Let's Wrap Some Presents

First and foremost, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of my wonderful followers.  My goal for November was to reach 30 followers, and thanks to Tiffany from Living Savvy, today I am up to 50 followers!  It means more than you know, and I am so grateful for all of your comments and support as I continue on with my new adventure of blogging!

Moving on, yes, my friends, it's that time of year again.  I decided I should slowly start wrapping presents this year, and then I feel like my effort is more worthwhile because I'll be able to look at them longer.  Unlike last year, when I waited until winter break to wrap presents.  I don't even know if some were wrapped for 24 hours, and then that makes me really sad thinking about how long it took me to wrap them only to watch people rip it apart.  Except for the twin sister A, she knows how to make unwrapping a present last longer than I ever knew possible.

As mentioned here,  I wanted to reuse some of the supplies I bought for other Christmas crafts.  While at Michaels, I also bought a roll of plain brown paper (think brown lunch bag material).  I brought the materials home for Thanksgiving to start some wrapping, and what do you know, my amazing mom bought some other thinner ribbon for me to use too!  I know, I know, she's the best.  I had to wrap my roommate's gifts early because I'll sadly be leaving her to go home for break while she remains in Madison being the amazing nurse that she is (her patients are pretty lucky to spend the holidays with her).  Once I wrapped the presents like I would with any other normal wrapping paper, I added the ribbon for extra detail.  Don't be afraid to layer or lie the  ribbons next to one another.  You could also do some vertical and horizontal, but I haven't gotten around to that quite yet.  Get creative with how you write the names too so that you aren't left with too much space, unless you like space, then by all means go for it!  Lesson learned from the first one I wrapped, which may or may not be the reason I have the presents stacked on one another in the pictures:


While I was home, my mom also started to do some Christmas decorating, which looks great might I add.  After I showed her how I hung an ornament from a lampshade, she wanted to do so as well at our home sweet home.  She found a great ornament; however, it was far too large to hang from any of our lampshades.  

Solution: Place it with the pinecones (is it one word or two words...I keep going back and forth and even Google is confused about it?) on the coffee table.  We both love how it brightened up the basket.

Any holiday decorating tricks up your sleeves? Do share!

Linking up at Serenity Now!

 Weekend Bloggy Reading


Erin Condren Does It Again

I'm going to stop you right there.  No,  I did not purchase another Life Planner.  However, I do have a recommendation for my wonderful friends who have recently purchased one (so excited for you by the way!).  I put clear packaging tape over my tabs to keep them nice and sturdy.  I highly recommend you do so as well because you will be sad at even the slightest bend in your January tab.  I know from personal experience.  But now, it's fresh and ready to face 2012 with a bang.

Moving on, a couple weeks ago, I purchased a deal at Plum District for $50 worth of Erin Condren products for only $25 and was extremely excited.  And then three other people I knew purchased the same deal from my link, and before I knew it, I had $50 to spend at erincondren.com for the whopping price of $0.  I know, I know...[insert compliment on how fantastic I am at not spending money here].  I'm sure you can imagine how long it took me to decide what in the world to purchase as the options are endless on her fabulous site.

At the time, I had just used my last monogrammed cards that my mom bought me some time in high school.  Yes, they really did last me that long, and no I do not know how they did.  I am not one to normally spend a lot of money on cards, so I thought now was the time to indulge.  After some time hours of searching, I found these two gems:

I opted for one with the rectangle address labels and one with the circle labels.  The best of both worlds if I do say so myself.  My cards came today, and this time I took much better pictures as I wasn't literally ripping everything apart like when I got my Life Planner here as if I were a four year old on Christmas morning.

Who wouldn't get excited to see this? Don't answer this question if you wouldn't be.  Thanks in advance.



 So content!  And who doesn't love some bubble wrap to pop?

All I can say is that I will be using these pieces of art sparingly so consider yourself lucky if you receive one in the mail.  

