So if you asked my hubby lately I have been on a huge DIY kick.. I think he likes it because it saves us money but I am also occupied all day on sunday so he can watch football on the big TV in the living room.. hahaha!  But really I am nesting or as the nester calls it dwelling. And there have been great improvements- remember this is a work in progress so put on your imagination design glasses on for the next couple pics.
 Before I started this lil make over I shopped online for things that inspired me.. I also found rooms I liked.  I than started planning our room by what needed to be taken out and what stayed and made the budget accordingly. What got taken out was sold!  I sold almost all the wedding vases and  misc. items in living room on craigslist to front the cost of the makeover. And that my friend is a  marvelous feeling!

So currently in the mail is our new console table for the dining room that will go over the two stools that were I was inspired by Pottery Barn.. they were pictured in a couple posts back.. but umm well instead of $99.99 for each stole I paid cough cough.. $19.99 for each stole!! I love them for putting my shoes on, extra seating for guests, and perfect for our friend's kids to sit on and pull up to the coffee table. Plus the covers come off and are washable! Love!!  I am still deciding if I want to monogram to look like PB's stools. If so I will monogram the new white pillows on the couch too. I also completed my chalk board mirror in which is hanging above the stoles waiting for the console table to arrive.  I plan on framing the chalkboard mirror with black and white photos from Hawaii (wedding/honeymoon) and of our family. So it will look like a gallery wall.  I ordered my lovely wire basket off Pottery Barn to place mail and magazines in on the console table.. and my vintage PEPSI crate for under the coffee table.  Once they arrive I will take pics to update!

After that I painted all the frames in the cabinet by the TV a lovely white.. I am loving the clean look. I also added some decor pillows. I love the one with flowers because if turned over it has stripes! I brought down my turqouise cross and hung above the fireplace.. we are in deep need of a mantel. But the fireplace is double sided and they run 300-500 a piece pre assembled at Lowes.. I told my step-dad and he said if I keep nagging (well his words were reminding him) he would build me one instead. As soon as I get that up I want to layer some stain glass  windows against the mantel. Kinda like the did with her shutters on her mantel.

If you look in the cabinets by the TV you will see the pics but other wise it is empty in the cabinet currently. That is because I am in the process of moving my milk glass to the cabinet. I will take a pic when I get it finished.  I am trying to slowly accessorize as not to over do it.  I posted pics below of milk glass- it isn't my own collection! I wish!! But my mom got me started.. she has pieces of milk glass and pink depression glass that was my grandmas. When she antiques she picks up more- so it reminds me of these two women. Since I am chaning to a neutral palette I thought it was the perfect oppurtunity to display my milk glass.

Which leads me straight to my new favorite item in the living room.. my grandma's huge wicker basket. My mom got this basket from her mom when I was born- which means it is definitely vintage now! I have always loved it. Mom had it in her living room and than recently just sitting lonely in a corner.  I told her I wanted it to store my book loot for my future child and put in our future nursery.. yes I am crazy and I get free books on scholastic so I am hoarding them already for my kids that are unborn. But mom said yea that is a great idea and gave me the basket!! So currently it sits in the living room holding our future child's book loot and  our pillows and throws until I have that lovely nursery to decorate- hence my nesting in the living room now. I love this basket.. I adore it!

But than there is the curtains. You all know I am changing the verticals to bamboo roman shades- but not in the budget yet. My lovely hubby said for my bday he would purchase them if I wanted.. so December 14th I shall have beautiful blinds.. what a lovely hubby to see my disgust with the verticals! He said as he was hanging my new drapes I am glad the old curtains are gone and won't be sad to see the verticals leave either.. well honey glad you are on board with the design plan! This past weekend I went on a hunt for burlap or linen drapes 96'..of course Pottery Barn has them for the price of gold, target is a little more reasonable and ikea was almost the same as target. So I went to Lowe's and bought canvas drop clothes for 9 bucks a panel and they are now hanging proudly in our great room!! Talk about Dave Ramsey Budget inspired!! When I told Nate at first he was a little worried- I could see it on his face. But we re-hung the hardware to the crown molding and hung the curtains. When he finished watching his football he came and told me he really likes em! SUCCESS!!

This is the Console table I purchased pictured mail.

 Here is the chalkboard frame- bad lighting..and the stoles. The console table will go over them.
 New White and striped pillows
 The beloved wicker basket
 Floral and striped pillow..masculine and feminine..
 Plus my old tin cross with Faith written across it.. see the mantel need now..
 The empty cabinets with the white the curtains..wohoo
 Of course this isn't my collection.. but this is milkglass and hopefully one day I can have this much loot!! I love the vintage feel yet with the white it is so clean and modern.. love the mix!
So pics are posted below and I will keep updating them.. enjoy turkey week!



