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Friday, March 29, 2013

lovely spring things

I cannot wait for spring to truly show it's face!  If I see another snowflake I might cry!  Unfortunately that's very possible in our upcoming forecast... boo.  The weather never stops the stores from rolling out all the wonderful and brightly colored items though!  I have been loving a lot of spring items recently and thought I'd share some of those...
First is a wreath from Target... when I told Caleb I "loved this wreath!" his reaction was "really?!?"... soooo we don't always see eye to eye although he usually comes around to liking my style. :)  I really like the bay leaf wreath look, plus the anemones - my new fave!  When I snapped this pic at Target it was on sale for $35, not really a price I want to pay, but I love it no less.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find one on clearance in a couple of months.

Next, Rifle Paper Co.  I. Could. Die.  I love everything they have ever made and will ever make in the future!  Too much? Well it's true.  I really want to snag some of their beautiful journals.  I'm not one for journaling too much, but I have some other plans for these babies...

Rifle Paper Co. journals

I spotted this tote at Gap the other day and the bright colors caught my eye.  Another thing I really loved about this bag was the zipper at the top.  I've been keeping my eye out for a tote this shape & size with a zipper and have found they can be hard to come by.  We are going on a trip to Boston soon and I'd like a bag that I can keep my wallet and camera/lenes in, so it must have a zipper to be more secure.  Carrying around a purse and a bulky camera bag is definitely not ideal, so something like this could really help.  This bag is $49.95 - but Gap has 40% your purchase like every other day, so I think I could get this for a fairly good deal.
Gap Tote

I also have an Etsy giftcard that has been burning a hole in my pocket for quite some time now.  I love so much stuff on Etsy, but I really love these necklaces I found recently.  The colors are bright and springy and there are several color options!  The shop they come from is called JM Designs.

Color Delight Beaded Necklace

Another Etsy favorite is tea towels.  I have admired this one in particular for a long time.  What a great way to add color to the kitchen! Made by claudiagpearson's shop.  She has tons of other great items too, I love her style!
Spring Tea Towel

Now to enjoy some spring-like weather!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was recently telling a friend who blogs that I'm not one who normally puts much emotion into my blog posts... but I had forgotten that I had started to write this post.  So a little warning, this post does contain some emotion. :)

Caleb and I have experienced a few very hard losses since our marriage.  We both find it important to find ways to remember the people we love so dearly that are no longer a part of our lives here on this earth.  Right after our engagement, I lost my grandfather, "Papa" Kenneth Oyer and Caleb lost a grandfather, "Grandpa Bob."  Since we have been married, we have lost my father - Thomas "Tom" Gault Wilson, my grandmother - Elaine Adele Wilson, and most recently Caleb's grandmother, Virginia Burns or "Grandma Burns."
I had a fear of forgetting memories after the loss of my father, so I wrote down several memories in a notepad so that I could always go back and reflect on them.  I also wanted to implement other ways to remember... which can sometimes be emotional and I was unsure if I was okay to publicly display my personal memoirs or should I keep it all behind closed doors?  If I did publicly display anything, would I get asked a lot of questions? Would I get emotional if I was asked about it?  I finally decided that it was more important for me to have this symbol of remembrance than it was to save face if any of those emotions happen to surface.  For remembering my dad, I decided to have a special locket made.  I wanted to put a quote on the locket that reflected how I felt about the fact I couldn't call him up everyday, but rather that his spirit and genuine personality would never be forgotten because he was a part of who I had become.  I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest one day, and it comes from the wisdom of mister Whinnie the Pooh himself...

I found a vintage locket on Etsy and my mom bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago.  The quote is long {to be engraved on a small locket} so it spills over onto both sides. It is a little hard to read unless you get pretty close to the locket, which was fine with me.

Inside the locket is a picture of us dancing from my wedding

I'm so glad I did go through with the locket and it definitely doesn't bother me if anyone asks about it or ask to see it.

Caleb's grandmother, Virginia {or "Grandma Burns"}, was so special to him.  She invested so much in his life and we had the pleasure of being near her for the last year or so of her life {she had previously lived in California}.  We were on vacation in Colorado when Virginia passed, but Caleb had been able to spend time with her the day before we left.  Virginia passed away at Caleb's parents' home while on hospice, so Caleb's mom was by her side during her last moments.  Caleb's mom is known for being a lover of the hymns and for never needing the hymnal during church services because she knew all the words of all the verses by heart.  She sang a hymn to Virginia to comfort and reassure her that is was okay to leave her suffering body and go be greeted by the Lord right before she passed away...