Have you purchased anything from erincondren.com lately?  Do you have a wish list?  I love to hear what others find on the site because I feel like there are more pretty items hiding from me at all times.


Pillows for Couch Cushions

Now don't get me wrong, I love throw pillows, as noted here, but I just can't decide how I feel about the use of them in this trend.  I'm going to need your help on this one. Pillows for couch cushions?  I'm sorry but any guy who tries to sit in this chaos will not be pleased when they can't get comfortable to watch ESPN TV (Boyfriend B would you agree??)

I love the styling of these rooms, but once again, pillows instead of couch cushions?  I could absolutely see this in a living room, but definitely not a family room.  While we're talking about living rooms, why doesn't anyone ever sit in them? Can we do something about that?



So, what do you think? Would you do this in your home or apartment or just stick to a couple throw pillows?


A Must Read: Simple Details

I thought I would take some time this morning to tell you about a blog I absolutely love and think you just might as well.  Readers meet Pam, Pam meet readers.  Classic cyber introduction.  You are oh so welcome.  Pam resides in the beautiful state of Colorado and shares her DIY projects and creativity throughout Simple Details.  Not to mention she has a gorgeous home and a knack for making things beautiful!  If you're ever in Denver, her Starbucks order is a Venti non-fat latte.  Again, you're welcome.  Here are some of her posts I wanted to highlight, in no particular order because they are all just that great.

 This is one of my favorite before and afters to date.  She did a remarkable job with this coffee table. I also just love the pillows and styling of the coffee table as well.

 A wonderful DIY that adds a special personal touch to your home. Find the tutorial here.

This is one of her more recent posts about her 11th annual Christmas Party.  This year's theme is words and so she used pages from an old dictionary for the invite.  How clever is that?? [insert answer about how clever that is]

Happy reading! There are lots and lots of posts for you to go catch up on over a morning cup of whatever you drink (I come from an extended family of Dew drinkers in the AM)! Do you have a favorite post from Pam? Did you find a project you're going to try?


Holiday Candles

What a busy, busy weekend!  I got so see my brother K play in his first hockey scrimmage, say goodbye to my sister who is off to Portland for a month (good luck!), hang out with boyfriend B, his parents, and mine, and go to the Packer game with two wonderful uncles and an equally wonderful cousin (Thanks Uncle B).  Looking forward to a long Thanksgiving break where I get to see the rest of my extended family.

In the mean time, I have discovered some wonderful ways to spruce up your candles for the quickly approaching holiday season.  As I showed you here, my lovely roommate bought some garland to add some holiday decor to our candles on the coffee table.  I had originally been thinking about working some glitter into the mix; however, luckily I had J to come up with this instead because I just don't think I would have been happy after dipping my candles in glitter.  One of those it seemed like a good idea at the time projects.  Usually I would try to do some of this on my own, but I just can't seem to find enough time for everything in my life right now.  So instead of making pretty things, I'm finding pretty things.  Here's what I would like to do if there were 30 hours in a day:




Each of these could add some much needed texture to a mantle, coffee table, end table...you get the picture.  What do you do to spice up your candles for the holiday?


Currently Dreaming Of: Patterned Pillows




Do you have a favorite place to buy pillows?  Any good Etsy shops I should check out?


It's The Little Things

I would like to preface this post with the fact that I am more than grateful for my wonderful friends and family, for boyfriend B and his wonderful family who has welcomed me in more than I could have ever hoped for, for my Elementary Ed friends, who I could not make it through this semester without, and my equally great roommate who puts up with me on a daily basis. Thanks J.

That being said, there are some little inventions/items that make my life just that much better that I would like the time to express my gratitude for on this fine morning.

1. The annoying beeper that goes off when my lights are still on, and I'm leaving the car.  Initially annoying, realistically amazing.  Oh, the number of times this has saved my battery.

2. Slippers.  There is nothing better than putting my freezing cold Wisconsin feet in the fluffiest slippers I could find.