Decorating the Nest..

Lately I have been following a ton of decorating blogs.. I have this itch to redecorate our great room. The dining room is already in progress.  I have finished the master bedroom, guest room, kitchen, and upstairs baths.. but the living room is just bland to me. I started thinking about it and alot of our decor I either inherited (can be good or bad) or we had and I tried to make it work. Nate's favorite color is red and his office is painted red currently so when I started thinking of re-doing the living room all I could think of was well red had to be incorporated. I just wanted a room that could be neutral but have pops of color. The bones of our great room are great..tan walls with a chocolate couch. I already decided that the verticals are changing to bamboo roman shades and I am adding burlap curtains- they will be neutral. I am than going to change the rug to a jute or segrass rug. All the things added to the room will be neutral or easy to change later such as pillows with pops of color. Here are a few of the items that have inspired me..
 These rooms are from Pottery Barn and I love them because basically they have neutral bones it is the accessories that make the room Americana or Nautical.
 This is from Nester's Blog and I just love love her room.. I wish I could pull off the all whites in my house! But I think I have to live with the chocolate leather couch for a bit..
 I wanted to add a touch of old charm and nautical to the room. I think these bouys will look great on the bay window.
 I would love the white one to act as a side table..
 I am going to get two of these stools to place as extra seating under the console table in the living room.. I also want to add a chalk board similar to the nesters above the console table to have like a family meeting spot. Also a PB wire basket to dump our mail ;).
 I love love this rug from PB and I think I want to place it in the dining room to add some color. It is still neutral yet vibrant..
 This is the rug I want to place in the living room and it will match the burlap curtains. I think the neutral tans will place off the cocoa colored couch and blend with the walls.
 These awesome jugs remind me of my grandma and her old milk jugs I want to get some white ones to put on one side of the fireplace..
 I also adore these old Coke crates I want to place one under the coffee table to store magazines and clutter and add a pop of color.
 SO there you have all my crazy ideas jumbled in pics.. but I can envision the room.. as soon as it is finished I will be posting pics. As it comes along I will post pics.

I know what you are thinking..isn't she on a budget and how can she afford it?? It is called thirfy.. as Nate says I will online and in store shop for WEEKS before purchasing things. I get obsessed with finding what I want at a good price. I am also following the nesters advice of taking out all the items that don't work in the room any longer. Things that can be worked else where I will keep other wise they will be sold on craigslist.  Hoping to make the $200 bucks for the makeup.. stay tuned..


DIY Projects this weekend..

So this weekend I have been on a DIY decorating kick. I am trying to finish off all the rooms in the house. Our master, master bath, guest bath, 1/2 bath and kitchen are completed.  As you know I am lusting over burlap curtains from pottery barn.. I am DIYing them as we speak for our great room and if it weren't that our windows are single pane and non-insulated I would remove all the verticals now and just hang the burlap until we have the $$ for the bamboo roman shades. But it is winter in Houston and I can't afford a higher heating bill or cold air in the house.. so waiting! I will post once done!

Since we're getting rid off all tacky blinds in the house (master has bamboo roman, kitchen and guests have white wood blinds) I had to take them off the front door. I hated em. Every time the door open they swung and hit the door, we had to pull them up because Scout hates the UPS man and would flipout and pull them down.. so I was done with the blinds. Only problem hot houston sun and privacy! So during our daily walks with Scout I started observing other doors like ours.. many had curtains or blinds up except one house had textured glass. I began my hunt for film to texture the glass.. umm well it was 29 bucks a square and I have two doors.. not so much in the budget. I frosted the glass instead for a total cost of $12 bucks.. below are before and after pics.
 Before with blinds
After with frosted glass.. it allows light thru and privacy! Horray!

My next project started when my gf redid her kitchen. We both live in houses built in the 80's.. our kitchen had been gutted previously and has new cabinets, paint, granite and appliances.. Her's was getting the face lift too. Well she replaced all the outlet plates to a copper plated hammered finish because the switches are an off white (yellow to me) and couldn't match the plates. My house has the same dilemma and I just loved the look of the bronze and cooper against the walls. I had to have em. I went to Lowe's and Home Depot and for the whole house it would cost me well over 100 bucks. I began the hunt to DIY.. I bought two cans of Rust-o-luim in bronze hammered outdoor finish.. it sticks to plastic and weathers well. And the fumes began.. see below my  lovely project..

