Weekend in the woods

Monday, September 30, 2013 0 comments

Hello and welcome to a new week! Hope you had a lovely weekend! I didn’t get anything done and it. was. awesome. No projects, no cleaning, no decluttering, no organizing – just being lazy and hanging with my family and it was a welcome change.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a large family – both extended and immediate. I have six sisters and brothers (a mix of full, half and step) and with the addition of some grandkids now, the our group is BIG. It gets harder every year to get together for holidays because there are so many of us now. :)

Family means everything to all of us I’m sure, but my Dad is one of those people who is truly bursting with joy when his family is around. So every year now he and my stepmom rent a cabin so we can all get together and have a fun fall weekend with just family.

This year we had an amazing view:

Lake Monroe Indiana

It’s a little early for the leaves to change but you can see little explosions of color starting to happen. :) We were near Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana and if you are nearby it is an amazing time of year to visit.

I didn’t get many pics inside our cabin because I was usually either eating or laying around and I was just too lazy, honestly. (It was fantastic.) It was a big place with plenty of room for all of us – not overly cabin-like, but rustic.

Saturday we rented a double decker pontoon boat and took off for the afternoon. This was especially fun for me because every weekend growing up was spent on this lake with my Mom and Dad. Most of my memories as a child (up till about seven years old or so) were camping and then hanging on that lake in our teeny tiny metal boat. There was room for the three of us and that’s about it. ;)

I’ve only been back to this lake as an adult a few times so it was special to be there again, especially with Dad. As a child I remember thinking the rocky shores were so beautiful and I was still taken with them as an adult:

Lake Monroe shore

Some people aren’t lake swimmers – are you? My husband is not – I think it freaks him out. :) Even I was a little hesitant at first, but then Dad and the siblings started jumping in and I finally did the same…and then you couldn’t get me out:

I’m in the middle with my boy. :) My son is so like me when it comes to things like this. We watch and take it in for awhile…then we do it and love it and you’ll have to drag us away. I was SO proud of him for getting in to swim (he’d never swam in a lake). The boy is a FISH.

When you sit on the life jacket just right you can just hang out there forever…it’s bliss. ;) The water was chilly at first but within minutes we’d get used to it and it was perfect.

I don’t share many pics of my son on the blog but I am so in love with this one:


He drove the boat with Grandpa pretty much the entire time. Like a boss. ;)

On Sunday it was raining and chilly (a perfect fall day in my opinion) and we took the long way home through Nashville, Indiana and Brown County:

Brown County IN

Downtown Nashville is a treasure. A quaint little area with shops, wonderful food and fun stuff to do:

Nashville IN

And of course this is the BEST time of year to visit!

It was SO lovely – the rain made everything smell amazing and the mums were popping:

Nashville Indiana fall

Every single shop and restaurant is decked out for fall and it’s just gorgeous:

Nashville Indiana

We also stopped at a roadside pumpkin patch on the way out of town:

pumpkin patch

We saved the regular pumpkins for when we go to pick them at the local patch but got a bunch of really unique ones here. I’ve never seen a selection of gourds and pumpkins like they had!:

nashville pumpkin patch

I was giddy, I must say. It was just a lovely weekend all around.

I am so blessed for so many reasons, but one of the biggest is that I am a part of my big beautiful family. Thanks to Dad for forcing us to hang out together at least once a year. ;)

Have you been to southern Indiana in the fall? Do you have a favorite spot near you that you like to visit this time of year?

Hope your weekend was wonderful too – this week I’ll be sharing more fall-inspired posts as we continue our parties again tomorrow! See you then!

Franklin, TN

Friday, September 27, 2013 0 comments

Hey y’all. I’m talking about the south today so I can say y’all, right? I always want to spell it “ya’ll” by the way – must be the northerner in me. ;)

Last weekend I took a quick trip to Nashville to meet up with the Haven team – we were regrouping after this year’s conference and doing a little planning for next year. After meeting for a long while we took a break and drove to Franklin, TN to eat and shop just a bit.

I fell in love with this smaller city because, well…it was super cute and the shopping was amazing. But it also very much reminded me of the area we live in too. Felt like home in a way.

