Thursday, January 24, 2013

Living Room Progress: New Rug!

I know I mentioned it in my last post, but we finally found a rug for our living room! We've been searching for a good rug since May when we bought this house. I really like the look of the natural fiber rugs, so have been keeping my eye on them for months now. I quickly figured out that they are not cheap. Too bad I'm super cheap and refused to pay a ton of money for a rug.

When we moved into our last house, I found a rug that I liked and paid full price for it...around $250 bones. I was super thrilled, until it started snagging and piling really badly within the first couple months. We ended up selling it at our yard sale before we moved. Whomp whomp. That rug was supposed to last much longer than it did. :(

This time around, I didn't want to pay that much money since we have a little one running around and knew the rug would be "well loved". We needed a bigger rug than our previous one, so it was quite a challenge to get a bigger rug at a cheaper price. But, after months of searching, I found a rug I loved on! It's a braided jute rug, and for a 6x9, it only set us back $150 with free (and very fast!) shipping. That's well under half the price of the Pottery Barn one I've been drooling over! I can live with that!
I love that it's on the plain side so it doesn't add another pattern to the room. Between the pillows and the curtains, I don't think the room could handle more patterns. :)
It has a nice texture and it is actually soft to walk on.
Yay for another living room update!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Living Room Lovin'

I've never shared our living room on the blog yet. Not because it was a horrible mess, just that it is rather boring and unfinished. Here's what it looked like a month or two after moving in. Excuse the phone picture quality.

I wanted something large over the couch, so filled it with the photo collage frames. I reused the painting I did for our previous living room over the fireplace. The storage ottoman was in Little One's play area at our old house, but we decided to use it as an actual ottoman in this house. The couches are from when we first got married. I like them, but I'd pick something lighter and more neutral now if I could.

And I KNOW everyone wants a fireplace bumper like we have, right?! It's so rad. Ha! I've searched and searched for a solution to the fireplace lip, but have come up empty. The traditional foam bumpers are too thick to fit on the lip, the clear sticky bumpers look tacky, and having no bumper is not an option unless I want to risk an ER visit with Little One to get stitches. So...the towels live on. Frustrating. My friend Amy suggested doing a bench cushion for the fireplace and using it for extra seating. I actually like that idea, just need to budget for it since between fabric and foam, it's more than a pocket change investment. (No worries, we would move it when we turned on the fireplace.) It's on our list of to-do's. Any other ideas are welcome! Just shout them out in the comment section!

Anyway... Our living room is boring and basic and in need of some lovin'. I've always done a cranberry accent with the couches, but really wanted to go a little lighter and bring other colors into the room. I was at Kohl's looking for something else when I found these beauties!
They match our couches great and pull in reds, yellows, greens, and blues and totally brighten things up. Love them!

The next living room item on the agenda was to solve the window covering problems. We have these adorable scalloped roman shades, but at night, you can see right in the sides of the windows. I'm totally creeped out thinking that people can watch me nap, chow down on candy, and trim my nose hairs (just kidding) play with Little One or chill out. Our house is close to the road, so there's no question that people can really see in. And, trust me, people look. We've even made eye contact with a passer-by! Creepy! Oh, sorry for the tangent.

As I was saying...We wanted a way to gain more privacy at night. Our initial plan was to replace the shades with plantation shutters. While this is still a long term plan, for the next couple years or so, we don't want to drop that much money into shutters. Plus, I really like the shades. The next best option was to install curtains to cover the gap on the sides--much cheaper and would allow me to add more color and warmth to the room. Sold!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of a window?!

I saw these curtains in blue at Lowe's a long time ago and loved them, just had no place for them. Then, my mom ended up getting the same curtains a couple months ago for her living room and I fell in love with them all over again. I totally copied her and bought them in green for our living room. I tried to get away with just one panel on each window, but with the way the windows are, they really needed fabric on both sides of the window, not just pushed to one side. Two full panels per window was overpowering, too formal, and quite frankly, too expensive.

Thank goodness my mom likes to sew! She supported my crazy idea to cut the curtain panels lengthwise and hem them up, making two skinnier curtain panels out of one full panel. I love how light and airy they feel now and love that it cut the cost in half! Thanks, Mom! Isn't she awesome?

And guess what she did? She knew I loved the blue curtains, so for Christmas, they surprised us with three of the blue curtain panels, already split and hemmed, ready to hang in the dining room! How awesome is that?! I'll share that soon!

Our living room is already perking up. We still really need a rug to ground the room and add warmth and a squishy spot for Little One to play, but that may be a while. Our home to do list is rather long at the moment! But for now, I'm enjoying the extra color the curtains and pillows add and am on the lookout for some fun accessories that bring in those colors on the mantel and end table. So fun!

I'll leave you with our to-do list for the living room:

-Get rug
-Add colorful accessories
-Figure out furniture placement for the wall with two windows
-Install ceiling fan
-Art for above TV stand
-Art for above love seat
-Tall lamp for corner in between couches

Update! We found a rug!!! Will post pictures soon! It's way too dreary outside today to get good lighting for a picture. Whomp whomp. :(

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pinterest Test Kitchen: January 2013

You live, you learn. You love, you learn. You cry, you learn. You loo-ooo-ooose you le-arn... Just had to throw some Alanis into this post today. Except, I'm adding the line "You bake, you lear-er-er-ern!" :)

I realized lately how many recipes I have pinned on Pinterest, but just how few I've actually tried. Inspired to whip something new up off of my recipe board, I decided to make these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites. They look adorable and delicious, right? 
(Photo from Created by Diane)

I picked up the ingredients and headed home, ready to bake. I started reading all the comments and noticed that several people said that their cookie cups puffed up and the filling disappeared in the oven. Several people commented to wait to fill the cookies until after baking, since there's no eggs in the recipe. I decided to go the fill-after-baking route because I really didn't want my filling to vanish or, worse, spill out all over my oven. 

I bought the break-and-bake style dough, so just broke off the pieces, rolled them in sugar, and pressed them into the mini muffin tins. Oh yeah, and snapped pictures with my phone, of course! :)
As the other commenters predicted, they puffed way up in the oven to the point that they looked like a muffin. Thankfully, as they cooled, the went back down so I was left with these...
It's hard to tell in the picture, but they were huge! Nothing mini about them! 

I hadn't lost all hope yet, because I figured I'd just have giant, yummy cookies. So I whipped up the frosting and filled the cups. 
The original recipe didn't call for enough liquid to make the frosting stirrable, much less able to by piped into the cookie cups. I had to add extra milk to get the filling to the right consistency. But even then, the icing never sat up even after being in the fridge overnight. They tasted alright, but nothing spectacular or anything, and the icing was a big mess when trying to bite into these. 

So, Pinterest Fail. Whomp whomp. Has anyone else tried these before? Any tips on how to make these turn out? 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Snapshot

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! Hubby has had the past 2 weeks off which has been glorious! I was so sad to see him go back to work yesterday. :(
We had a really nice Christmas at home this year! I was sad to take all the decorations down, especially the twinkle lights on the tree and the fireplace. I loved snuggling with Hubby on the couch watching TV with only the twinkle lights on.

Over Christmas vacation, we were able to chip away on our to do list. Well, I should say Hubby chipped away at the list while I ate sugar cookies and buckeyes. He replaced our old fashioned thermostat for a programmable one, hung the rest of the curtains in the living room (More on that soon!), hung the gallery wall in the playroom (More on that soon, too!), hung a shelf in our bathroom, and worked on other various projects for me. Thankful!!!

Be back soon to share some of our projects! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...