 Before with bright white switch plate and yellow switch..
 New lovely hammered finish bronze plates!

Than while in the garage getting tools for the switch plates I saw an old table Nate bought at Goodwill for me to use in my apartment downtown in 2005.. I was a single girl living alone with Bella in a 400sq ft loft apartment and so poor! I used it as a side table for two years and than it sat in the garage because the top was scratched and it seen better days. Our guest room is all whites and blacks. I purchased a beautiful zebra chair and I needed a side table. I love our current side table with the mirror finish but I couldn't afford another.. and the DIY started!
 Table Before almost ready to paint.. needed some love and new life..
 Getting painted Black High Gloss
 Guest room zebra chair looking sad with out a reading side table..
And look at that lovely table and zebra chair.. perfect addition if I do say so!!

The history, the present and the future..

Get your coffee ready.. I have alot to say today!!

So if  you know Nate and I's history you know we have been togeather now 5 years.. It is amazing to think now five years.. can't wait to say 25! We're newly weds in our first home and it was a foreclosure that needed a ton of TLC and just when the house was getting to the point of finished.. our home was damaged by Hurricane Ike. After Ike we saved  what we could and charged all other expenses for the house to get it back to  code.. hole in the roof, leaks, mold damage, walls ruined, fences down.. you get the picture. So now our house is back to the norm we are still paying off some of Ike's damage..don't get me started on insurance companies and what they cover!

While all this was going on I was working in accounting and going back to school for a degree in accounting. My undergrad is Psychology. I love behavior science and working with children. While in school and working fulltime we planned our Hawaiian Wedding! In this whole transition I figured out I should have listened to my hubby and my heart after undergrad and should have become a teacher. I nannied thru out college and loved it.. but the business world intrigued me.. I took a job at a small company. When I first started there I was under a different boss and I loved it. He left and I soon got  a different boss life soon changed there after.. the stress, the hours of work, depression and hating going to work each day got me on the kick to dig deep on what my career should look like.  I can honestly say my mom did a great job at raising me knowing the foundations of life- Family, God and Love.. and I felt my career as well as my life should reflect that. I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a when I meet my maker I can honestly say I used all the talent you gave me to the best I could.  I took the test to be certified for elementary education..passed and took my current position a month before school started!!

Nate and I both are teachers now.. we're not rich in money.. but our lives are rich in everything else! We both are now so content in our careers that it has a huge impact on our relationship! We both truely enjoy waking up and going to work and we love to share with each other the experiences with our students. No day is the same..  but with all the good there is always bad. My students are reading Esperanza Rising right now and a great literal saying in there book is "There is no Rose with out thorns" well it is in spanish but you get the picture.  Nate and I have experienced many thorns in our relationship- the loss of a father, my mom being diagnosed with cancer (and she kicked it's ass), me struggling to finish school due to financial reasons, buying a house pouring our savings, sweat and love in to it and it being destroyed by a hurricane, lossing family members and one month before our wedding having one of our friends child's drown in a pool..I found him and Nate and friends administered CPR.. we have had the thorns and made it.  Last month was prolly the worst thorn month I have experienced in a long time. I am dealing with my loss daily and it has molded me..

The experience of last month has really shown Nate and I what we want for a home, a family and life. We openly talk about these things and it has really helped me move on from my  ( I should say our) experience. So we have started making a list of things that need to happen before kids. I know everyone says you can't plan kids.. but we're planners so we are going to try ;).

