wrapping station | not pretty but purposeful

table & under

I know it’s not even Halloween yet but I am already feeling the pressure of Christmas. Lots to buy and it seems like even more to wrap {not possible, I know}. I have always wanted one of those really pretty Martha-Stewart-like wrapping stations with tons of supplies that all match and just look so damn pretty! Instead I made a kinda-decent-but-very-purposeful wrapping area and I already feel like I’m ready for the Christmas season.

I’ve never been very organized with my gift wrapping so a wrapping station is just what I needed. I always seem to scramble to wrap anything and the presents don’t always look like I want them to. Being a designer, I like to create things and make them look visually appealing. At Christmas time, I always envision our tree to have beautifully wrapped presents underneath – all in coordinating papers with fun, festive decorations and ribbons. It hasn’t happened – or if it does, it’s in small doses and it takes a lot of work to do it.

This is what I always hope for:

img_24761 Knits for Life

or this:


You are my Fav

or this:


Martha Stewart

When setting up a spot for your wrapping station, it needs to be in an area where you have enough room to work and store things. I used a basic folding table. And I was able to store most of the supplies on the table or underneath. It also left me enough room to work and wrap on top of the table. My wrapping station is in an unfinished “room” off of our bedroom closet. It’s the perfect spot because this is where we stash the Christmas presents, the kids don’t have any reason to go in this room and it’s quiet and out of the way. Did I mention, the kids don’t go in this room? Bonus. I can wrap presents AND drink my wine! I might just get a cozy chair and a TV up there and that’s where I’ll be hanging out all Christmas season.

So I took the time and cleaned out my gift wrapping supplies and organized what I had. I kept only the good stuff and separated them into piles:

1. tissue and filler – I put these in a basket and realized I had A LOT of tissue paper and didn’t need to keep going to the store for more!


2. wrapping paper – these went in an unused mesh waste basket so now I can see all I have and keep them from getting crushed and destroyed.


3. larger, clothing boxes - these went under the table. Again, threw away the ripped stuff and kept the good ones.


4. smaller jewelry boxes & gift bags - also under the table in a wire basket.


5. gift tags - I bought some super cute ones at Michaels and I will also make some of my own maybe with a stamp or on the computer.

tags 2

6. ribbons and string - I needed something to keep these rolls of ribbon and string from unraveling and I also needed to see what I had. I found the perfect solution in a plate drying rack from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It can hold different size ribbons and twine and it doesn’t take up too much space.

ribbon holder

7. embellishments - I went through my crafts and pulled out some items that I thought would make pretty gift embellishments. Things like: pom-poms, stamps, paper or fake flowers, sticks, letters, candy canes, small ornaments – really anything can be added as a gift topper to finish the look and add a little personal touch. I used recycled glass jars and spray painted the caps for cheap and easy storage.


Don’t forget the pens, scissors and tape. My only purchase for this wrapping station was this adorable gold dog tape dispenser from Target.


overall at angle

What do you think of my wrapping station? Like I said, it’s not very pretty or fancy but it will get the job done. All the elements are there and I feel organized and ready to take on any gift that comes my way. Christmas season? Bring it on!


patch banner


banner hang 3re

Our daughter plays eats, sleeps and breathes soccer. She is lucky to play with a great group of girls and I have been lucky to have coached them in the past. We heart soccer! They’ve played in several tournaments where they exchange patches with the opposing team after each match. I love this tradition and I think it helps develop sportsmanship and collecting them makes her very proud. She’s started a nice small collection of these patches and I wasn’t sure what to do with all of them. I thought about putting them on her backpack or her sweatshirt but these are things that she’ll out grow or they’ll soon be worn out and I didn’t want to see the patches go to waste. So I decided to make her a patch banner. I remember having something similar when I was young and I loved mine. I might give this to her as a Christmas present so sssshhhhh if you happen to see her!

