
The gray straws are left over from our wedding and the red ones are left over from Chris's 30th birthday party this summer.

Santa Spritzer anyone? 
I just mixed champagne, seltzer, and cranberry juice.

Here's my amazing mom (who I reference in practically every post)!

How cute is this newest addition to the family?

 Thank you to all our friends and family that made "the trek" up to CT to celebrate with us!

Merry Christmas!
- Caitlin

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ding! Dong! The dining table is DONE!

Back in October, I posted about our plans to build a dining room table
Well, I'm happy to announce that Chris has finished it and now we have our very own one-of-kind farmhouse table.
Who knew he was so handy? No seriously...who knew?

Here's a rough breakdown of the cost to make the table 
(not including the tools that we already had such as saws and drills):

table legs (we ordered them from here) $270
wood for the top (we used 2x10's)  $60
wood for the bread board (we used 2x6's) $12
wood for the apron (we used 2x4's and 1x2's) $24
stain (we used Minwax's honey satin polyshades) $16
misc. (sandpaper, foam paintbrushes, polyurethane, rags, etc) $20
rough total: $400

Considering that farmhouse tables start at around $1500, I'd say we saved a penny or two!

Since Chris pretty much took over this entire project and I did next to nothing (except help make decisions regarding the style of legs and the stain color), I asked him to share his thoughts on the process. 

Here's some tips he has to offer:
  • Make sure you have a solid plan before you even start. I sketched out the measurements so that there weren't any surprises along the way. 
  • Use online resources for examples of plans, how to use tools, etc. I like Ana White's website and YouTube
  • Be patient. At some points it seems like it's going to be a disaster but it all comes together in the end. 
  • I used pocket-holes for all joinery which provides strong support. Drilling them is quick and easy too.
  • When staining (my least favorite part), apply in thin coats because you can always add more color but if you apply it too thick, it becomes blotchy.
  • I used wood conditioner after sanding and before staining.
  • Make sure your project is clean of sawdust and dirt before staining to avoid bumps and blotches.
  • When applying a polyurethane, sand it in between coats. That's what makes it super smooth. 

As far as the chairs go, I admittedly splurged a little. 
My rationale was that we saved on the table by making it ourselves so we could spring for buying some new chairs. 
I found and bought these Safavieh Eleanor X-Back chairs here.

As for the two brown chairs on the end, those are just temporary and are from a garage sale. 
I finally went for it and purchased two of Restoration Hardware's French Barrelback chair (with a 20% off coupon--never pay full price) that I've been debating buying for months now.
 I can't wait for them to arrive!

Have a great Saturday!
- Caitlin

Thursday, December 19, 2013

That's a wrap

With Christmas just around the corner, it feels good to have most of my gifts purchased and wrapped.
This year I have all the presents in a basket on top of an old-fashioned sled underneath the Christmas tree.

The wrapping paper is from Home Goods
I thought this gray and white herringbone pattern was cute and would look nice accented with some bright red ribbon.

The gift tags also are from Home Goods
Love that place!

I've seen so many great wrapping ideas for presents on Pinterest this season.
Here are a few favorites:

Speaking of wrapping, Destiny USA (the premier Shopping Center in Upstate New York) asked me to participate in their holiday campaign called "Unwrap Your Memories" by sharing a holiday memory.

It is hard to choose one memory as every Christmas with my family has something memorable and special about it. But, there is one memory and childhood tradition that sticks out in my mind.

Every Christmas Eve when my siblings and I were little, my parents had a plan of getting us kids to bed early so that the adults would have some peace and quiet.
The plan consisted of one of the adults at the holiday party sneaking outside with a mounted deer head that my dad had hanging in the garage. 

They would put the deer head up to the window from outside and our parents who were inside with us would exclaim "Look! One of Santa's reindeer is outside. You better get to bed if you want Santa to leave presents". 

 Upon seeing this moving "reindeer" head out of our living room window, the three of us would scream and book it upstairs and jump under the covers as fast as we could.
It was scarring and hilarious all at the same time.
Thanks mom and dad for the memories haha!

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or tradition?
- Caitlin