I just had to share some of the places we stopped along Main Street. The stores are not cheap – by…a lot. ;) But there was SO much inspiration, it was worth it to just walk around and take it all in.

We started by eating at 55 South, and didn’t realize till the end of our meal that we actually sitting in a place called Cork and Crow. I think they must share a menu. The food was amazing but the decor was what I was mostly focused on. This wood wall was so cool:

wood slice art

The meat cleavers even add a little something. ;) I loved the look of the wood in combination with the really delicate glass chandeliers. Just stunning.

On the other side of the room was a bottle light fixture that I loved too:

wine bottle light fixture

Not a great picture, sorry. I noticed while there how beautiful the light is coming through those bottles – it truly glows in ambers and greens…really cool.

We walked around a bit and one of my favorite spots was a shop called The Iron Gate. As soon as we walked in I knew I would love it:

It was a mix of industrial and glam with a little bit of shabby chic thrown in. None of which are necessarily my style, but I loved every bit of it.

They had a lot of older pieces, like these massive old doors:

large old doors

They were perfect as they were – no paint needed on those!

This clock was just massive – probably five feet across? Maybe more?:

huge numeral clock

Loved the huge clock hands. :)

Like I said, they had some shabby chic decor and it was beautiful. I loved the touches of gray and purple on this bed:

shabby chic bed

And this one was just dreamy. Seriously, let’s not thinking about dogs or cats or kids getting it dirty for a second and just think about falling into that every day:

white bedding

Lovely, right?

I thought that large metal table next to it was awesome too:

old metal table

I thought it would look so cool on a big front porch. I can just see it.

The lighting in their was spectacular! Any one of these could have gone home with me:

If I a.) could have fit it on the plane and b.) had eleventy million dollars and c.) was cool enough to pull off that funky starburst one. None of which happened. ;)

Of course there was plenty that we would see and whisper to each other “Do you KNOW how easy this would be to make??” I’m sure the shop owners love people like us. :)

This nursery art was just adorable:

DIY nursery art

And…they were $44 each. Get a coupon for a canvas at the craft store and you could make this for less than $10 (if that). Just saying. If you wanted to. ;)

And I just loved this display of coral:

coral decor

It was just so delicate and beautiful – they had some HUGE pieces. That blue one on the shelf really struck me and we determined it looked as though it was painted. (Is blue coral a thing?) Makes me want to grab some chalk paint and have at it.

We had such a lovely time walking around and ohhing and ahhing at everything. Then, being the DIY/thrifty girls we are, we headed over to the antique shops. :) I found a little old copper pot that was in my post earlier this weekhydrangea fall mantel

It’s the one on the candlestick table by the chair – I lined it with some plastic and put a plant inside. LOVE it.

Later that night we took in downtown Nashville and it. was. crazy. We even had an Elvis sighting:

Elvis and me


I’ve been to Nashville a few times before and it was NOTHING like last Saturday night – so busy but fun!

So have you been to Franklin? We didn’t have time to visit many of the stores that I wanted to so I may have to check it out again sometime soon. It would make for a great girls weekend, that’s for sure.

Have a great weekend…y’all!

Metallic fall art

Thursday, September 26, 2013 0 comments

Hello all! Thanks so much for your wonderful comments on my fall mantel and to everyone who linked up theirs! As of right now there are about 270 mantels linked up – be sure to check them out!

Today we’re sharing crafts over at Layla’s and I’m excited about this one too. It was fun to get a little crafty again – it’s been too long! I spent an hour just wandering around the craft store the other day and it was BLISS. I forget how fun that is to do when I have the time.

I had one idea in mind but it was while walking around the store that I came up with another crafty idea instead. I really, really love how it turned out.

I’ve had this shadow box from Goodwill for years:

shadow box

It’s one of those things I keep hanging on to because I knew I’d really want it when I wanted it…you know what I mean? I knew I would eventually do something fun with it, and eventually is now. ;)

The front part of the frame was a little busted up so I took that off and spray painted it white. There’s a little damage to it but the new coat of paint kind of hides that.

Then it was time to create. I found this felt table runner (at Michael’s) and my mind started churning…

leaf tablerunner

I decided to use it as a stencil – I thought it would be so pretty with the cut outs in the leaves!

