Fall Around the House

Fall in Houston is so pleasant. I’ve been wanting to spend every day outside. As I’ve said before I don’t usually decorate for the fall holidays much but I thought that this year I’d add a little something.

I picked up a bag of $3 mini pumpkins and tossed them around the house just to remind myself that fall is actually among us. Not to mention — the girls get so excited every time I add something season related to the house.

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Halloween on the Front Porch

I’m not a huge Halloween fan. I usually never decorate — but this year the girls convinced me to do a little something. wpid-img_20141020_180001.jpg wpid-img_20141021_094604.jpg

I threw up a wreath I used indoors for Christmas last year and added some spider web and a few spiders. Instant (and cheap) Halloween wreath. And once I remove the spiders and the web — it goes back in the Christmas bin.

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Believe it or not — I severely neglected our yard in the last year. These beauties bloomed on their own from a pot of what I thought were dead flowers. I didn’t even provide water. Nature is amazing.

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And I even carved a pumpkin for the first time. There’s some other decorations lurking around that I didn’t photograph but this is pretty much it.

So do you do the Halloween decorating thing? 


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How to Bleach Pine Cones

I’m re-posting this post from last November because it’s about that time to bring out the fall decorations and for a lot of people — pine cones are a mainstay.

Of course you can buy a bag of pine cones but if you happen to have a tree that produces them in your backyard — here’s how I bleached some pine cones.


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Tis the season for bleached pine cones.

I’ve seen image after image of the ubiquitous seasonal decoration being bleached and amping up it’s style.

I loved it so much that I even tried my hand at it.

We were in the park last weekend, enjoying the gorgeous Houston weather and the girls and I picked up a few pine cones.

The process is easy enough. Though, it’s totally not one of those instant gratification projects. More like 24 hour gratification.

I followed a few tutorials that I saw, using a 1:1 ratio of bleach to water. I submerged my pine cones and placed a bowl on top so that they would stay in the solution.

They sat for about 24 hours and then I rinsed them. If you’re impatient, like me, pop those babies in the oven on 200 for a couple of hours until they’re totally dry. They took a surprisingly long time to dry.

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They didn’t get as light as I’d hoped, but I didn’t want to risk another go round and have them disintegrate on me. They’re pretty and will transition perfectly from Thanksgiving to Christmastime.


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The Purpose of Home

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As much as I want my home to be beautiful and functional — I want the purpose that it serves my family to be what I focus on the most. I love pretty things, but if my girls can’t kick up their feet or have a race from the front door to the back door or have a Barbie party right on the living room floor — the prettiness means nothing. Their memories shouldn’t be that they couldn’t touch this or that but of how warm it felt to be home.

And when someone walks through my front door, I want them to know that it’s okay to get comfy in the chairs and have a drink or two.

My home is lived in. So when Pinterest tells me my home isn’t pretty enough or big enough or special enough — I have my three girls and my husband to remind me what the purpose of home really is.


 

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Contrast

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This is not the best quality photo. Try viewing a model home with three kids all while trying to snap pictures.

I wanted some quick bedroom inspiration because mine just doesn’t feel right just yet. And Pinterest wasn’t cutting it. I needed real life.

This bedroom was one that struck me because it had great contrast. And I loved the mirrors over the bed.

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I’ve been itching to change some things in the bedroom because I’m bored with the neutral and tonal thing I have going on.

So if anyone has great bedroom inspiration — send it my way.


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Smells Like Fall

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Super quick post today because I just wanted to pop in and tell you about my favorite fragrance for the season.

House fragrance that is. It’s called Leaves from Bath and Body Works. I have the plug-ins scattered around the house and they smell exactly like fall!

Its also available in a candle.

So what’s your favorite smell of the season?

How to Use Thrift Store Finds In Your Home

how to use thrift store finds in your home

Quite awhile ago I wrote about a few things I found while thrifting and I realized that I never showed what I ended up using the items for.