I made this using a photo I took of a small chapel on a college campus nearby.  We framed this and gave it to Caleb's mom for Christmas this year.  We also got ourselves a copy and framed it, it's currently hanging in our bedroom.

Of course I try to display the treasured pictures of our loved ones as well.  This is a perfect picture of my grandfather {better know to me as "Papa"} because of his expression!  He was quite the jokester and funny man so this is exactly how I remember him. {When I was little, he used to tell me every time he would get surgery that they were "taking his jokes out" or "putting them back in"} :)  Part of me is sad that Caleb never got to meet him {he passed away a few days before I was going to take Caleb out to meet my grandparents} but it's pictures like this and sharing memories that help Caleb get a glimpse of who he was.  The same goes for Caleb as well, he has grandparents I never got the pleasure of meeting.

And the same will also apply to my children and the fact they will never know my dad, "grandpa Tom."  We will share the photos and memories, just like my sister has done with my niece Lainey.  And I will share my notebook of memories of my dad with my children and explain all the little inside jokes and funny nicknames we all called each other.  It will be something that sparks lots of stories!  They will hear about the duct tape use, the bad boat driving, the 30 pairs of sunglasses, the dancing, the attempt to sing rap, and on and on... Lainey and every other child from my siblings and me will forever know how much grandpa Tom loved to be goofy and make people laugh, how he would do absolutely anything to help out his family, and how excited he will be to meet them in heaven someday.

And just in time for March Madness... a picture of a picture I have in my home of my dad dunking in his younger years...
Reminds me of a retro Nike ad :)

Also, the friend I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, Melody, also recently blogged about an emotional time in her life.  She and her husband, Tim, recorded an old David Crowder Band song that is AMAZING!  They both have incredible voices plus it's a great song... take a listen here. {My friends can sing better than your friends... just kidding :), but seriously...}

Sunday, March 17, 2013

living room for a bro {mood boards}

Last week I posted my ideas for bedroom decor of my brother's new downtown Kansas City studio loft.  He already purchased a new sofa and chair so he was also looking for pillow ideas.  I took it slightly beyond pillows and came up with two different living room mood boards that could work for anyone wanting that slightly modern or urban vibe!

Since he already got his sofa and chair, I didn't have to search for those and it made it easy having the larger living room pieces already selected.  He choose very clean and streamlined look in a charcoal gray from Room & Board's Ian collection.  I also tried to keep in mind the colors he liked best from the bedroom mood boards, which was option #3 of blues and oranges.  I didn't want it to match exactly nor did I want it to clash, since this is a studio loft that is completely open.

Here's the first board I put together, using mainly warmer colors...

1.  Bondis Wall Clock - Ikea $19.99
2.  1900's Kansas City Map - Etsy $15
3.  Leisure Burnt Orange pillow 23" - CB2 $39.95
4.  Ribbon Pillow - Crate & Barrel $24.95
5.  Gray Linen Pillow Cover - Etsy $40 {shop sukanart)
6.  Jarvis Azure Rug - Crate & Barrel $249 {5'x8'}
7.  Kite Kilm Floor Pouf - West Elm $149

 Next option using blues and lots of geographic shapes...

3.  Castillo Floor Lamp - Crate & Barrel $229 {I imagine with the popularity of this style of lamp there is most likely a cheaper option available as well}
4.  Stockholm Cushion in Black & White - Ikea $12.99 {I own two of these and love them!}
5.  Stockholm Cushion in Blue - Ikea $12.99
6.  Leisure Blue 23" pillow - CB2 $29.95
8.  Olin Black Rug - Crate & Barrel $149 {5'x8'}  --- I think this is a great price for such a classic looking rug - comes in other colors as well.  The gold color is currently on major sale!

Other honorable mentions that didn't make the cut... :)

Drake Natural Shag Rug - CB2 $339 for 5'x8'

Stripe Cabana Pillow in Cobalt - Pier 1 $20 {it's an outdoor pillow, but could still work as long as it's comfortable}

Eivor Throw - Ikea $19.99

Happy decorating!

Monday, March 11, 2013

bedroom for a bro {mood boards}

Based off the title of this post, you may think I'm going to talk about designing a bedroom for an obnoxious frat-dude, obsessed with partying, self-absorbed college punk... well no, that's incorrect.  Actually I'm helping out my actual BROther, Tommy, with ideas for his bedroom and living room in his new downtown studio loft.

