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Home Update: A Silky Flower Solution

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One goal I set for myself this summer is to finally get our house in order, design-wise. The master bedroom is the only room in the house that’s “mine” to decorate how I want. I want to focus on injecting more color into my home, and flowers are an easy way to do that.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I find keeping plants alive damn near impossible. Our apartment gets amazing light during the summer months, but the rest of the year it’s just not bright enough. I even tried growing low-light plants with no success. It sucks because I want to inject more plants and flowers into my home decor. It’s also a huge waste of time and money to keep throwing away dead plants!

So when Commercial Silk Int’l. contacted me about using their silk plants to decorate my apartment, I jumped at the chance to try out their potted flowers. I chose a bright yellow and pink orchid, which adds a major punch of color to a mostly black, white, and grey bedroom.

To be honest, this is the first time I used silk flowers instead of real ones. I was really curious how it would look, and I have to say it’s perfect. It’s so realistic looking that when it arrived, my husband texted to ask if he should water it!

If you have a black thumb, or live somewhere that makes growing plants impossible, I highly recommend checking out Commercial Silk’s website. They have flowers, plants, trees, and even outdoor boxwood hedges you can use to cover up unsightly air conditioners or trash cans without the high maintenance of actual shrubs!

My next purchase may very well be their fiddle leaf fig tree – a plant I’ve heard is insanely hard to keep alive, but I really want to add to my bedroom or home office!

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Connect with Commercial Silk on their website or on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest!

(*Note: Commercial Silk sent these products as part of a promotional campaign to review.  All opinions are entirely my own – and I can’t wait to buy another plant for my home, for sure!)

Fall Home Wishlist

fall home wishlistAs the temperatures here finally dip a little, I’m starting to think hard about making our home more cozy for fall and winter. While I don’t usually do much more than break out the candles and throw blankets, it’s good to fantasize once in a while about what you would do if you had an endless budget.

Here are a few things I would totally add to my fall home wishlist!

A Pendleton Blanket

I’ve been coveting these blankets for years, but they are way outside my budget! Pendleton did a line of blankets to celebrate the National Park Services’s centennial, and I really like the “Badlands Olive” pattern. It’s also a park I’ve been to (well, drove through), so that would be a fun story to go along with it. Alas, $100 is a lot to pay for a throw blanket. Maybe next year!

Cozy Fall Artwork

The artwork in our house is a complete mish-mash of random stuff both my husband and I like. Unfortunately, we also like very different things, so it makes our home look inconsistent. I’d love to replace some of our artwork with things that are reflective of the season, and this print from Society6, titled “Through The Trees” by Tordis Kayma would be perfect.

I might also go through my nature photos and print some out from Snapfish. This might also motivate me to take my camera out hiking this fall to add to my collection!

Candles…of course

While I already own a lot of candles, most of them are floral or unscented. I’m insanely picky about scents – no food smells, mainly. This sucks because most fall/winter candles have cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, or apple scents to them.

Candles are also a great way to explore local brands without breaking the bank. I’d love to add some pine/woodsy scents around the home, and this candle from Seattle-based company Whiskey Wicks sounds perfect. The description really does sound like a walk in the park (hence the name…haha), which is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. It might be the Pacific Northwest spirit talking, but I also like the idea of supporting local businesses!

New Pillows

This isn’t really a budget issue with my fall home wishlist. It’s an issue of having a husband who destroys pillows. I can’t buy decorative pillows for our living room. Within a month, they’ll be slept on, crushed, and smothered in Old Spice. However, I do have a small, white couch in my office space now that he doesn’t use, and I’d love to add some decorative pillows to add some color.

I really like these pillows from Urban Outfitters. These seem sturdy enough for my light lounging, and pretty enough to keep out year-round. I love the pattern, and that they’re woven to look like a kilim rug, which seems to be all the rage now.

Well there you have it – a budget-breaking game plan to make my home cozy for fall! Of course, I’m still on the hunt for things around the house, but at a more reasonable price for my tiny, tiny budget! I’ll have to share with you what I find!

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Clockwise from top-left: The Everygirl / Design Sponge / Sarah Vickers via The Glitter Guide / The Aestate

Home Inspiration: Going Green

We’re moving today, and while we’re only moving a few buildings over, it still has me excited to decorate a new space. I’ve been going through my Pinterest boards recently for inspiration, and noticed a trend lately – a lot of green!