I promise I’m not a hoarder who collects things from the thrift store and then throws them into some random pile. For me, the point of going to the thrift store is to find unique things that I can use or repurpose in my home. I want the things I buy to function. And look pretty while doing so.

I like to keep things pretty simple when it comes to what I choose to buy at thrift stores. I think of function first (how I can use the item in my home) and if I really need it. Searching for treaures is fun, but not if it turns into an old dusty collection of stuff other people didn’t want.

The best way I’ve found to not have the finds end back up in the thrift store is to figure out it’s use before I even take it to the counter to pay for it.

The first thing I bought was this chartreuse (my favorite color, btw) bowl. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it but I loved the color and it matched a lamp I had recently painted.

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Well first, it made an awesome vase for some pretty little grocery store flowers.

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Now it’s home to an umbrella tree that I planted last spring.

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I found this white wire basket at Goodwill and I thought it would add some great character to a shelf or something.

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So I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze and threw in some bottles. For some reason it reminded me of what the milkman used to leave milk on the back porch in.

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It stayed that way for awhile and then I found an even more functional use for it. Holding toilet paper on the back of the toilet.

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These small bowls I found on a trip to Goodwill when we lived in Tampa.

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They function as jewelry holders on my bedside table. I love having a place to toss my earrings and bracelets at night.

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I’m always looking for jars because I can never have too many places to stash things. So this white jar with a lid — that I’m sure was meant to hold cookies or something — came home with me.

And it happens to be where I store the dishwasher tabs.

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how to use thrift store finds to decorate

So tell me — what’s your favorite thing from the thrift store and how do you use it? 


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The Best Budget Friendly Home Decor Stores

Making my home beautiful is important to me. But my budget right now dictates how I shop for my home. I would love to shop at specialty boutique stores with one of a kind items — and I’m sure tons of other people would as well. But that’t just not my reality right now — so if you’re in the same boat as me, I’m sharing my favorite budget friendly home decor stores.

Target

This one is an obvious choice. Target is a fabulous place to pick up a few home related items (and those diapers that are your list too). I love Target because their clearance is a beast. Keep your eyes open and you can usually find an awesome deal. My heart flutters a little when I see those orange stickers.

Tuesday Morning

I had never even been into a Tuesday Morning until we moved here and I got curious. When I finally walked through those doors I was seriously surprised at all the low priced decor items they had. They also have a pretty boss clearance section as well.

Garden Ridge — (Now called At Home)

This is my hands down FAVORITE place to go and get lost. The one near us is a massive warehouse and if I went down every single aisle I could probably spend a full day in there. They have awesome prices and if you can imagine it, they probably have it. They have everything from furniture to mirrors to rugs.

Hobby Lobby

I like Hobby Lobby because it’s a mix between a craft store and a home decor store. They have a really unique selection of items and they regularly have 50% of a certain kind of item (i.e., mirrors, drawer knobs, pillows, etc.).

H&M

This is one I love when I’m in the mood to shop online. I could venture to the mall with a 3 year-old. But that would be crazy. They have a ton of really trendy home decor and the price is right.

Ikea

And of course this list wouldn’t be complete with out Ikea. A long time ago I made the declaration that we couldn’t move anywhere that didn’t have an Ikea. And so far, everywhere we’ve lived has had an Ikea near by. What I love about Ikea besides the fabulously priced and stylish home decor, is the fact that I can LEAVE MY KIDS while I shop. #dreamcometrue

I know I’m leaving a ton of great stores off this list. What are some of your favorite home decor stores?


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Gorgeous & Handmade

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I don’t know about you, but I love a good throw.

We spend a lot of time curled up on the couch and now that it’s fall every family member needs a throw of their own. And believe it or not the temperatures are actually dropping below 70 here in Houston. #brrrr

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Now I’m not a blanket snob — but this is one of the softest blankets I’ve ever felt. And it’s handmade. But what makes it that much more special is that it was crocheted by one of my best friends in the entire world, Katrina. She is crazy talented and has been getting orders for these left and right.

