Friday, August 29, 2014

Dirty Little Secret

Ok ladies.  It's time to get real at A Lo and Behold Life today.  A lot of my readers ask me, "How do you keep your house so clean with 4 year olds running around?"  Well, friends, here's my secret… my house is not perfect.  Just like you, there are dishes to be cleaned, clothes to be washed, floors to be swept, toys to be put away.  All day.  Every day.  Just last week my parents were visiting from Boston and after a few days of being here my mom said to me, "Lo, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to sweep the floor!"  LOL!  I mean, it doesn't get more real than that - my mom had to fly 3,000 miles across the country to clean my kitchen floor.

My house is our home, and I love it and all it's imperfections.  I hope this message isn't long over due but needless to say the majority of pictures you see here on the blog are rooms and projects that I've spent a lot of time perfecting.  Why?  Plain and simple… my passion is making things pretty and I truly enjoy styling a newly finished DIY project with things around the house.  The result, a pretty picture to share and encourage and inspire my readers.  The reality. It's usually destroyed by two energetic (nicest word I could think of) 4 year olds no more than 10 minutes after the jpeg is saved to my desktop.

Who?  These angels??? Yup… those angels.

Case and point, the house was clean yesterday. Today is another story.

This photo of the kitchen… taken while the boys were at school.  I'd love to tell you it looks like this all the time...

but it doesn't.  The sink seems to always be full of dirty dishes and there are groceries still to be put away (I went shopping yesterday but apparently got side tracked).

and remember when I revealed the newly renovated laundry room?

Not so pretty today… is it?  After a week straight of summer play dates someone needs to do some laundry.

You'll love this one.  My craft closet was in perfect working order.

and 2 years later.   Oh me, oh my!  I know where everything is - I swear.

And the biggest dirty little secret of them all.  I've never shared our "Playroom/Office" on this blog before.  No matter how many times I clean this room it usually ends the day looking like this.  Even Woody & Buzz are judging me… sometimes I'll walk into this room and Buzz will spontaneously say "This is an intergalactic emergency!!"  Yeah, I get it buddy.

Here's another angle of this disaster.  Sponge Bob, shut your face!  I can feel your googly eyes burning into the back of my head as I type.  Jokes on you, dude, I have plans for this room and they don't include you!

There you have it.  Lo and behold, Lo's house is not always perfect.  But it's our cupcake and I'm constantly searching for inspiration.  So Tell me, are you glad I shared this dirty little secret with you today?  Or do you think I should keep my mess to myself?!  Regardless of how you answer I still have nothing but love for ya!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

7 Tips to make your bathroom seem bigger

Hi all!  Are you thinking about renovating your small bathroom?  Before  you do, consider these seven style and design tips that I'm sharing over at today.  You can check it out here.  You'll be surprised how you can trick the eye into thinking your bathroom is bigger than it really is!  


Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY pillow cover with piping and zipper

Earlier this week I shared some of the updates I've made to our Living Room.  One of my most favorite additions are these pillows I sewed myself!  And as promised today I'm sharing a tutorial for how to sew your very own.  By no stretch am I an advanced seamstress - I literally purchased my first sewing machine a little over a month ago.  These pillows were my second sewing project so when I say sewing your own pillow covers is easy… it's really easy!

What you'll need for a 26"x26" pillow cover

1 yard of fabric ( I was inspired by Sarah's DIY pillow and used Premier Prints Zippy Cloud Denton) for $13
invisible zipper
sewing machine 
sewing grid or tape measure
26" pillow insert (I got mine at Ikea for $9.99)

Step 1 - fabric cuts

Cut fabric into 2 pieces (cover front 26"x 26", cover back 26"x 26").  Tip: if you are using a fabric with a pattern try to cut your pieces so that the patterns for the front and back pieces line up.

Step 2 (optional) - piping

I decided to add a little color detail with turquoise piping on these pillow covers since a lot of the decor in our living is super neutral.  Take your cover front right side up and pin the piping about an inch in from the edge.  The finished edge of the piping should be facing in towards the center of the cover front, raw edge of the piping facing out towards the edge of the cover front.

I bought two packages of piping for my 26"x26" pillow because I knew one package would not fit all the way around the perimeter.  So I cut a small piece of piping from the second package and pinned it into place to fill in the empty spot.

Step 3: sew piping

Next comes the fun part.  The actual sewing part.  Sew the piping in place to the cover front - try to stitch exactly on the stitching of the piping.