Green isn’t a color I gravitated to in the past, even if I’ve used it in a lot of my home decor choices in the past. I love hanging pictures of nature on my walls, and it’s a color that seems to work better with our “apartment beige” walls and carpet. It also matches up well with our neutral furniture, which is always a good thing. I’ve always fought against the terrible paint colors in apartments, but lately I’ve discovered it’s better to work with it instead. If green works, it works!

I’m looking forward to adding more green elements indoors, perhaps with a new shower curtain, some more nature-inspired wall hangings, and textiles – and plants, of course. We have more (and better positioned) windows in our new place, and I’m hoping they’ll bring in enough light to grow a small herb garden (I’m tired of paying so much for herbs…seriously). Our current place is so dark that almost nothing has survived the past year, so I can’t wait to live somewhere that things might actually grow.

This is also the first time we have a real balcony space we can decorate without the worry of cats eating our plants or people stealing our patio furniture. I can’t wait to make that a calm, plant-covered space to relax and enjoy as the weather gets warmer.

Moving to a new place is always a hassle, but knowing I get to decorate a place from scratch is a great motivation to get through it – even if it is only a short walk between the two places!

Holiday Decor: A Compromise

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Holiday decorations in our home are a bit of a struggle every year, and it’s the one time of the year I have the toughest time compromising for one very big reason:

I hate Christmas. More specifically, I hate Christmas decorations.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the holiday season in general. I like the good mood most people are in, the twinkling lights, all the cookies and candy, and yes, even snow (as long as I’m not driving in it). However, as someone who lives the other 11 months out of the year in a simple, clean, clutter-free house, Christmas decorations represent the very opposite to me, and it stresses me out.

I would love to have one of those homes with a simple tree, and the only sparkle coming from twinkling lights. Instead, I usually end up with a house covered in sparkly garland, snowflakes taped to the walls, and an enormous tree covered in mismatched ornaments. Why do I end up doing this to myself?

My husband.

He lives for this shit. This is the only holiday he actually likes, and he pitches a major fit every year when I want to simplify things. He gets all geeked out about buying ornaments, stringing random glittery things all over the place, and generally annoying me by making every Christmas song into something raunchy or gross.

In fact, the mantle you see above isn’t how I originally decorated it. When I did it, there were no tiny houses, candy, and the only toys were the nutcrackers. I also have candles up there that I actually lit every day for about a week (now I can’t because everything up there is a legit fire hazard).

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As we do every year, we struck a compromise. I let him indulge himself with this “tiny town” idea he had, but that was it. Hence the tiny houses all over the mantle and on the ground – like I said, when he gets an idea, he goes for it.

In exchange, there will be no snowflakes taped to the walls (if you can’t tell, that was my least favorite of his past ideas) and no extra stuff around the house. Christmas is kept to the living room only, and frankly, I’m okay with that.

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Someday, I will get my Pinterest-worthy holiday, but until that day comes I have to live with Christmas as a combination of what I want and what my husband clearly needs.

Besides, after Christmas is over, I get my living room back…and I can’t wait to do some redecorating. 🙂

Holiday Decoration Inspiration

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When it comes to holiday decorations, I’ve always gravitated toward a muted, simple style. I guess it’s because I want my home to reflect what it looks like outside – lots of white (if it’s snowy), evergreens, grays, and candles to keep things warm and glowing.

I’m also just not a big fan of overly flashy holiday decorations. It makes more sense to me in a home where there are children around, or someone who has been collecting snowmen for many years (Hi Mom!) to put up decorations that are more traditionally “Christmas-y.”

Putting up a tree we never put presents under, or decorating our home for no one but us seems strange to me. Unfortunately, my husband will never…ever…let me skip out on it. He loves this dumb holiday too much, and I love him, so I deal with it.

Since I can’t get my way, I can at least dream, right?

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And just so you don’t think I’m totally averse to color, I do like occasionally including pops of red here and there…but only a little bit!

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(*All images are from my Pinterest page*)

Decoration Inspiration: Thanksgiving

Decoration Inspiration: Thanksgiving

(All images taken from my Pinterest page)

Always a guest, never a hostess.

One thing I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid was hosting my own Thanksgiving dinner. I technically did one year, when my mom woke up sick and we all had to pitch in to help her out (I think I was maybe 7 or 8). That’s right – I’ve known how to prep a turkey since I was 7. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the space, budget, or permission to host one.

So until that day comes where I have a dining room and proper kitchen of my own, I spend my time fantasizing about it on Pinterest – and perfecting my apple pie recipe (my go to thing to bring).

If you grew up in the Midwest like I did, you know how corny people get about decorating their homes for Thanksgiving. The amount of orange, yellow, and brown decorations, napkins, and whatnot is sickeningly cheesy. I’ve always been one to rail against the “traditional” stuff, which is probably why I gravitate toward the images above. The decorations are colorful, but muted, and include natural elements that reflect the food being eaten. There will also be no faux turkeys of any kind – only a real one to eat, of course.

When I do get my chance, you know it’s going to be a classy affair, with cloth napkins, candles, and the most amazing apple pie I’ve spent years perfecting.

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Thrift shopping has become a very enjoyable habit lately, though I haven’t actually bought much since my Halloween costume trip. I’ve been focused on getting things ready for the holidays, and spending more time outdoors hiking than out shopping.

I did, however, score a few great finds for home this past week – and at insane prices! Goodwill has weekly tag sales, which means I scored the duck bookends, brass bowl, and fish mirror for only $1.79 each! The flower hanging I think was only $3, which is still pretty good! The ducks are solid wood, and are helping prop up my heavy cookbooks. The mirror I plan on repainting in a fun color (like deep purple or blue), and the flower hanging is going in our bedroom after I figure out where to put it. As for the brass bowl, I thought it would be a great place to put holiday candy.

Recent Thrift Store Buys

While I haven’t bought clothes much lately, I did grab a couple sweaters. The one on the left is originally from Target, and is so comfortable. I’ve worn it several times already, and will probably wear it out this winter. The one on the right is from Dress Barn, oddly enough, and is also insanely comfy! I think I finally have a decent winter wardrobe to keep me warm and happy this year – and I got it all with a tiny budget.

Well, I’m off now to grab a cup of tea and a book…and yes, probably while wearing one of those comfy sweaters!

Winter Throws

Winter Throws

As the weather cools off, I start finding myself tucked under a blanket in the evenings. Unfortunately, we really only have one “throw” blanket in the house, and as it gets colder I have a feeling we’ll be fighting over the one fleece Cleveland Browns blanket.

Since we’re quickly getting to that point, I’ve been shopping around online to find some great ideas for my own throw blanket. I also want to look for a larger one for our bedroom, so some of these would easily do well on our couch or bed!

While I would easily take the entire stack above, I went window-shopping with the intention of finding something I could use year-round, not just during the holidays. Though at these prices, I might pick up a few red and green plaid ones too!

Click on the images below, and it’ll take you right to their site for easy shopping!

Winter Throws

The Basic Choice: Fringed Herringbone Blanket from Zara Home, $35.90 (51″x67″)

As I mentioned last week, I tend to gravitate to the basic when it comes to, well, anything. I like this one because it’s inexpensive, huge, and would look great thrown over the couch year-round. Zara always seems to have great throws for great prices, and they’re not so precious that a hot cocoa spill won’t leave you hyperventilating or rushing to the dry cleaners.

Winter Throws

The (Anti) Holiday Choice: Hermine Throw from Ikea, $19.99 (47″x71″)

I really liked this throw when I saw it on my last Ikea trip. It’s plaid, which is a very “holiday” pattern for me, but it’s not Christmas colors, so I could get away with throwing on my bed during other times of the year. It’s also only $20, which is a great price for a blanket that can take the wear and tear.

Winter Throws

The Bold Choice: Eivor Throw from Ikea, $24.99 (49″x67″)

While this one feels a bit like a cheap sweater, it makes a very bold statement for a small price. I think this would be a great way to bring some boldness into a mainly metallic (silver, gold, copper, etc.) holiday decor, or some drama to a guest bedroom.

Winter Throws

The High-end Bold Choice: Skywalkers Blanket from Pendleton, $339 (Queen-sized)

Now, I know – this is a lot of money for a blanket. I just jumped to something 10x more expensive than my last one – but hey, blankets are usually either super cheap or super not! If you’re looking for an investment, and one that you can easily throw over your bed (and they do come in twin, queen, and king sizes), this would be a great option. I love the print on this, and the fact that it’s reversible!