First off I am realistic in the fact that I want a house that is comfortable and liveable..I want kids to be able to play in every room and my house be truely enjoyed.. but with that said I won't be able to afford to make any major changes after a baby comes so we have a list!!
The list is as follows:
1. Pay off all credit cards & Tricia to finish Masters in Education (Feb. 2012)
2. Hold only one car note (the toyota is almost paid off so we are trading in the mazda for an SUV).
3. Take a great vacation before .. you know it won't happen after!
We have two extra rooms upstairs.. one is a guest room and the other is being habitated by the cats (litter boxes) and all nate's books for his business. So you'll understand the next lists.
4.Move Plywood from garage (whole stack)
5. Move bookshelves from 3rd bedroom to garage
6. New light fixture in 3rd bedroom -fan motor is dead and a fan is a must in houston!
7. Paint 3rd bedroom
8. Install closet doors in 3rd bedroom. Currently closet has no doors I hung a rod with curtains and litter boxes are behind.
9. Install Kitty door to garage and move kitty boxes out there..
10. Regrout tile in guest bath and master
11. Add tile to guest bath - it is wood..umm not practical with kiddos
12. Install Bamboo Roman Shades on all windows in great room to replace verticals  (4 windows at 72 inches and a huge bay window) already priced and saving
13. Hang burlap curtains in great room-DIY project to look like Pottery Barn!
14. New Dining room table  that is all wood and can be used daily(we're working on it)
15. Add Chairs to dining room set and Oversized floor mirror to reflect light from french doors in dining room
16. To install safty latches on top of all french doors that lead to pool
17. To install safety net on pool(we cant do a fence because pool is immediately out of the doors.. not enough pool deck)
Since we have no playspace and our two guestrooms are on the small side we need a room that doubles as living space plus play room  and if needed a second guest room since we're losing one for a babino(we're talking next 3 years here).. currently in our great room there is a living room, formal living room and dining room.. off of it is nate's office sperated by french doors and the kitchen.. The formal living room is not used at all.. It has a pool table in it.. I let my hubby have it. As he says the kids are taking it away.
19. Move pool table to the garage.
20. Add a sleeper sofa in tan linen to formal living room, shelves with wicker baskets to conceal their mess and a wicker trunk to conceal toys and double as coffee table..

There you have it I have made the list..Alot of the list involves updating the house to kid friendly but still grown up beautiful and making the guest room/guest bath ready for a lil Embley. Our plan is to have this all completed by August 2012.. so I will be updating you on our progress..Obviously some of these won't be happening immediately.. but we plan because we live on a budget and I am a smart, savy budget shopper!! Hope you enjoyed my crazy rant.. if you made it this far spike the coffee now ;) See ya soon!


Fall Wardrobe..

I absolutely love fall weather.. well I love Houston winter too because they aren't as brutal as up north. But the thing I love most is sweaters, scarves and of course shoes! If you know me I am a shoe whore.. I was in a shoe club that recieved new shoes each month.. but since Nate and I are trying to eliminate all debt by next year I have since canceled my membership ;(..  So I have been digging in my deep closet for all my fall necessities.  I have started bringing out the scarves, light sweaters, jackets, dark skinny jeans.. and than gasp! I have absolutely no boots other than my black uggs.  Chaning careers from an office job where I wore all high heels and wedges to a teacher which needs to be practical.. on my feet 8 hrs walking on the playgound..etc has really taken me on a toll. I have no teacher shoes!

I told Nate my dilema and the boots I have been lusting over.  They are Elle boots in gray originally priced 99.00. Well since we are trying to eliminate our debt, update the house and get ready for a baby in the next year or so.. I didn't just want to spend 100 bucks on shoes..  Nate said do it.. if they are a good pair they are worth it. I waited patiently and at last they went on sale for 69.99 and I had free shipping coupon and 30% off!! So I ordered the beloved boots.. and they came last night. I just adore them and am trying to find whatever I can in my wardrobe to wear with them. As you all know I am drawn to browns, tans, blues, pinks.. not black or greys. So it has been a task.

I am really loving this seasons knee high boots.. Go ahead you can lust after my knee high ruffle wedge elle boots!! You know that feeling when you put something on and it immediately makes you feel awesome.. these boots are them!  I have know acquired flat slouchy brown ones and my Elle Gray ruffle ones.. and I plan on wearing them with everything from dresses to leggings to skinny jeans. Since I lost all the weight for the wedding I figure I should flaunt those skinny jeans! So you'll be seeing me in my fall trademark of scarf and knee high boots these next couple has great benefits working in a school now too! I get to dress casual everyday and jeans any day of the week.. I hate to say it but there are whole weeks all I wear are jeans! I am loving fall fashion, casual dress and my elle boots! Just had to share.. you know you are lusting after them too..

Oh ps.. I took the blinds off the front door and frosted the glass today. I hated the miniblinds..if we left home we had to half raise the blinds because Scott hates the UPS man and we didn't want him to ruin them. On top of that when the door opens they swosh and I think they are tacky!  But without blinds we still  needed some privacy and a lil shade from that houston heat. The frosted glass provides privacy and allows the light above of before and after! Great DIY! I'm loving the effect!


