Friday, February 21, 2014

our living room inspiration

now that you've seen our new living room, i wanted to show you my dream board for a few of the things i'd like to start collecting over time to make it feel more cozy... you know, like we actually live there... art for the walls, paint, pillows. stuff like that. one of the major things the living room is lacking that i mentioned in my last post, is a coffee table. my wonderful MIL had ordered this one for us (which was on my last coffee table round up) but once all was said and done, we just didn't love it. so i put together most of the pieces we already have in that room and some i would love and made an inspiration board so i could get a better feel for how everything would coordinate. i chose a couple new and kept a couple old favs and now am trying to decide between 4 different ones. you can see them below.

a // b // c // d

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 vintage // 9 // 10 // 11 

let me first start by saying, the criteria for our new coffee table is that it must cost us $300 or less.  (actually would love much less, but coffee tables are expensive!) the other must have feature is that it has to be small. 30" in diameter or less. our living room is tiny and we need all the floor space we can get. how can there be dance parties, tickle fights, or wrestling with a giant table taking up the whole place, i mean. two more things, it must be round and it must not distract from the credenza. 

that's all. 

that's all?!?! yeah right, i've been on the hunt for MONTHS. shootdang. hopefully i can get my hands on an awesome coupon for one of these or just wait until they're almost discontinued and snag one up. haha!

so what do you think? which is your favorite. mine is "d", but of course it's the most expensive. it's 20% off right now and i have a 10% off coupon, and i'm kind of hoping to swing by the store next time i'm in San Diego so i don't have to pay for shipping and handling. [crossing fingers]


p.s. i just taught myself how to make an animated GIF! i'm so excited! for a long time i've been kind of down because my computer is super old (2004 #dinosaur) and i only have photoshop 7.0 (#embarassing) for design purposes. so i've put off all design commissions and really any dreams i've had for design for the time being. but i recently felt the urge to just use what i have and start from there. and it feels so good to learn something new! 

p.p.s did you notice my new blog design? i love it, do you? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

update on the living room

so, i figured i better give you an update since the last pictures i posted were of the house in the "total disaster" state. we have since then been able to unpack the majority of things that could possibly be stored inside, and are now making a list of new storage options and projects we want to tackle over time. here's the update:

this is the living room, looking in from the kitchen. it's hard to get a good angle since it's so small. i would need a fish eye lens to get the best overall view. that giant door (i think it's 10ft!) is our front door and we use it as our main entrance since the garage is still full of boxes that we need to sort and purge and then find a place for everything.

you'll notice that i made new curtains. my husband never liked the previous ones and was gracious enough to let me have them for as long as he did. they no longer fit our style and since we have a lot of new items it was time to freshen them up a bit. i was able to sell them and use most of that money to buy the new material. i whipped out 6 new curtain panels in one morning. they kind of blend in with the walls now but we will eventually put some color up and that will make them pop. 

the green chairs stayed! i was also able to sell most of our old furniture and i actually made around $2000 total from all those sales! and since we had about 3 months from the time we signed the paperwork until the day we moved for me to peruse the clearance isle's or wait until a particular item went on sale, i was able to get almost everything new! the woven side table (similar here) along with the marble serving board are from TJMaxx. 

 the material is from Home Fabrics, here in Fresno, and I made some envelope pillow covers for inserts i already had. the velvet pillows are from World Market. the lamps were from our old house and we purchased them from Lowe's about 5 years ago. i would eventually like to switch them out for a table lamp and either an arc lamp or a tripod lamp. i'll see what i can find! this side table is a hand me down from my MIL and it has a twin upstairs in the master bedroom. they're from Crate & Barrel.

meet Darrin, our new couch! we were so lucky to snag it during a 40% plus additional 10% off sale at JCPenney, of all places! they upped their style since the last time i shopped there. which was about the late '90's, when my grandma would give me gift cards from there for every holiday. i hated it. but i love it now! i also want to get some grown up art for above the couch... you know, something i didn't make... 

here's the view if you're standing at the front door. it looks straight back into the kitchen, i love how open it is. we found the stools on Craigslist. we have two more but they are in the garage and will be used as extra seating when we have guests and also for a craft station we're making out there. 

i was able to find this beautiful vintage mid-century credenza on Craigslist in Sacramento and made the 3 hour drive up just for it! it contains all of our movies and games. i'm so in love with it. i know i went on and on about the fauxdenza, and i even had the cabinets to start building it... but my husband was apprehensive about anchoring a large piece of furniture to the walls of our brand new home. so we decided it would be better to get something that was free standing. also, i love all the plants we have in the house right now, although some of them are not doing so well... i want to get more but i'm so afraid to kill them all. good thing Home Depot has a good return policy for plants!!