So there you go – a few great options to add to your throw blanket collection! Now, I’m off to grab some hot tea and snuggle under that hideous Browns blanket….

Spooky Fireplace

Spooky Fireplace

I’m not a huge fan of decorating for Halloween, but this year I thought I’d try to at least update our mantle with a few spooky details we had around the house. As it turns out, we had plenty of things around the house that worked! I’m hoping that, with a few small changes, this will work for the rest of fall too!

Here’s what I started with:

Spooky Fireplace

Our mantle is always a hodgepodge of stuff that I like, and a few things my husband threw up there recently. Sorry for the fuzzy picture – our living room is basically a cave, and taking decent photos in there is pretty much impossible. 

To start, I cleared everything off the mantle and gave it a good cleaning/dusting. Then, I went around the house and found a bunch of things I thought might work. Yes, we had the skull lying around – it belongs to my husband, and while I don’t remember why he has it, I knew it would be perfect. I also dug up some old books, and a few candle holders I bought recently on clearance at Michaels. 

Spooky Fireplace

The antique books have a piece of styrofoam under them, so hopefully that will keep them from sticking to the mantle. I also found a few Halloween-appropriate books in my husband’s collection, which I just removed the dust jackets and placed up there. The owl is my old makeup brush holder, and the black votive holder with the bird came in a set of three from Michaels for $3.

Spooky Fireplace

On the right, I added the copper candle holder, which was another clearance item from Michaels (I think it was $3-4 or something). The other stuff on the mantle are things we had around the house that fit into the fall color scheme, and will probably stay up until I get all Christmas-y around here in December. 

Spooky Fireplace

After about 20 minutes of fussing around, this is what I ended up with:

Spooky Fireplace

While I would have loved to replace the Monet print with something more fall-friendly, I never found a good replacement for it. Ideally, I’d love to find a mirror to put there to add more light, but I’m still on the lookout for a great antique one. 

While it’s definitely not over-the-top, I think it’s a great, subtle update that works for the season!

Thrifty Fall Updates

Thrifty Fall Updates

I’ve been a thrifty woman for a very, very long time. I used to love going thrift store shopping as a teenager, where I could update my wardrobe with pieces that were both current and vintage. This love followed me into adulthood, where I have found some of my favorite home decor pieces.

In Seattle, thrift stores can be a bit of a hit or miss. Many of the thrift shops around here have amazing finds, but the prices are way too high. I’ve had to leave several amazing things (including two brass crickets) because they were just too pricey for a thrift shop. Other shops in the area have better prices, but you have to do a lot more work to find great things. I clearly favor the latter, and love finding great pieces at amazing prices!

Thrifty Fall UpdatesAfter ditching almost 80% of my wardrobe before last year’s move, my small wardrobe has been doing a lot of heavy lifting over the past year. While I love most of the pieces I have, they’re showing their age and heavy use – especially jeans. So I headed out to a few thrift shops in the area to see if I could find some new jeans for fall…and of course, I got more than I originally planned on!

Clothes were something I struggled to find in Ohio, but in Seattle I’ve been impressed with what’s available. I managed to get 4 pairs of jeans for what I’d usually pay for 1 in a store – and most of them were brand new with tags still on them. In Ohio, this would have been impossible to do!

I wasn’t planning on picking anything up for the home, but the pieces I came home with were just too pretty to pass up. The carved wood box and flower-print container are going to add some much-needed color to my jewelry storage. The candle holder now houses a large white candle in the bathroom, and looks amazing with the other vintage pieces I have in there. The scarves were a bit of an impulse buy, but I have some ideas for what I want to do with those too.

My thrifting adventures haven’t been totally successful, though. I still struggle to find sweaters and tops, and I’ve never been a fan of buying shoes from thrift shops. Lately, we’ve been working on a decor project for the living room that requires lots of photo frames…but good luck finding any! Many of the places here sell the frames with art in them as a (very highly priced) packaged deal. Not very thrifty, to be honest.

So far, I’m really digging the Seattle thrifting scene, and can’t wait to see what more I can find!