Here are the materials and steps to make your own patch banner:



Pick the size you want for your banner and get felt a little larger {I bought 1/2 yard off a fabric bolt so it was over 70″ long and 18″ wide}
wooden dowel about 1-2″ wider than the width of the felt
glue gun or fabric glue
string or twine
ribbon {if wanted}


1. Cut felt to size – mine is 17″ wide x 53″ long (allow about an extra 3″ in the length to wrap the felt around the dowel} so my finished size is 17″ x 50″.

cut bottom

2. Fold the felt in half so left edge meets right. Cut a triangle towards the center about 6″ up.

dowel wrap

3. Turn the felt over so back side is up. Put the dowel about 2″ down from top and fold the felt over the dowel and glue it down. Let dry.


4. If you want, you can add a decorative band of ribbon. Just glue in place and wrap around to the back a give the ends a finished look.

banner final 2

5. Attach the string to either ends of the dowel and attach the patches {I added pins too}. I cheated and attached the patches with hot glue.

banner hang 2

7. Hang and admire!

I made my daughter’s banner really long so she’ll have lots of room for more patches. And I get to watch like hundreds of more soccer games. Who am I kidding, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold on to this until Christmas!


arrow art DIY

hanging 5

This is a quick DIY project that ANYONE can do. I promise. Check out my original post on the how arrows are so hot right now. Or maybe they’ve been hot for a while and I’m just realizing it now. {That’s probably the case}. So, I finally got around to doing my own arrow art for our home. And it found a spot on our new updated gallery wall.

If you want to follow along, here are all the steps. But this is a project that you can have fun with and give it your own personal touch.

Before I start a DIY project, I like to cut out or pin pictures of what I’m looking to do. This is a good way to figure out what you like {and don’t like} and also to establish a style you’re going for. I wanted to do a wooden sign. And I liked these:

arrow samples

I was going for a simplistic, hand drawn style that had a sense of age to it.

Here’s the materials I used to create my wooden arrow sign:


Piece of wood, painted or stained as desired.
paint & thin paint brush
glue gun
feathers {I got a package for $1.99 at Michaels}. They have lots of colors and sizes to choose from.

1. Luckily, I had an old piece of wood – I think it was leftover trim from when they built our home. It was painted white already so I decided to just sand down the finish to create a weathered look. I sanded the edges a bit more too. If you don’t have random wood pieces laying around, you can get remnants at Home Depot and paint as you’d like.

drawing sources

2. I always need sources to refer to when I’m drawing so I usually go online to find my ideas. Draw your arrow onto the wood surface with a pencil. Arrows are a simple shape. Line, triangle tip and feather shaped ends. Add any details if you want.


3. Use acrylic paint to paint over the pencil marks. I used black mixed with a burnt red to add some depth. Let paint dry completely.

feathers 1

feathers 3

4. Pick out a few feathers for the fletchings {the aerodynamic stabilization of arrows using materials such as feathers}. You’re very impressed aren’t you? Trim the ends of the feathers as needed. Use hot glue to adhere them onto the wood. Repeat on the other side.


5. Done!


6. Wait. I didn’t love how the painting looked – I wanted a more fluid, hand drawn style {kinda messy}. So I took a dryer paint brush and added some brush strokes outside the lines. Outside the lines? gasp! Yes, that’s the look I was going for. I considered adding some copy underneath – like “be brave” but it’s a little busy where I’m hanging this sign, so I just kept it simple.

hanging 1

hanging 4

hanging 6

All that’s left is to hang your beautiful, kinda messy, funky, arrow art in a great spot in your home. Or lean it on a shelf, or turn it sideways, or have it point to some thing fun or meaningful. Lots of options. I hope you enjoyed this DIY project and I hope it inspires you to make you own. Or maybe you just learned a new word. I know I did! Send me your comments – and I’m always happy to make any of these DIY projects for you!


my favorite jewelry

montage flat final

I did a post on September 30th about jewelry organization. {Click here to read that post}. While I was organizing my jewelry, I discovered some pieces that I forgot I had. Which was a nice surprise but also a good lesson on why you should always stay organized! So after my daughter and I ooohed and aaahed over some of my newfound pieces, I picked my favorites to share them with you. Funny thing is that most of my favorites were the cheapest ones – what does that say about me??? Hmmm. Click on the blue links to find the jewelry sources, if I couldn’t remember where I got them or if they are no longer available, I gave some similar options.

detail 1

I love these mixed blue-toned beads. I can wear them with jeans or a fancier black dress.

detail 2

kissing giraffes – love them!

detail 5

This was my Mom’s watch that she has given me. I remember going through her jewelry box when I was young and just loving it. The stones are beautiful – and all different. The long drop earings are a little bold for me but I love them and feel kinda special when I wear them!

detail 11

butterfly necklace reverses to black to be a little edgier.

detail 8

statement piece!

detail 6

lower case initial necklace – a gift from my sister after she saw one of my friday favorites posts saying how much I loved it. So sweet!

detail 4

I hardly ever wear matching jewelry but I feel in love with this emerald necklace and matching earings. I wore them to a formal function with a black cocktail dress.

all again

1. black cloth flower earings, Old Navy, in stores only, find similar here // 2. chunky blue tone necklace, Chic 2 Chic consignment store, find similar here // 3. gold birds, Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s, find similar one here // 4. initial necklace, Etsy // 5. gold wrap bracelet, find similar here or here // 6. kissing giraffe bracelet, Target find similar one here // 7. red flower necklace, Target // 8. Be Brave arrow necklace, Etsy // 9. Emerald necklace & earing set, find similar one here, or here // 10. heart drop earings, Brighton, find similar here // 11. butterfly necklace, Brighton, find similar here // 12. jeweled watch/bracelet, vintage // 13. yellow chandellier earings, Target, find similar here

rings all

Put a ring on it… besides my wedding and engagement rings, these are my favs. And they all seem to be big and bold. Why not?

1. pink rhinestones, find similar here // 2. large silver shield, find similar here // 3. navy kyanite square, find similar here // 4. baseball rhinestone {gift from my friend who owns a boutique}, find similar here // 5. flowers, find similar here

I hope you enjoyed my favorite jewelry picks. I had fun digging them all out and now I just have to wear them! Have a wonderful weekend!


laundry room/closet doors | inspiration

A friend of mine was asking me for advice on what to do with her laundry area doors. Her laundry area is part of her bathroom which is currently being renovated. She has bifold doors and since the room was being renovated she was rethinking how to incorporate these into the new area. I love these sort of dilemmas – and I was really into this one because I have also been wanting to redo our little laundry closet that is also part of our first floor small bathroom. Last year, we contemplated moving the whole laundry area to our second floor to a larger unfinished room off of our bedroom/walk-in closet. It was to be a new closet/laundry room. It was a good idea but there was a lot more to the project than we were willing to take on at the time. Even now, I’m not sure that’s the solution we want. And our washer and dryer are both very old and I’m waiting for them to kick the bucket. A sledgehammer might just have to do the job if they hold on too much longer. No, I would never do that. So we’re in limbo. But I do love to think about what I would do when that sledgehammer, I mean when the appliances give out and we’re ready to move forward with our redesign. So I did a little brainstorming and research for my lucky friend and her laundry area dilemma. These are some of the {hopefully} inspiring ideas and photos we found:

1) Paint or refinish existing doors. 

Use what you have but refinish the doors to match a piece in your room, or in this case, the vanity in her bathroom – which is a very pretty rustic wood finish. Or go with black doors {I love them}. You could put metal knobs on them that match the vanity/faucet too. Or you could get black knobs and make the doors really blend in and look very sleek.

Or you could go really bold. Like this. The color’s a little crazy but if you pick a funky color that goes with your room, it would make the doors look really modern and intentional.

I also love these doors. I’m not sure how to do this with standard bifold doors but and it might just mean adding MDF over the doors and then adding the decorative trim to continue across both. It’s a fairly easy DIY job or something a handy person could pull off. 
Here’s a similar treatment without having to add additional trim. Take two different paint colors and paint the door panels and indents the different colors to add interest and depth. Really makes the doors part of the room. Check out the whole room redo at Centsational Girl.

2) Install screen panels.

These are a great alternative to the standard folding doors. Almost like room dividers but hanging.

Ikea has lots of colors and patterns of hanging panels for very cheap {like $12-14/panel}. Check them out here.
ikea panels

3) Convert the bifold doors into faux barn style.