I created 3 mood boards, which I have never done before, using Photoshop {I found a tutorial for using Photoshop here}.  Once I got going it was pretty easy to do! And it always feels better coming up with all these ideas knowing it's not your money that would have to be spent! ;)
Tommy and I have similar yet still fairly different styles.  Often times we like the same store but not always the same pieces.  He has much more of a modern style than I do.  I made 3 boards because I had a feeling the more options the better, in this case.  So here's my take on a modern, masculine, bedroom design...

Option 1... using gray, navy, a citron greenish/yellow...and stripes!

 1. Stripe Duvet Cover + Shams in white/feather gray - West Elm $69 {full/queen} $19 {standard sham}
2. Stripe Sham in white/citron - West Elm $24 {euro sham}
3. Stripe Sheet Set in white/citron - West Elm $69 {full set}
4. Embroidered Dot Pillow Cover in India ink - West Ellm $39
5. Solid Throw in regal blue - West Elm $49 {on sale!}
6. Nash Table Lamp - CB2 $49.95

Option 2... using gray, navy, off-white/cream, mustard yellow, and some different patterns...
1. Pietra Duvet Cover - Crate & Barrel $189.95 {full/queen}
2. Cotton Velvet Duo Pillow Cover in golden gate - West Elm $24.99 {on sale!}
3. Colorblock Stripe Pillow in mustard/cream/charcoal - Etsy {JillianReneDecor shop} $45
4. Y City Pattern Pillow Cover 20"x20" - Etsy {designjennis shop} $28
5. Evan Throw - Crate & Barrel $59.95 {on sale!}
6. Sherwood Table Lamp - Crate & Barrel $79.95
7. Solid Throw in regal blue - West Elm $49 {on sale!}
8. Window Pane Throw - West Elm $39.99 {on sale!}

Option 3... gray, orange, bright tropical blue, and a mix of stripes and chevron... plus some urban art!

1. Linen Cotton Duvet Cover + Sham in slate - West Elm $149 {full/queen} $29 {standard sham}
2. Leisure Burnt Orange Pillow 23" - CB2 $39.95
3. Chevron Crewel Pillow Cover 20" - West Elm $44 - could replace this with a cleaner, more straight-line chevron design, or the Y City Pattern pillow from option #2
4. Leisure Blue Pillow 23" - CB2 $39.95
5. Striped Orange Throw - CB2 $69.95
6. Clutch Walnut Table Lamp - CB2 $99.95
7. Avenue Print - CB2 $199.95
8. Rajika Bed Linens Standard Sham Set - CB2 $59.95 {for set of 2}

Next, I'm going to try to come up with some ideas for his living room! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

easter printables

I just recently removed my Christmas printables from the frames in my living room, and have been busy trying to replace that holiday decor with more of a spring-theme.  I've also recently got sucked into some really adorable graphics on Etsy, from shops like The Ink Nest & Angie Makes,  and also some freebies from an awesome blog, Pugly Pixel.  This all led me to wanting to make some printables for Easter!  I absolutely love playing around in Photoshop making these and maybe no one else out reading this on the interweb cares, but I love them to have to hang on my walls!
Here are the two I made...

For this one, I also saved it as a PDF with a plain white background to save ink in case anyone would print these at home.
{Floral graphics from the printable above are from The Ink Nest on Etsy}
{Fronts are Lullaby & MA Sexy - both free - I usually get all my free fonts from}
{Digital frame from Angie Makes on Etsy}

{Fonts are same as above, Lullaby & MA Sexy - free}
{Cloud brushes for Photoshop were found via Pugly Pixel blog post but are from Lauren Harrison - free}

Feel free to download the printables by clicking on the links below:

I also gave my blog another facelift... I know this is like the 3rd time in 6 months.  I'm fickle about it.  But, I think I've finally found a design I really like and can work with for quite a while.  I used graphics mainly from The Ink Nest & fonts FT Achor Yard {Fresh Picked header}, Traveling Through {sub header}, Soymilk {navigation bar & side pics} - all free.  Also, free clip art files like washi tape on the left sidebar & the "velvet corners" on the picture on my About Me page were also found via the Pugly Pixel blog.  {She even has a wonderful "freebies" section on the blog were you can find tons of free goodies}  I use Photoshop CS5 to create all of my graphic files but I know others who use Photoshop Elements, and even Microsoft PowerPoint!

So excited it's March! That means Spring is right around the corner... I think!