Dining Room

Currently our dining room is bearable.. but it is the most neglected room of the house..On top of that the dining room table is small, made of MDF so its totally not chips and is not that  we never even use it. So I have been hunting ..and when I say hunting spending hours online and in stores for a table that isn't a thousand bucks but fits my criteria of 82' rustic finish, rectangle and dark finish.. Now you ask why the rustic finish. Well it all started when my mom purchased this beautiful table that has boards groved down it- looks like a barn door kinda and it is been groved with nails and chains to make that rustic Napa California look I love. Not only do I love the look but I love the practicality of it. When we have kids they can do homework here, play games, eat with friends and I don't have to stress about not spilling, chipping, staining  my gorgeous table.. they can bang it and it will be fine.  Growing up my mom had a ton of antiques..still does and we never used the dining room because it was Great Grandmother's table and we might hurt it. As much as I love that beautiful table my house will be beautiful, but practical!! My kids shall be allowed in every room!! But here is the catch to the table search I lusted after Mom's too mom purchased her lovely table for 599 two to three years ago..and I can't find it anymore :(. So my most favorite store is Pottery Barn. I started my search here.. they have a table like mom's in 72 inches but wait it is veneer and hard wood.. nope not gonna make the cut of Nate's condition..all wood.  So the one that is rustic and all hardwood at PB is gasp 2,000.  Umm not really in the budget for two teachers.. so than I looked at Pier 1, Star Furniture, JcPenny, RoomstoGo, HomeGoods..etc. All had lovely tables just not one that fit my requirements.. than the decorating gods rang down..

I found my dining room table at World Market. It is a beautiful Indian ALL WOOD table that is 82' and rustic. It is so beautiful, it has a chiseled top look with turn table legs. Can you tell I am in love?? Only catch my husband is making me wait to purchase because my birthday and xmas are around the corner and he thinks our family will contribute $$$ or gift cards towards our lovely table.  SO if they don't you can beat that table will be in my room by Jan 1.  Especially since this year I have 3 weeks off at xmas to knock out my decorating projects!!

Currently we own two of these Banana Leaf chairs above.. my hubby bought them for me when we were dating as an anniversary gift I think our third year?! I adore them.. they remind me of the beach, yet at the same time I think of Napa..they fit our decor so well too. So I want to add 2 more banana leaf chairs to it to make a total of 4 chairs. Come on people I can't have regular dining chairs for my dining I than am lusting after this beautiful zebra brown and white  bench that I must have!! My absolute fav colors are brown, white and turqouise. Our upstais is brown and blues.. down is brown, white and reds.. so I am thinking this zebra bench will be great added seating and match the decor. Plus benches have so many purposes..extra seating, coffee table..etc. I am than going to add a jute seagrass rug to neautralize our wood floor contrast to the dark wood table and a floor to ceiling mirror that leans against the wall from Ikea.

So there you have it.. I found my dining room table after much searching and I have so planned the room out. I shall have my beautiful table by Jan and I will update pics than.  Until than I am contemplating removing the vertical blinds in our great room but there are 4 windows measuring 72' and I want to add bamboo roman shades which run about 89 bucks..ehh.  On top of those 4 large windows  I have a bay window with wierd measurements of 16' for two windows and 46' for one.. which adds more to the budget for blinds.  So I am saving  for blinds now too. I want the pottery barn look with bamboo blinds and white curtains.. I think it will pop in with our tan walls and white wood work. I than want to add those beautiful poppy pillows from PB to add to the Napa feel. In our upstairs bedroom I added the bamboo blinds which let light in during the day, but I added energy efficent black out curtains in white..they help with keeping our room cold and less noise also.. so that is the plan for downstairs too now.
If you have been to our house you know Nate adores red.. so the downstairs is very Napa feeling in warm browns, tans and reds.. where as the upstairs every room is a shade of blue. Beach=tricia's true love so my bedrooms reflect my love for it as well as our baths.  But currently in our formal living room, off the living room in our great room is a pool table.. because well we are young, no kids and have a pool and do lots of entertaining.. so you need a pool table...right..

Well the talk in our house has been babies lately.. yes babies.. We have a plan.. I am not preggo now.. but let you know when it happens ( hint  after I finish my masters). So I told Nate since we will only have one guest room and we might need more room for kids we might want to sell or move the pool table to the garage. Than make the formal living room a play room.  Now I say play room  but it would have a sleeper sofa from Pottery Barn and a seagrass trunk as a coffee table to hide toys as well as shelfs with seagrass basket to hide toys. So it would be a neat playroom doubles as our second guest room if needed.. Nate said well practical but kids will ruin all the fun.. no vegas, no pool table, no sleep.. Aww my husband's realness is so good sometimes!

Now that I have told you all about my home decorating tasks for the next couple of months/ years for the play room.. you can call me crazy.. but  I love decorating and I am nesting right now..I'll keep yall updated as I go..