the front entrance. while i was in Sacramento i swung by IKEA to return the fauxdenza cabinets and was able to use that money to pick up this shoe cabinet. it's perfect in this corner and makes the mountain of nasty, muddy shoes look much better. eventually a mirror will go above it and i'm playing with the idea of a wrap around gallery wall that climbs the stairwell. but first, we must paint!

i know, even though we have a shoe cabinet... there are still shoes out. i didn't move them for the picture because we actually live here and it's not a model home. this area still tends to get congested... but we are working on training the adults to put their shoes away... my husband and i! the kids are better at it than we are! haha. this basket is also from IKEA.

so that's it! i made an inspiration board because i STILL haven't decided on a coffee table, and my legs are starting to get cramped from always being curled up on the couch with no where to rest them. #nocoffeetableproblems #firstworldproblems

i abandoned the whole first track and found all new coffee tables to decide between... and i still can't do it. it's a hard decision. i don't want something to compete with the credenza. and the room is pretty small so it needs to be 30" in diameter or less... and those are hard to find people. 

anyway, thanks for looking!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

we made it home!

oh man, i realize there has been quite a break from my last surge of posts. i had quite a bit of time on my hands between signing the paperwork in October to our actual move in January to just dream about the new house, and then it was go time. we moved on the 10th and have been settling in for the past couple of weeks. i still haven't unpacked by real camera, so all my pictures of the house are from my iphone. i wanted to share some of the early stages of the house from the first few days. it doesn't look like this anymore, but it's fun to document the crazy. 

this is right after we got the keys. 
kitchen, looking into the living room

"eat in" kitchen

new couch! living room

top of the stairs, we call it "the landing"

snagged this picture mid-move. first time home owners! never thought this day would come.

that was all i was able to capture before it became crazy town. here are some pictures from the next day or two.

 master bedroom (his side)

her side (i made the bed between pics)

this room gets the best natural lighting, i love it!

master bath, sink. the toilet and shower are just to the right

Big A's room. we had sold his bunk beds and ordered him a new bed, but it hadn't arrived yet. 

Little A's room. if a room could be a hot mess, this was it.

"the landing" will eventually become our office area. i have plans to convert the changing table into a desk and add some floating shelves above for storage. 

the living room. no TV yet so the kids were glamping with the laptop

eat in kitchen. the table fits perfectly!

i will post updated pictures of what it looks like now later. we are mostly unpacked, the only things left are storage necessities. we lost some of that storage space downsizing from a two car garage to a one car garage... so we need to get creative there. also, my husband's work moved their offices and we acquired all of his books that he stored there... and lost a bookshelf in our bedroom. so we have about 10 boxes of books with no home. 

all in all, it was a pretty smooth move and we are happy to be in our new home! we love it. it's still in progress but the little things like art, painting, and hanging family pictures will take time. 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

master bedroom inspiration in photos

after spending a lot of time on pinterest, looking for visual inspiration, i realized that i'm drawn to mostly neutral color combinations for the master bedroom. there's just something calm and relaxing to these rooms, nothing bright or startling. i imagine walking into these rooms would feel soothing and peaceful, and as a busy stay at home mom, that's just the kind of place i need to retreat to at the end of the day! 

our headboard is almost black, but our dresser is a rich chestnut color. i like the idea of mix matching the woods.

i've been attracted to black doors lately too. i think i want to paint all the doors in the house black! but starting with the master bedroom might ease my husband into it a little better. maybe.

along with soothing colors, i really want soothing textures. i'm loving how linen and faux fur look together. the softer the better. i just want to be able to cozy up in my bed.

 i love the idea of mixing frames as well.

and maybe a little self for my milk glass collection next to the bed.

hopefully my husband will think these are all good things too!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

documenting our current home: master bedroom

coming up with a plan for my new master bedroom has been kind of tough. we originally wanted to do a pallet wall, and now we don't. after that, i thought it would be fun to do dark walls, but now i don't. i'm currently playing with the idea of wallpaper. but that will probably fade as well. i don't know what my problem is! i have a strange suspicion that i am going through color anxiety. i don't know if that is a real thing, but it should be. as a first time home owner, i was initially excited to do fun, bold, eccentric things to the walls... but now i'm totally freaking out about it and feel like white is really safe. ugh. 

anyway. that has nothing to do with today's post. ok, maybe a little. i'm going to be sharing about our current master bedroom. i did a room tour 2 years ago and it seriously has not changed at all so i'm just going to re post the same pictures. so here you go. 

we bought the bed years and years ago at a furniture store down in San Diego and i'm not sure if it's still there. i loved it the minute i laid my eyes on it and i love it still. it's just classic and timeless. best money we ever spent. the nightstands are IKEA, as well as the lamps. and the curtains. and sheets. (none of which i can find to link.)