3.  The Starbucks stopper.  I kick myself each time I use one because I didn't come up with the idea first.  Let's be real.  Walking up Bascom Hill with a Starbucks drink in tow is not pleasant without one of the these stoppers.  Thanks for saving my hands and clothes from being covered in Chai tea whoever you are. 

While we're on this topic if you're ever looking to buy me a Starbucks drink, this is my preference: in fall/winter-tall non-fat, no foam Chai. in spring/summer-tall non-fat easy-ice Chai.  Wouldn't it be easier to surprise someone with a Starbucks drink if we all knew what each other liked?! I can't tell you how many times a surprise has been ruined by having to text or call a friend to see what they want.  Feel free to let me know your drink of choice so I can start compiling a list.  And I'm being very serious.

What little things are you finding yourself grateful for this month?


Holiday Decorating

Now I realize I'm kind of skipping over a thing called Thanksgiving, but let's get serious, I'm in my 5th and final year of college, which means my aunt still makes the amazing Turkey dinner.  Thinking about it just makes me hungry.  And, well, it's no secret that my roommate and I love Christmas so we may have gotten ahead of ourselves on this one.  Our amazing Christmas tree is already up and lighting up our apartment.  I'll save that picture for later as it received mixed reviews on a thing called Facebook.

This morning, my decorating-loving-friend S and I went to Pottery Barn's class on How to Decorate for the Holidays.  Truth be told, I didn't learn anything too mind-blowing, but it was still fun to sit in all of their wonderful chairs and ottomans for an hour.  Things to highlight:

1. Mercury glass = staple piece
2. Repurpose items. Turn them upside down, on their sides, whatever it takes to make it different to you.
3. Mix elements of nature with some more refined elements.
4. Use what you have just reorganize.  This one is a bit more difficult for a college student, as I had no decorations.
5. This one I did love: hang an ornament from a lamp...

 I added a Christmas element to my bedroom because it was lacking the holiday spirit.

Before this class, I had some ideas of my own.  Here's what I decorated our table with: 

I filled a vase with scented pinecones and then twigs I got at Michaels.  Originally I was going to get my own twigs from outside my apartment and spray paint them, but then I realized time is just not something I have a lot of this semester.  After the Pottery Barn class, I picked up these new candle holders and candles.  I liked that the holders were the same size but that I could mess around with the candle sizes.  

My next project: redecorate the art we have about the couch.  I'll post a step-by-step post later this week!


My apologies that it's not at the same angle.  There is this large tree in the corner of our room now with really pretty lights and ornaments on it. 

Last project: cover the coffee table book.  Yes book. Solo. It's lonely, and I fully intend to find it some friends soon.  My roommate J found the wonderful garland to put around the candles, and I love it.  She is also the mother of four wonderful little birdies.  Just call her Mama J.

 What decorating tips do you have for the holiday season?

Linking up with A Thoughtful Place:



Anthropologie: Not Just Great Clothes

One day this summer, I was having a wonderful day in the Third Ward with miss RK.  We found ourselves to be a wonderful shopping duo (i.e. we were extremely successful; I'm only half serious dad and Mr. K).  Our mid-shopping break consisted of ginormous cookies from the Milwaukee Public Market--holy amazing.  I tried to save some for later, but who was I kidding?

We found our way into Anthropologie where I was originally only searching for clothes but stumbled upon some beautiful vases. One even came with a plant, which is great because all I need to do now is give it a little love...well water too.  As for the other one, I headed over to Michaels to buy some fake hydrangeas to fill the vase.  All and all, these gems cost me $30ish...yes ish because frankly I don't quite remember nor do I have any clue where the receipt is.  All I remember is that it was cheaper than expected, which is always a plus.

Each time I look at the vases, I wonder what else Anthropologie has up its sleeve.  Here are some of my most recent finds:



From the pops of color on the first and last vases, to the incredible detail and texture to the ones in between, all would add such character to a room.

Do you have any Anthorpologie favorites??