I dug some of my favorite metallic spray paints out of the garage:

metallic spray paint

And decided on these two – copper and gold.

gold copper spray paint

I cut the runner apart and situated the two pieces so they covered my paper, which was just poster board I cut to size. (First I sprayed the backs with adhesive so they would stay put):

leaf stencil

I tested this out a couple times, hence the spray paint already on there. :)

I sprayed the copper paint first, then did a light coat of the gold over it:

leaf stencil

Isn’t that so pretty? I almost left it just like that! The middle where the two parts of the runner met was a little blurry (my error), but otherwise it looked great. And I was covering that part anyway.

Last fall I found an autumn quote that I just fell in love with – “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” by Albert Camus. Beautiful eh? I dressed it up a little bit in Picmonkey and created a printable (just like I showed you how to do here).

You should be able to click this and save it if you’d like:

 fall quote printable

I printed it out in an 8 by 10 size card stock and the font was a little blurry, so just a warning about that. It’s not super crisp but it still looked fine to me.

I just used spray adhesive to stick it on top of the leaf stencil and then added a little more bling. I couldn’t resist this glitter tape and used it to frame out my quote:

    sparkly tape

And then found these cute acorns and pinecones for $1.50 on clearance and stuck a few in the corners:

fall scrapbook

I gotta say, I’m pretty smitten with it:

DIY fall printable

I just LOVE it. And I love that I can just take it out and reuse the shadow box for another season. Now I’m looking forward to making something for Christmas too. ;)

It’s not super crafty, but it involved scrapbook supplies and I’m all about that. I’m a scrapbook supply hoarder who doesn’t scrapbook.

I especially love the metallic tones this time of year, and really love all of them together in this “art”:

Autumn is a second spring quote

Now it’s time to lug the bins out and get the rest of the house fallified! :)

Can’t wait to see all the projects linked up at Layla’s!

Fall mantel (and a party!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 0 comments
Early fall hydrangeas

Well, it’s here and I’m happy. I absolutely, positively LOVE this time of year. Just…I can’t even. It’s awesome. :)

To celebrate this beautiful season my friends and I are hosting a series of fall linkies to inspire: fall decorating ideas

We’ve done this for years now and I love it!

I was traveling last weekend so was kind of rushing to get this mantel up, but then I got sidetracked by a little DIY project…again. This happens a lot. :) Last year when I installed the planks above the fireplace I never painted them. They were primed so they looked fine so I left them. But they’ve started looking dingy lately so it was time to get that done:

You can see the difference in the color there – two coats later I was done.

Next up – figure out what to do for this year’s fall mantel! I wanted it to be two things – simpler than usual and I wanted to use more natural materials. (Read: I didn’t want to have to pull out the fall bins.) I’m trying to use more natural, textural items to decorate for this year. Partly because I want to stop storing so much decor year to year and also because it’s a just a challenge. And it’s fun for me because it shows how you can use things that you may already have.

One thing I have this year is my pee gee hydrangea tree – two of them to be exact. The blooms were BIG and plentiful this year, much bigger than last year. And this time of year they are a gorgeous pink/green color. I just totally adore them!:

Pee gee hydrangea tree

I’ve made it clear over the years that I love hydrangeas and it is a thrill that I finally have some beautiful blooms to use. :)

So I went through the house, finding some shiny, some natural, some items with texture, and I used a LOT of hydrangeas:

Fall mantel Hydrangea fall mantel 

I didn’t buy anything new for the decorating, but I did recently pick up that little brown votive holder at Target a couple weeks ago. I just loved it’s deep chocolate color – I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve had those (faux) artichokes for years and I thought they pulled in the color of the hydrangeas beautifully.

The candlesticks I use a lot on the mantel in the fall (I used them last year too) just because I love the copper color. (They are spray painted from Goodwill.) And I was inspired by Heather’s mantel and pulled in the Manzanita branch for some texture.

I used the smaller blooms from my limelight bush and the larger ones from the pee gee trees:

Fall mantel with hydrangeas

I wanted to pull in some blue from the rug and other accessories but didn’t really have much to work with (and I didn’t love it with the hydrangea colors) – so I just went with the browns, greens and a touch of the pinky color.