Step 4: install zipper

Like I said - I am a beginner.  There may be a better way for this process but this is how I installed the invisible zipper.  First, pin the zipper (zipper teeth facing in) as close as possible to the piping on the cover front.  Then sew it into place -  sew as close as possible to the zipper teeth.   Tip: I heard using a zipper foot on your sewing machine makes this process easier… but I don't have one and it worked out just fine.

Step 5: Cover back

Fold the bottom of the cover back in about an inch and iron flat.  Then lay the cover front and back facing each other (nice side on the inside).  Try to line the patterns up so that when they are sewn together the pattern flows from the front cover to the back cover.  Pin the zipper (teeth side facing out) to the bottom fold of the cover back.  Then sew it into place - again sewing as close to the zipper teeth as possible.

Step 6: Sew pillow cover

Pin around the entire perimeter of the cover front and back (nice side facing in!).  Then sew the cover front and back together following the same stitch line you created when sewing the piping to the cover front.

Tip: when you get to the bottom of the pillow cover, pull back the zipper and sew as close to it as possible.  Also make a cut at each of the four corners of the cover so that when you turn it inside out the edges will be nice and square.

Step 7: pillow insert

Turn your pillow cover right side out and stuff your pillow insert inside.  ….and DONE!  

For my second attempt at sewing these are certainly not perfect but I'd give myself at least a B+.  I tried my best to get the patterns to line up… not too shabby, right?!

I'm sharing this post with these fun parties this week:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot at Just a Girl and Her Blog * Work It Wednesday at The Turquoise Home * Inspire Me Please at Liz Marie Blog * The Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush * The Pin Junkie Vintage Chic * Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now * Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest Link Party Palooza at I Heart Naptime


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Invisible Touch

Heyo! I've been wanting to share some updates we've made to the living room but it's not exactly where I want it to be.  Ha… will it ever be?  No room is ever "done"... am I right?  This blog would literally be filled with blank pages if I waited to share a room when it was "done".  So you want to get into it?  Here goes… the before.

We painted the ceiling and trim bright white, painted the walls the same color as the dining room - Benjamin Moore Carlisle Cream, moved some furniture around, changed around some framed photographs, restyled the mantel and the purpose of today's post… I sewed some invisible zipper pillows!  

I was totally smitten over this Premier Prints Zippy Cloud Denton fabric when Sarah M Dorsey Designs shared her DIY pillows over at her blog.  I order a few yards almost immediately from the OnlineFabricStore and got to work on putting these together.

Here's a shot of the invisible zipper.  Not quite totally invisible but I'm a beginner… like I literally have no idea what I'm doing with the sewing machine I bought last month.  Totally winging it.

Want a behind the scenes peek of this photoshoot?  This was going on at my toes as I took these shots :)  In their PJs as per usual.

Paw Patrol to the rescue!!! …and Spongebob

The space still needs a serious pop of color though.  Even though I have been gravitating towards neutral decor tones there are just too many beiges & browns going on right now.  

I order samples of these from Spoonflower today - do you think one of these could work for a 26"x26" corner pillow?

This week I'll be sharing a full tutorial on these pillows as well as more detail on some of the other living room updates we've made.  See ya later!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Watercolors for the Water Closet

Ok. Well I don't really call it a "water closet" per se but nevertheless… how sweet are these watercolors?  I had intended on painting something myself for this wall but almost 2 years later and the wall was still empty… oh and I still have zero talent with a paint brush.  And so it goes, right?  In my search for something airy and whimsy with a pop of color I happened upon these beauties.  Hannah, from the adorably creative We Lived Happily Ever After, created these printable watercolors and has them posted on her blog - wait for it - for a FREE download.  SCORE!  I love nothing more than when artists are willing to share their talents with the likes of the less artistically inclined… cough cough... me.  Hannah so generously does so with her "Timelessly Trendy" Watercolors.

The colors pop perfectly against the wall color which is Benjamin Moore's Healing Aloe.

The master bath has also been hit with a few more accessories from the beloved Homegoods.  Some bath mats to keep our toes cozy, baskets for extra storage...

My obsession with boxwoods continues with this one that I placed in a white ceramic pot from Ikea and a crystal dish to hold my goods when I remember to wash my face.

These baskets are working out great for extra hidden storage.

But my most favorite addition are these framed watercolors.  Thank you, Hannah!  Go see yourself!  Hannah is tremendously creative and shares all sorts of goodies at We Lived Happily Ever After.

© A Lo and Behold Life. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig