It is has been SO cold here in Cincinnati the past week. Yesterday, it was 20 degrees outside! Eeeks! So, I have been trying to stay inside as much as possible and keeping busy with cleaning, organizing and decorating. Last week, Tim and I both had Thursday off from work and we went up to Ikea together. I was inspired by all of the simple, effective furniture design and organization that I started getting some ideas for my always-messy arts and crafts room. We really just went to browse around and picked up some odds and ends (like some cute little cookie cutters I will show in the next post) but it got the gears turning as to how I could make the space work better. I went back a few days later to buy an Expedit bookcase and a few organizing bins. It is magic in the making!
I do not have before and after pictures to include right now (well, I kinda forgot to take a "before" photo), but I will show you the results when I'm done. I'm pretty excited about it.
We are DONE! For now, at least. We are finished with all of our living spaces (minus touching up the trim here and there). We have a nice little "nook" now, as I like to call it. A cozy little reading corner. All we are missing is an ottoman or someplace to put your feet up for the moment. Then it will be perfect.
For those that would like to see the "before" picture, here it is:
I hated this wood paneling with a passion. And then after we painted the first two rooms, Tim says, "Well, what if we just painted over it instead of replacing it?" And my reply was, "It's either gonna be awesome, or really ugly." So we went for the gusto and it turned out to be more than awesome!
How did we pick out a color you may ask? I decided to go with a lighter gray that would match some of the masonry in our fireplace. That way it ties it all together. The new with the old. If you like this paint, it is called "Driftwood Gray" and is part of the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. Tim did a good job of carrying out my vision here. :) Thank you, Tim.
It may be a few more months before I post any more home improvement pics but I think we have come a long way in a very short time.
If you guys have any questions about this room, or the others we updated, please let me know! We'll be happy to help! We know that it can be a tricky process.
Ta da! And now our living room is complete. Love love love this room. It will be so much (more) fun to entertain in here now. We got the curtains at (surprise!) Lowe's for about $28 per panel. I was impressed with their selection honestly. Lots of different designs, fabrics and price ranges. These are energy-saving panels because it gets drafty in that room. At night when we close the curtains, I can actually feel a difference in the temperature in that room. Totally worth the money. Tim remarked the other day that he felt like we were on one of those HGTV room makeover shows. It's funny but true! It's just such a huge difference in the style of the room that I can't believe it's the same room!
And now for the mini-room makeover.
It's amazing how just painting the walls a different can change a room so much and make it more cohesive.
We are hoping to paint one more room before the holidays so that all of our living areas (minus the kitchen) are more alive and up-to-date. Who wants to bet on what the next color will be?? :) I'll keep ya posted!
This is it! That's our new and improved living room. I LOVE the color. (By the way, it's Seven Seas.) I went with a slightly darker color because that room is so big, I wanted something darker to pull it all in a little bit and make it feel a little homier. Something we learned along the way (for those of you who may be painting in the next few months), just because your walls are white doesn't mean you should go without primer. It seems counter-intuitive, but it really does help. White walls are like a sponge for darker paint. Spend the extra ten bucks a gallon and go with the primer-in-paint option. You will thank me later. :)
What I also like about this paint color is that it looks different at various times of the day depending on the amount of natural light that is in the room. At night it looks very dreamy.
And here's a little bonus picture! We (wait, I should say Tim) started painting another room yesterday. This one is a much lighter blue -- kind of like a skyish blue. I know it's hard to tell with the light and the chaos but when we put the room back together this weekend, I know it will be fantastic (and slightly beachy -- which I will also LOVE).
Check back in a few days for more pictures! Let us know what you think so far!
One of these colors above is now on our living room walls! It was a huge change in that room because the walls were just white. And it is a big room so a huge color change is dramatic but I am SO excited about it. We painted last Thursday and Friday and I am still in love with it. Tim was a real sport with the whole thing (he had never painted a room before and was a little nervous about it) and ended up finishing the room when I was at work Thursday and when I came home it was like a breath of fresh air!
So who wants to take a guess as to which color we chose? I will post pics of the room in the next few days!
The week before I left to go on vacation, Tim and I had a Friday off together in which we just decided to try out some new burger places around town (inspired by a recent article in Cincinnati Magazine, 40 Best Burger Joints In Town). We were also armed with some from locals that Terry's Turf Club (which was #4 on the list I believe) was the best in town, and THEN we found out that Guy Fieri had been there earlier in the year and thought it was awesome, we were pretty much sold on going there for lunch.
So we pull up to Terry's Turf Club (after a very interesting/fearful drive across town where we were almost side-swiped on the highway by someone who wasn't paying attention), and we walk up to the door and find out they don't open until 4pm. 4pm!!!! Ugh. Very disappointed.
I am starving by this point so we find another place on the list nearby that has great burgers and wind up a City View Tavern. And, oh my gosh, what a happy little accident that was!
This is the view from their back porch.
"City View" indeed.
And by far the best burgers and drinks I've had in Cincinnati thus far.
We have been very busy over here with eating, drinking, being merry and taking pictures in Cincinnati.
Since the last time I blogged (which does seem like forever ago, but I think it's only been about two weeks), we have tried several new restaurants (and wines), went to the local fair, visited the sculpture park again (picture below), signed up livvielane photography for a craft fair, tested my Polaroid film, and planned a quick trip home to NC. (Whew! Here's to vacation that starts on Monday!)
As you can see from the picture, I finally got my vintage Polaroid SX-70 camera. And as soon as I found out I won that bad boy on ebay, I went straight over the The Impossible Project website and ordered some film! Seven days later, both were sitting in my living room. Bliss. I really can't wait to take 'em both on a test drive.