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I’m not even kidding when I say my kids fight over who gets to use this blanket. So much so that pity was taken upon us and she’s sending us two more. #thankyou #crisisdiverted

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Winter’s coming. Christmas is coming (internal sob for how fast time is moving). This blanket makes an incredibly awesome and thoughtful gift. blanket6

If you’re interested in having one for yourself– let me know. I can put in a good word for you.


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33 Ways to Decorate a Rental — On a Budget!

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There have been times when I wanted to wait until the perfect time to start — or finish — decorating a room. Perfect time meaning living in my dream house AND tons of money to spend on what I want. Unfortunately I haven’t stumbled upon the perfect time OR that pile of money. So I just jumped right in and started decorating our rental using things we already had, a little creativity, and DIY-ing everything from art to tea towels. Part of making my home beautiful, purposeful and functional is being conscious of the fact that we rent.

Not everyone can knock down or paint walls.

So this is for you. 33 ideas to decorate your rental — on a budget.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Removable fabric wallpaper is pretty ingenious. And the options are endless – via The Pretty Life Anonymous

Why didn\'t I know this during all these years of renting Hang a curtain rod, on command strip hooks. MIND. BLOWN.

2. Hang a curtain rod with a command hook. Super easy and no holes! via Just Imagine

3. A great idea to fill up those giant blank walls — use wooden dowels and wallpaper to make wall hangings. via NinjaDiva

entry tape, great idea if you're living in an apartment and can't paint the walls.

4. Use washi (or duct!) tape to add interest to a boring wall. Try diamonds, diagonals or stripes. via photobucket – jkomenda 

Get any old plates at a thrift store, spray paint them in a rainbow of colors, and hang them with invisible hangers! You've made a rainbow inside your home! by marian

5. A good way to make an impact is using plates. I love these spray painted plates! Do all one color or taste the rainbow! via Indulgy

great idea for apartment rental doors.  Habitually Chic®

6. Use inexpensive electrical tape to mimic arcitectural details on a plain door. via Habitually Chic

Ribbon and thumbtacks to decorate the wall...interesting idea.

7. Tape just not your thing? Try ribbon and thumbtacks for a feature wall. via Remodelaholic

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8. Use a dresser as a media console. Not only can you customize the color — but you get a ton of storage. via Home for Now

Great storage idea for no pantry

9. No pantry? Get creative and use a bookshelf to store your goods. via Pinterest

10. Don’t want to invest a ton in a rug that may or may not fit your next home? Make your own floor covering using a tablecloth! — via Design Share

Noncommittal Bed Decor -  The Bilk Decal Headboards

11. No headboard, no problem. Try these vinyl headboards that come off as easy as they go on. — via Trend Hunter

Love this thifty makeover for a scratched and dinged dishwasher. Saving 4 Six has the tutorial on how to apply beadboard to disguise an ugly front panel.

12. Looking for a way to disguise that ugly appliance? Try adding bead board. Use double sided carpet tape or velcro command strips — via Savings 4 Six

Great idea for dressing up a rental kitchen. Especially one that's looking on the vintage side...

13. A hung collection acts as an arrow and draws any attention away from the not so perfect details of your space — via Pinterest

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14. Can’t get rid of those hideous vertical blinds? Use the track and add custom curtains — via berni and i

DIY Arched Bookshelves using $50 IKEA bookcases and MDF board. Love the dark background, especially if you cannot paint rental walls.