and the bookcase. we must like IKEA or something. heh. the quilt is Dwell Studio for Target from several years ago. i still love it but no longer want it to be the focal point of the room. 

i made some random "art" for the ridiculously huge walls, to try to fill them up or something, but the walls just look bigger and the canvases look really small. it might be good to take an interior design class on SCALE. for reals. 

the mirror is a yard sale score, a friend bought it for me for $5. i spray painted it yellow. it will not make the transfer to our new room, but it will get a nice shiny coat of white and be passed down to Little A's room. the floating vases are from Pottery Barn, from like an eternity ago. the dresser was a craigslist purchase that got a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. i already sold it and now my clothes are currently in boxes and laundry baskets on the floor. just the way i like it. kidding. sort of. 

we bought a mid-century dresser set from craigslist that will be our new bedroom set, but it is in the garage until it gets a little face lift. my husband doesn't want to move it up the stairs and then down again in a month, so my clothes will be getting packed up early! don't mind me if you see me in the same outfit for the next month!

and for reals. i said month. WE ARE MOVING IN A LITTLE MORE THAN A MONTH. i seriously can't wait. i've almost sold all i can of the things we aren't taking to the new house, and now it's time for serious business packing to happen. and in true to me fashion, all i want to do is sew. 

someone intervene. i'm so so excited to move but paralyzed at the laundry list of tasks that lie ahead. i have a problem. this happens every time. 

maybe i'll just sell it all and then i won't have to pack!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

coconut butter snack bites

since i've been primarily focusing on the house and it's been so long since i've posted a recipe, i figured it was high time i remedy that situation. 

i've been feeling the pressure to up the anti in the snack department since Big A snuck behind my back and convinced some poor kid to give him his Lunchables for almost a WHOLE WEEK at school (don't get me started...) i figured i needed to make something he could get excited about when he opened his lunch box. 

now, don't get me wrong, these lunch snacks are good and everything. but they aren't as exciting as anything that would have Red #40 in it, or comes in brightly colored packages with animals dressed like rappers on them, but i'm doing my best. and i'm super happy that big A is not hard to please. he loves these. but i am still on a mission to make paleo lunches fun! i think i need to whip up a batch of my favorite chicken nuggets and do another round of homemade gummies


1 c coconut butter
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c chopped raisins
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

pulse all ingredients in the food processor. scoop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. allow to chill until firm, no more than 30 minutes. store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 

so, paleo mamas, what do you do to make your kid's school lunch fun! i need some ideas.

xo, tara

Friday, November 15, 2013

girl room inspiration: the cat's meow


i'm totally flipping out over this inspiration board. i want to move in right. now. and get started making this space so special for my sweet girl. i showed it to her and she immediately started telling me which prints should go next to each other. ha! 

i'm calling this room, "the cat's meow". i really wanted to do a cat theme for her room because, like i mentioned before, she is seriously the cat whisperer. anytime we go on a walk all the cats in the neighborhood come crawling out under garage doors and over fences and just lay at her feet. it's the craziest thing. 

unfortunately, we discovered that i am allergic to cats after getting one. i endured it for 6 months and could not handle the daily stuffy nose, itchy skin, and watery eyes. we gave our sweet kitty boy to my mother-in-law so we can still visit him and know he's well loved (she's a cat whisperer too, it's genetic). 

so, visualize this... the room is painted a lovely shade of pale pink. i'm thinking maybe doing a chair rail with black chalk board paint below, with the pink above? or just all pink? what do you think? chalk board would be fun, but messy with all the chalk dust. the color scheme will be white, black, pale pink, gray, and gold. anyway, i want it to have sort of a french cafe feel, i'm thinking the sophisticated mom cat from aristocats goes to grab a latte in Paris... ha!

1 // it ALL started with these wall decals. i follow Urban Walls on instagram and they posted a picture of these ridiculously cute cat decals and i immediately knew they would be the focal point of Little A's new room. i'm dying over how cute they are.

i know there are a lot of prints, but i just couldn't choose. they are all so cute. since there are so many you can click on the numbers below to find them all:

2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 9 // 10

8 // i saw these gold cafe string lights on pinterest, and even though they are way out of my budget i love them. i bet i could jimmy-rig my own with a can of gold spray paint. 

11 // pretty little mirror

12 // i've always wanted to give her a chandelier, and this one has the right price!

13 // i kind of want this clip-on desk lamp to be my bedside lamp. it's amazing.

14 // simple but graphic rug adds just the right mix of pattern.

15 // um, how adorable are these pink children's tabouret chairs? 

16 // playful but sophisticated jewelry box 

17 // i love this side table

18 // CAT PILLOW!!!! 

19 // this sequined pillow add a touch of glamor and texture

i'm so excited! i love this, it makes me so happy. it fills my heart with joy to make my things specific to my kids personality that i think will bring them joy too! 

xo, tara