On Thursday, Tim and I decided to head down to Findlay Market to get some
fresh produce and see what's new. We were walking around and stumbled upon this little bakery shop
called Skirtz and Johnston. It was really bright, fresh and had enticing pastries in the window so I was intrigued. Then we saw that they were serving lunch so we decided to
go in. We are so smart. :)
Their lunch menu is fantastic. I had their Capresi Sandwich (which had fresh heirloom tomatoes - yum!) and Tim had their Pulled Pork Sandwich (on their fresh Sweet Onion roll). Everything was SO delicious. I was honestly already full but I thought, "If their sandwiches are this good, their desserts have GOT to be awesome." Then in the bakery display I saw an interesting little pastry and inquired as to what it was. Well, you guessed it. Lo and behold, it was my Bananas Foster Cupcake pictured above.
1. A Vintage Film Camera - (It kinda feels weird to type that. Does it feel weird to you to read that?) I've been on a kick to get a film camera for a while now. I've been inspired by a few photographers that have done amazing things with old school Polaroid cameras such as the SX-70 or a vintage Argus.
2. New Products for my Shop - like bookmarks or calendars specifically. The problem is that I would probably have to order a lot up front (esp. the bookmarks) and I don't know if it'll be worth it in the end. I just feel the need to expand what I offer I guess.
3. A New Film Camera - this is either going to be the Fuji Instax Mini 25 or the Polaroid 300 Instant (pictured above). Supposedly the Polaroids are at Target. That may be a deciding factor right there. We shall see.
4. Lenses for my Cellphone Camera - yes, you read correctly. I cannot say anymore to do it justice. You'll just have to go read about it here.
5. A Scrapbooking Class - this one in particular. Because I have lost my scrapbooking mojo for sometime now and I need to get it back ASAP so my art room can stop looking like a hot mess and more like an organized mess. :) (And also so I can finally complete some things!)
It's a full plate (and a lot of money too) so some things will wait obviously, but ideally I would like to do all of these things in the next month. I'll keep you updated and let you know how it goes!
Please excuse my MIA-ness this past week. Ever since our whirlwind trip last weekend, my week has been non-stop! Nonetheless, our little getaway last weekend to Indianapolis for the Jack Johnson concert was amazing! From the hotel check-in to the awesome seats at the concert to the lunch (and late-night snack) we had at Cheeseburger in Paradise, we had a blast and it all made for a memorable experience. Honestly, I cannot think of the last time I had such a fun weekend. We stayed at Hotel Indigo which was such a cute, hip little hotel. (If you're ever in the Indianapolis or Fishers area of Indiana I definitely recommend it!) I really wish we could have stayed a little longer to explore but we'll just use that as an excuse to visit again soon. :)
10. Tim made this awesome dessert (a balsamic vinegar tart -- sounds weird, really tasty though) on Friday for us to eat during the World Cup on Sunday. It didn't make it past Sunday morning.
9. We had a fun time this weekend with our friends from PA in town. They brought their two dogs. It was a little crazy at times but totally worth it.
8. I upgraded my phone to a BlackBerry Storm! Woot woot! I totally see why they are called "crackberrys" now. ;)
7. While waiting in line to checkout at Kroger, I saw Silly Bandz sitting on the shelf next to me. I bought them.
6. I'm actually surprised to admit that I like the Princess bandz. (Don't hate.) They are the funnest things since slap bracelets.
5. Tim made the best sangria today. There is no recipe for me to share unfortunately. Just get some good Moscato wine and put some strawberries, cherries, and blueberries in with it and let it sit in a pitcher for 3 hours. Awesomeness.
4. We booked a cruise! I cannot wait for January to get here now.
3. I ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for breakfast this weekend. I can't even remember the last time I did that.
2. We got a new couch! It's probably the classiest (and sturdiest -- maybe?) thing in our den right now.
1. I got a promotion at work! I start my new position next week and I'm SO excited. :)
So these are our pictures from the Colerain Township 4th of July Spectacular. But honestly, I didn't really feel any spectacular-ness going on. We left after about 45 minutes -- it was crazy hot, too. (Notice how in the bottom picture we were sitting in the one spot that had any shade.) I did enjoy the funnel cake stand, however.
The highlight of the day was probably the Pineapple-Ginger Agua Fresca that Tim made earlier in the day. You guys have to try it. Delish and refreshing.
Because I love 4th of July (and summer) so much, I have decided to do a free shipping event in my Etsy shop for the entire month of July! Yay! Who doesn't love free shipping?! :) Show me who's excited!
Fine print: The free shipping applies only to my U.S. customers who choose First-Cass Mail.
However -- do not fret my international friends! I have a half-price shipping deal for you this month! Any package that is sent First-Class International Mail will be discounted by 50%.
Now for this to work with Etsy, you will have to purchase the item + shipping at full price and then I will refund your shipping fees through Paypal! Deal? Deal.
And, if you have any problems along the way, you just let me know! It will be taken care of by yours truly.
One more thing, keep a close eye on the blog this month, because I just might do a giveaway too! (I'm such a giver.) :) Happy Summer!
So, about a month ago I told you guys about the awesome Butterfly Show at the Krohn Conservatory here in Cincinnati. It was a really neat experience. Unfortunately, none of the photos I entered in the contest were winning entries but I thought I would post the results for you guys anyway, just in case you were interested. Personally, I think mine (like the one below) were way better, but that's just me. ;) There's always next year!