15. If you can’t paint your rental walls, try this DIY Arched Bookshelves using $50 IKEA bookcases and MDF board. Paint the back of the bookcase for a pop of color to your room — via Little Green Notebook

Love this!  Take off those ugly cabinet doors!  Just be sure to stash them somewhere that they won't get damaged until you have to move out. Check out the art on the backsplash!  ~P

16. Take the doors off of the kitchen cabinets for a more open look. Also check out the framed prints as a back splash — via urbanedgeny

This faux log fireplace facade allows you to easily remove and replace the logs in a few seconds! Can you guess the trick?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Source: Pepper Design Blog<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Got an empty or non-working fireplace? Try a faux log insert. It’s cheap and super chic –via Pepper Design Blog

Painters tape, then double stick tape to hang posters and such without peeling paint off walls or putting thumbtack holes in walls. SUCH a clever idea!

17. Want to hang something without leaving any holes? Try using painters tape, then double stick paint to hang light weight posters and such without risking peeling paint — via Picnics Under the Moon

Hang a piece of fun fabric from the bottom of my shelf to behind the washer and dryer to cover up the outlets.  Fun, pop of modern- check, hide ugly outlets- check.  Genius!

18. Sometimes ugly laundry rooms can’t be helped, but try hanging a piece of fabric behind the washer and dryer to hide ugly outlets. Genius! — via Go Haus Go

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19. Wallpaper can be quite the investment. Maybe more than you’d want to spend in a rental. So try wrapping paper and double sided tape! — via A Thoughtful Place

20. I melted from excitement with this one. Painted contact paper wall stripes. Temporary and MAGNIFICENT! — via City Farmhouse

Add decorative paper to the inside of a medicine cabinet. Love this idea!

21.Make over a blah medicine cabinet with a little decorative paper and creative repurposed storage containers — via BHG

Do you remember IKEA's colorful kitchen backsplashes from a few seasons ago? What looked at the time to be elaborate tile or mosaic patterns was actually just IKEA fabric hung behind plexiglass! Since then this idea has popped up around the internet as one DIY backsplash solution for rental kitchens.

22. Try a beautiful piece of fabric underneath a sheet of plexiglass for a gorgeous and temporary backsplash — via Apartment Therapy

23. This simple DIY oversized art is a great way to fill a large wall — via the handmade home

DIY framing

24. Make some amazing (and temporary) frames with washi tape to add some personality — via The House That Lars Built

Keep her favorite accessories within reach.

25. This is a great space saving solution that is also pretty stylish — via A Bulls Eye View

DIY: Turn rubber doormats into a beautiful headboard. Great for any bedroom in the house! From Kara Paslay Designs.

26. Sometimes a great low cost headboard is actually two rubber mats — via flikr/karapaslay

Hang kitchen baskets on a mounted wall trellis and fill with plants for an indoor vertical garden.

27. Sometimes rentals lack outside space. This is a perfect solution to plant those herbs inside — via A Bulls Eye View

the little things: floor to ceiling photo wall.. aka 'how to hide all of those switches and things'

28. Got a wall full of switches, thermostats and other eyesores? A floor to ceiling photo wall is the answer — via unknown source

No-sew faux roman shade.  This is a simple and clever method.  Perfect for our rental because it requires no drilling or making holes on the wall.

29. Window treatments can get pricey. That’s why this DIY faux roman shade is a winner — via Southern in the City

Fun DIY idea!

30. Boring walls plauge rentals everywhere. Try this easy washi tape deacal wall idea — via Maiko Nagao

love the color!

31. Got an old hand me down table waiting for new life? Paint it a bold color to inject some life into your space — via Impatiently Praying for Patience

Use picture frames and polished drawer knobs to hang light items that you use often.

32. Use picture frames and drawer knobs to hang light weight items that you use often — via A Bullseye View

How to Create a Temporary DIY Triangle Accent Wall for Less than $3! {UpcycledTreasures.com}

33. Another idea for those boring walls. DIY gold triangle accent wall — via Upcycled Treasures

So what do you think? Would you try any of these ideas? Got some ideas of your own? Let me hear them!

Looking for more rental decorating inspiration?

Check out my Rental Decorating Pinterest Board


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