Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ohhhhh do I have news… BIG news!

Someone pinch me because I still feel like I'm dreaming.  Dreaming the most awesome of awesome dreams for any DIY and home blogger.  I am going to burst if I keep this secret in any longer!!!  I have big news, friends, HUGE news!


Yes, MY house.  What in the World were they doing here you ask?  Well, remember my DIY Matchbox Car Garage organization solution for the toy car chaos in my house?  Better Homes and Gardens wants to feature it... and me... and the boys in an upcoming issue!!!  

Better Homes and Gardens has been my most favorite magazine for years.  There are literally piles upon piles of old BHG mags around my house (Andy questions why I hoard them but I have my reasons.)  Every month I look forward to the day when I open up the mailbox and see a bright, new and shiny Better Homes and Gardens issue.  I immediately retreat to my chair in the living room with a cup of coffee and dive into EVERY SINGLE page.  It's my Zen moment.  Some people do Yoga - I do Better Homes and Gardens.  It's the source of inspiration for many of my decorating, entertaining & party ideas, DIY projects and recipes.  So imagine my surprise when I received an email from the Senior Remodeling & Projects Editor at the magazine.  My reaction resembled something like the "Carlton Dance" from Fresh Prince of Bel Air….

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  Which somewhat explains why I've been MIA.  

Here's the play by play.  

As I mentioned, about two weeks ago I was contacted by the Remodeling & Projects Editor at the magazine.  She told me that they want to feature the DIY Matchbox Car Garage in the I Did It! section of an upcoming issue.  Before I knew it we had a date on the calendar for the Photographer and Stylist to come to the house for the shoot.  And it was in 12 days!  And you know what the state of affairs in the playroom was.  EEK!  

Needless to say, the days leading up to the shoot were filled with donating, purging and organizing toys, painting all the trim in the playroom bright white, vacuuming, dusting and rearranging the playroom to get it in a presentable state.

Next was working on the outfit situation.  The issue will hit magazine stands this Winter so our outfits had to reflect the cold season.  Which is funny because here in Pasadena our "cold" season is sunny and 70.  Here's what I sent the BHG crew as possible wardrobe ideas for me and the boys.  They wanted a casual at home look.  The term "casual at home look" for me is code for slob - i.e. my usual uniform of workout pants and a tank top.  I provided them with pictures of my dressed up look which I assumed was more of the look and feel they wanted me to go for.  LOL!

The morning of the shoot was SO MUCH FUN!  The crew arrived at our house around 9:30 AM to begin their set up process.  The Photographer, Edmund, and his assistance were fast and efficient.  They had a vision and immediately knew how to accomplish it.  They swiftly set up the equipment.  I laughed at my measly little camera and tripod in the corner of the room.  Their gear was far more impressive.  And Laura the Stylist was so warm and friendly.  We worked together to get the cars on the rack in perfect color order.  It was so interesting to see how the Pro's work to get that perfect shot.

The other great thing about the BHG team was that they were so amazing and natural with the boys.  When it came time for shooting the photo we all had so much fun.  Edmund would say to Tyler,  "OK, Ty, now play with the car on the road and go VROOM! VROOOM! VROOOM! like McQueen.  And Benny, smile at your mom for making you such a cool car rack."  It was really cute.

Before you know it, we had a bunch of pics Edmund and Laura thought would work great for the issue.  The boys got to take a sneak peak at a couple of the photo options.

The whole experience was incredibly fascinating.  Thank you to the entire team for making the day an unforgettable one.  I am especially humbled and honored to be a small part of a magazine that is a constant source of creativity and inspiration for me.

Now comes the hard part.  Waiting for the issue to hit the stands!  


Thursday, September 4, 2014

DIY Welcome Planter

Hi lovelies!  Did you know that first impressions are formed in less than 30 seconds?  When you invite friends and family to your home, the front-door entry is often the first thing they see.  Make a big impact with a charming planter at the front door to greet your guests.

How cute is this little beauty?  I literally can not wait to see it with twinkle lights during the holidays!  You can check out my full tutorial on how to make your own over at She Knows here.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Plan a Room Makeover

Now that I've totally exposed myself and let you into our disaster of a playroom/office I am totally inspired to put my thoughts down on paper to once and for all determine how I envision this room to function and look.  Whether it's your first time tackling a room or you're a seasoned designer, decorating a room can be a very daunting task.  I'm certainly not a pro but to keep myself focused I follow these 3 simple steps when planning a room makeover.

Lay of the Land

The most important thing you can ask yourself when decorating a room is…

"How do I want this room to function?"  

In this case, we need an approximately 12 x 10 room with a little nook & closet to operate as an office and a playroom.  YIKES!  Seems like an oxymoron doesn't it?

The second most important thing to do is write out a list of must-haves for the space.

In my oxymoron room I need…

for the office space
  • office desk for computer 
  • printer & paper storage
  • modem and electronics storage
  • storage for house paperwork/bills, photo albums etc 
  • sewing machine and craft storage
  • blog command central & inspiration board
for the playroom space

  • open floor play space
  • reading nook/bench
  • arts & craft table
  • arts & crafts storage
  • toy storage
  • costume/dress up storage
  • fun & inspiring decor
HOLY CRAP!  That's a lot of must-haves.  I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that decorating a room can become quite overwhelming if you don't have a proper plan in place.

Hunting and Gathering

Next comes the super fun part.  PINTEREST!  If you haven't signed up for a Pinterest account yet… well, you probably don't own a computer and aren't reading this blog.  Start by creating a board for the room you want to decorate.  I created a "Work hard, Play hard" board for the playroom/office… get it?   I have visions of my future self feverishly typing at the computer and then whirling around in a super cool swivel chair (upholstered... of course) to build the most awesome of awesome Lego towers with Ben and Ty.  It will happen.  But I digress…

Pin all your favorite things you think might work in the space.  Don't forget to pin things that fulfill your must-haves list.  Fabric choices are a great way to get the creative juices flowing.  Once you find a great fabric you can use it as a jumping off point for other textiles and paint choices.  Pin furniture, window treatments, lighting, entire pictures of rooms.  Anything and everything that inspires you.  You'll see that your pins with start to have continuity and your room & design concept will start to take shape!

Plan of Attack

Once you've defined the functionality and have pinned some design inspiration, a great way to really make your concept come to life is to create an inspiration board.  Olioboard is an easy and FREE online tool - you can upload your pinned images and click and drag them onto your board.  The design ideas are endless!

So without further ado, here is our future oxymoron Playroom Office Combo space!!  What do you think?!  I'll be sure to share our progress as updates have been made.

So whether you're thinking about freshening up a few things in your living room or moving into a new house that needs new everything, try these 3 simple steps.  And don't forget to have fun!!  Good luck!
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