This is a very cool DIY project I saw on pinterest. I love the finish on these – a true rustic look. But you could finish them in any color or style to match your decor.

If you’re feeling it, click here to be directed to the project tutorial. From Simpsonized Crafts.
Barn Door Before and After

4) Convert the bifold doors to french style doors.

My friend sent this link to me. Check it out here. I love it!! Looks fairly easy and what a difference! Love the handles too.


5) Take the doors off and make the laundry area become part of the bathroom.

For this option, you need to really treat the space like part of the room and since a laundry area can get messy, you need good shelving, storage and nice accessories. I would paint walls and ceiling, add shelving, nice lighting and a working countertop. You could also hang signs, pictures and fun baskets to make the space both useful and pretty.
Check out this redesign from Four Generations, One Roof. She said taking the doors off made her bathroom look so much bigger. Yeah for that!!
Also, Check out this post from The Lettered Cottage. She had a similar situation where her laundry was in a hallway closet and her solution was beautiful. And here are some other ideas for removing the doors:
laundry curtain 3

Originally from Country Living.

6) Love these sliding barn doors! 

There’s no room for these in my laundry area but I love to dream!! Check this redo out at Apartment Therapy.


 I know this is a lot to take in but if you want more ideas, click here to check out my pinterest page. So much good stuff out there!

 What are your thoughts on the laundry area redesign? And do you have any additional ideas for my friend on what to do with her bifold closet doors? Honestly, if any solution can make the task of laundry any easier I’m all for that solution. Anyone???


happy halloween | free art print


halloween print f

Halloween will be here before you know it. I’ve got my pumpkins and mums, but no candy yet. Too dangerous. And lately I’ve been decorating more for the seasons, with holiday specific touches here and there. But halloween is a fun holiday to decorate for. Skulls, witches, spiders… I could go crazy. And my daughter asks me why we don’t go all out and put the large blow up figures or the pretend cemetery on our front lawn. I blame the dog… or the guinea pig… or the weather. I just can’t do it. Good excuses, right?

Those decorations are fun, but I like the simply stated happy halloween decor. If you didn’t see my post about fall touches in our home, check it out here. I painted a happy halloween print to keep things classy. Just click on the link at the bottom of this post to download your free {oh-so-classy} print. I suggest printing it on either photo paper or a nice card stock and then you can frame it {8×10 standard size}, or mount it onto cardboard and lean it on a shelf. Or even easier – use washi tape in a fun halloween color/print and tape it right on a wall, mirror or chalkboard.

Now I must confess – we do have this dancing ghost that shimmies to Justin Timberlake’s The Way You Are. It makes me giggle every time we press the button. Dancing ghost ok. But I draw the line at the cemetery.

Enjoy your free print and Happy Halloween y’all!

halloween button re



favorite finds | from the web

TGIF – am I right?

I don’t know about you but this has been a long week. There’s been lots of fun stuff going on here though. And I’ll have some great DIY projects to post soon. But for today, sit back, grab a cup of coffee – or a glass of wine if it’s after 10am – just kidding {not really} and enjoy some of the fun stuff I came across on my web journeys.

Check out this YouTube video – it’s hysterical. And I’m a big Ikea fan.


Skull bangle bracelets. So cool and edgy. Perfect for Halloween month. Check them out here at Etsy.


Desk/stationary organization. I love this set up and maybe it will help me to get my thank you’s done on time.


Recipe for Brussel Sprouts & Kale Slaw from Guy Fieri at the Food Network. I’m a big brussel sprouts fan – but if you’re not with me on this one, here’s a more gooey recipe perfect for fall.


Soft Batch Apple Cider Gingersnap Cookies from Iowa Girl Eats. I’m not usually a bake-cookies-from-scratch kinda girl but these sound like they’ll be worth my time. She gives a gluten-free version too.


This whole outfit from Athleta. Stripe City Jogger Pants, $89 and down bomber jacket, $178. How many days til Christmas??? Hint, hint.


I never thought salt & pepper shakers could be beautiful. But then I saw a whole post on them from AKA Design + Life. These beauties caught my eye – by Kate Spade at Bed Bath & Beyond, $29.99.


Click on this link to check out beautifully fall decorated mantles at S•A•S Interiors – they’re all so pretty without being over the top.

I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy these favorite finds! Send along any of your favorite finds too – I’d love to see them.

jewelry organization as art

I love me some jewelry! It doesn’t even have to be the expensive kind – although that’s nice too. But some of my most favorite pieces have come from consignment stores. I have collected a lot of jewelry over the years and it’s getting a little too much to handle. It always seems to end up in random piles or in the jewelry box black hole. And when I don’t see all the fun stuff I’ve collected, I forget about them. So I finally decided to ditch my extra large jewelry box and opt for a more visual and out-in-the open display for my jewelry.

jewelry hanging 1

I was pleasantly surprised at how it all looked when I displayed my jewelry and also how purposeful it was to put it all out there. Now I can see everything I have and it looks kinda pretty hanging on my wall! And I feel like I just went shopping and got all new jewelry.

I used a few different ways to display my jewelry:

jewelry hanging 5

1) free-standing jewelry holders – I found these at HomeGoods and Target. They don’t match but they go together well. And they hold a variety of pieces: necklaces, earings, bracelets. Perfect for my stuff. They look a little busy but I love that.

jewelry hanging 6

2) drawer pulls. I love using drawer pulls or knobs as hooks. You need to get the ones that have a screw on the back of them already. I got these at Marshalls but I’ve also found similar ones at Target, Etsy and Home Depot. They work perfectly for hanging jewelry. Just drill a hole in the wall, use a drywall anchor, then twist the knob into the anchor until it’s secure. You can also use any other kind of hooks – just hang as directed.

jewelry hanging 3

3) a ceramic egg crate – this was a great find from Anthropologie. It might not have been intended to hold jewelry but it was the perfect size for smaller pieces like earnings, pins and rings. It’s no longer available but check this one out, or this one.

jewelry hanging 4

4) ring dishes – I’ve seen all different kinds of ring dishes but I just fell in love with this DIY kit from Darby Smart where they give you all the supplies and instructions and you make your own. This kit costs $19 and you can make 2 animal figured ring dishes. So pretty and the gold animal trend is super hot right now. Perfect for a girls room, birthday party activity or wedding shower favor/treat. Check out the kit here.

jewelry hanging 8

5) small decorative boxes. My son decorated this wooden star shaped box for me in pre-school. These small boxes are great for a little collection of jewelry. I keep my grandmother’s broaches in mine – lots of sentimental value in that little box. I find small containers are ok – I just got overwhelmed when I went to the ginormous jewelry boxes.

jewelry hanging ideas

Here are a few other ideas I’ve found for hanging your jewelry. Old drawers, fun hooks, frames – and I just love the antlers!!


I picked a spot on my dresser for the jewelry, along with some wall space nearby to hang the knobs. The only problem I had was that we have an old alarm unit on our wall that was super ugly and I needed to cover it up. HomeGoods to the rescue! I found this canvas art and just loved the saying. It was also the right color and size to fit over the old alarm.

jewelry hanging 7 re

Once everything was hung, I had fun arranging the jewelry so it looked pretty. And my daughter had fun going through all my “new” stuff. Just remember it’s good to think outside the {big jewelry} box! Enjoy!

embracing the f word {fall}

Ok, so I know it’s not a swear word, but every September fall comes along and takes the wind out of my sails. It’s not that I don’t like this season. I love it. The colors, comfy sweaters, football games, hearty dinners, apple pie and everything pumpkin. But my problem with fall is that winter comes next. I’m a summer girl and lately the cold has been really bugging me. But I’m going to try and appreciate the fall for the amazing things the season brings us and not think about what’s to come. So there.

Decorating for fall is always fun. I tried to go with a lot of natural elements and not use as many store bought decorations, but Homegoods was calling me the other day and that’s a hard call to ignore. Here are a few of the fall touches in our home. Some of the decor includes fun DIY projects – click on the links to take you to the how-to for each.

Welcome to our home….


 I discovered these chalk markers at Michael’s and it helps my trying-to-be-inspirational messages look pretty! I added a few cuttings I got on one of my dog walks and that’s about it!

dining room

Our never-used dining room is fun to decorate. Actually I do use it – almost daily. It’s my storage area for all things I want to get out of my kitchen. But the table looks so much nicer when you can see it. I like the randomness of this centerpiece versus one larger piece. Most of the items are things I had around the house: vases, books, candlesticks, candy jars. I added some sticks for height, painted and monogrammed a pumpkin from Michaels and decoupaged another one. If you’re doing a centerpiece like this, I suggest keeping the pieces in a similar color palette and varying the textures {wood, metallic, canvas, burlap, etc.}. Also vary the size and height of the items so your eye moves through the centerpiece. Use lots of natural elements {acorns, sticks, pinecones, shells} to ground the arrangement and arrange the items to be very close to each other – they become more of a unit if they’re almost touching and interacting. I used a handmade rosette {DIY tutorial here} to add interest to my hutch.

dinig room cpiece 2

The candy corn will be gone by this weekend.

disco ball detail

And there’s my disco ball. If you missed it earlier this week, click here to check out my post on why everyone needs a disco ball. The light show it puts on gave me the idea to add the metallic circle stickers to the wall.


My daily view out the kitchen window. I painted a watercolor for September, added a pumpkin and leaves to my enclosed terrarium. And a gold-yellow vase ties it all together.

bar piece

Feathers. are. so. fun. I found these at Michaels {where else?}. I just love mini white pumpkins. One tip: try pumpkins on candlesticks, cake stands, or on top of vases or mini urns.

halloween print

I painted the Happy Halloween sign – no frame needed – and used a piece of the orange trim leftover from a DIY project. Love that trim.

kitchen 2

More gourds…. check out my DIY post from last year on how to make this burlap table runner. Limited sewing skills needed. yeah!

sweater candle

Even accessories need to keep warm. I cut the sleeve off an old sweater, wrapped it around a candle and tied with twine. A can of gold spray paint can make anything look better too.

table & couch

Our family room. I get so happy when I can add orange to a room. And feathers.


I made some rolled magazine flowers for the stag. Check out the DIY post from Jones Design Company – she’s so clever. Fall print by yours truly.

coffee table detail


Arrows! Check out my post about this hot trend.

garland detail 2

My daughter and I made a fall leaf garland {super easy}. Check out the original DIY post here from The Handmade Home. Some girls have all the clever ideas, while others {me} are in awe.


yummy pillows. I like the mix of textures and fall-ish colors. You don’t have to do the obvious color palette of orange, gold and reds. Sometimes just thinking of the opposite of Spring is a good way to figure out what works. Don’t always put away all your pillows or accessories when the seasons change. For example, the polka dot pillow will work for all seasons. Just adding one seasonal accessory might be all you need.


Even Oscar thinks the pillows are yummy. Oh, too cute.

I’m embracing fall. And even though I hear winter knocking on the door, I’m not letting him in yet and I’m going to enjoy the brisk {not freezing} air, the light {not winter} coats and the falling leaves {not snow}. I hope you enjoyed the small peek into our home and enjoy this lovely season!

why everyone needs a disco ball

I think we all know what a disco ball is – especially those of us who were kids of the 70’s and watched Saturday Night Fever. But the disco ball dates back to the 1920’s where it was widely used in nightclubs and it is even recorded to have appeared in ballrooms in the Boston area in the late 1800’s. Wow! There’s a lot more history to these fun, mirrored spheres than I had ever thought! So when I saw one at my local Walmart {that’s right, Walmart} I scooped it up. It may be just a cheap party decoration but it is all disco fun! And I really didn’t appreciate my disco ball until I came downstairs one day to this:

  disco ball main

All those reflective lights! Can you dig it?

The disco ball may not be a traditional decoration or an expensive one but I think everyone needs something in their home that’s a little off beat, a little silly – and something that makes them smile. My disco ball does just that and it brings life to an otherwise serious dining room.

disco lights 1

disco lights 2

I’m on the hunt for an authentic disco ball but this one will do for now. I’m getting my bell bottoms and halter top out next.

Far out, man.

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