You may remember this area used to be a corner fireplace (with an inset mantel). I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a wall above it now!:

How to decorate a mantel

I’m actually playing with another change in my head but it will be awhile before it happens (if it does). I’ll need all that time to plan it out anyway. ;)

I really adore this cozy spot in our family room now:

Natural fall mantel in family room

And just so you know, cause I get asked this every time I share this space, the chair is turned away from the fireplace because it faces into the room and the TV. :)

Now it’s time to see yours! I can’t wait!! I’m SO ready for some fall inspiration! (And be sure to link up to Layla’s on Thursday with your fall crafts!)

Hiding the cords! (Ick)

Monday, September 23, 2013 0 comments

Hello all! How was your weekend? I was out of town all weekend in Nashville and I’ll probably share some pictures from that later this week. There were some amazing shops down there I wanted to show you!

Even with about eight hours of sleep in three days I still was able to able to get a little project done when I got home. After a nap of course. :) I’ve been meaning to tell you more about this for a while and now is the time…and I’m about to rock. your. world.

I blogged about this before years ago (oddly almost exactly five years ago to the day!), but it’s worth another mention. Or ten. Keep in mind this is not something some of you probably even care about, but it keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night sweating because of my deep, burning hatred of electrical cords.

Yes, I loathe them. In somebody else's house – would probably never notice them. In my house, hate. them. And it does drive me crazy when I see them on a design show or in a magazine. I mean, they’re going to create this amazing space and then you see them laying on the floor or hanging around? Shiver.

So here’s how I deal with them. And this is for smaller things like lamps or whatever. The whole TV cord thing is a whole other post (which I will do too).

Here they are…my loves:

cord hiders

These are cord hiders. Otherwise known as the best things invented ever in EVER. I find mine at Lowe’s on the end cap near the cable stuff. Not the electrical aisle – near the cable supplies.

This is how I use them – when I have a lamp cord that hangs down behind something (that I can see – I don’t care if it’s something I can’t see. Not that crazy.) I will use my scrap pieces of the plastic cord things and stick them on the back of the furniture:

plastic cord hiders

They have a sticky back – you just peel off the paper and stick them on. And to cut them you just score them with your scissors (turn them around between the blades) and then snap it apart.

I also put them on the wall above the outlet:

how to hide cords

I actually wish I had made that piece a little longer. I can deal though. Kinda.

So instead of having the whole long cord hanging down behind the desk, you just see a little bit:

how to hide cords behind desk

And yes, I’ve considered painting the cords. Nothing is above me. Not quite to that level of crazy just yet.

You may have noticed no cords showing when I showed you my new blue lamps last week:

how to hide lamp cords

Same thing there – I took a piece of the cord hider and stuck it down the back of the pedestal table: 

how to hide electrical cords

Have I blown your mind? Huh? Yeah? Boom.

These are actually made to snap shut too – so that open side you see above could be closed. I don’t worry about that since you rarely see these in the first place.

I did it again in the kitchen/family room so that you can’t see the cord behind the console table:

hiding electrical cords

Oh my. That is beautiful, right?

You can also paint these things:

cord hiders

I hung the sconces that used to be in the bedroom down in the basement and used these to hide the cords going down the wall:

cord hiders for sconces

I’m not totally crazy about that look, but it’s something that hides dangling cords. I’d love to eventually have something hard wired there so this is a temporary fix. (And I tried one of the hiders along the bottom but realized the cords were less noticeable on their own since they match the wood top.)

The cord hiders come in a variety of sizes and I use them for our TV component stuff too. That little section at the hardware store is a magical place, be sure to check it out. ;)

Oh, and when I put them on the wall like above I don’t take the paper off the whole strip and stick it to the wall because they can damage the wall when you remove them later. Or sometimes the residue sticks too well and stays on the wall -- that’s my only complaint about these things. I just take off a tiny bit so just a smidge is sticky – it’s usually enough to hold them in place just fine.

There you go. How I survive life. First world problems, hiding cords. These things come in about five foot lengths and I think they’re like $4 each? But I usually cut them down so they go a long way for me.

Be sure to come by tomorrow to kick off our fall parties and link up your fall mantels!:

Fall_2013_bannerSee you there! :)