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Monday, May 12, 2014

home updates {living room}

Finally it's time for me to share some updates in our house.  The living room area was definitely one of the first rooms I started working on after we moved in.  It got a lot of attention quickly, and while I definitely still have a "to-do" list of things to get accomplished in here, it's coming along quite nicely.  I'll start you out with lovely {maybe not so lovely}, before pictures...


And the living room fireplace before {I already did a post about painting the fireplace you can find here}

And here is what the living room looks like now...


A few things about the room in general: the paint color is called Oyster White by Sherwin Williams, the trim color {of what I have repainted so far} is a Benjamin Moore color called Simply White, all the hardwoods are original as far as we know - they could use a nice buff and smooth coat of polyurethane... but that's for a later day year.

First I'll mention the new rug... it's an 8'x10' rug that I bought online.  I was trying to mimic the look of the West Elm Souk Wool Rug, except I was not trying to mimic the price tag of $899!  I found a good deal on rugsusa.com during a 70% off sale and landed on the Marrakesh Shag Natural Rug.  The website was also offering free shipping, so I got a great 8'x10' rug for under $300. I'm really happy with the rug, it does shed some, because it's wool, but with occasional vacuuming it does really well.  I also really like the braided detail on the ends. Lola likes it too :) {You'll notice she made every attempt to get in my pictures in this post}

Next up the window treatments.  The woven blinds I ordered online {you think I could have lowered them to the same height to take pictures, huh? guess not...}.  They are called Petite Rustique Bamboo Roman Shades from overstock.com.  I thought I would be able to find them locally but Home Depot did not have the right color I wanted and Lowe's did have the right color, but it was their top of the line brand and were a little more expensive per shade than the ones I ordered.  They also come in several varying widths which was great, because in our old home the widths of the windows aren't always the same. I also got free shipping since my order was over $50.
These shades are not lined, so you can still see through them at nighttime with lights on in the house, but that's what the curtains are for.  They still let it good light during the daytime, making the living room have great light and still some privacy.  I wouldn't recommend getting these for a bedroom though - I'd definitely consider lined ones to ensure better privacy.  Lined shades just equal more money, so for the living room this was perfect!
Now the curtains... well they aren't actually curtains. They are bedsheets.  I'm sure some interior designers that don't read my blog just passed out... but who can beat "curtains" for $9.99 from Target??? I have friends that do this too, so I feel pretty good about it, I'm not alone! {Shout-out to Mel!} They are ivory twin sheets from Target's Threshold line.  They are the perfect length too!  The curtain hardware is also from Target, all in a black finish.


Next my beautiful, little Fiddle Leaf Fig tree.  Isn't he so cute?!?  I found him at my local florist shop, just happened to stumble upon him after wanting one for quite some time.  I got him as a really mature tree for $60, which I think is a pretty good price.  He has a braided trunk with three separate trunks.  I like him a lot.  I think someday he needs a cooler basket to sit in.

In the corner above the TV I have two picture ledges from Ikea.  I had these in my old house in my living room. The frames are from a mix of Target and Ikea.  I still need to fill the one frame with a picture. :)

The TV stand is from Target and we got it when we got married {almost six years ago!}, and I'm pretty sure Target sill sells the exact same one.  I've actually had my eyes out for an antique or maybe a good thrift find that I can refinish to replace this one.  It works for now but I'd like something with a little more of a furniture look to it.
This ottoman is also from Target and they also still sell it. :) It is also from six years ago and has seen better days, but serves its purpose.  I'd really like to replace this with a trunk but I have been unsuccessful at finding one the right size in the right price range so far.

The basket is one I found in the Target clearance section several months ago, it's from the Nate Berkus line and there are currently ones just like it with slightly different designs.  The wooden tray is also from Target, I got it around Christmas time last year.  The mug was a Christmas gift and it from Anthropologie.

The couch is the same couch from our old house.  I got it a few years ago from the Nebraska Furniture Mart clearance room, score! The crocheted throw on the back of the couch was a handmade wedding present.  The purple and blue pillows in the room are all old and from West Elm.  The black and white pillows are from Ikea, as well as the natural colored lumbar pillow.
The desk in the back corner is very old, it is an Ethan Allen piece that used to by my dad's when he was young.  The little gray end table is something I got since we moved in.  It's from a local antique store.  I really love the scallop detail on the top edge. The gold lamp is old, it's thrifted and spray-painted.

This brown chair is from Nebraska Furniture Mart and was also something we got right after we got married.  It's a chair and a half, which I like, but the quality of the fabric is pretty poor. The stuffing from the cushion underneath is starting to poke up through the fabric and it just looks kinda ugly. At first I was ready to blame Lola for shedding on the chair, but then I realized it wasn't her fault. {Also, I could have straightened up these pillows for this pic... looks frumpy...whatever}
Although this chair is one of her top spots to lounge... but see all that fuzzy grossness on the chair??? Believe it or not, that's not her fur! It's just crappy fabric.

I already posted about the open shelving we added here, but I'll point out a few new things in this area anyway.  The gold magazine holders are new from Target, love them! The little clamp light was $6 from Lowe's and I spray-painted it with a a light blue and gold.  I put an extra Edison light bulb I had around in it. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Moral of the story... I get a lot of stuff from Target. And I'm super pumped about Ikea and West Elm coming to Kansas City! More to come on the house... eventually... :)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

boston trip {round 2}

In April we were lucky enough to go back to Boston for another Boston Marathon! {You can read about last years trip here}  Our friend Tim had qualified last year to run again, so off we went with Tim & Melody for round two!

We flew in on Thursday evening and got to our hotel pretty late.  On Friday morning we drove to Hopkinton, Massachusetts {where the starting line is located} and drove the course into the city.  I love the drive because you go through some really awesome suburbs.  The houses are fun to look at! ;)
group pic @ the starting line in Hopkinton, MA

After the beautiful drive into the city, we went to a convention center to pick up Tim's packet & bib number.  After that we walked around downtown Boston a bit, and paid a visit to the finish line.  There are always lots of encouraging signs around the city at this time, but I think there were even more this year than what I remembered last year. Lots of them referencing the events that occurred at the finish line just over a year ago. I love all the clever signs that the shops along the last stretch of the race put in their windows...

clockwise from top left: the finish line // a New Balance store {I think?!} that was apparently 858.5 feet from the finish // a memorial of shoes and flowers @ a bombing location last year // large sign filled with signatures in a convention center // Starbucks' encouragement to runners passing by
Tim also got a hand made scarf for being a runner this year.  People all across the country made blue and yellow scarves for runners and they were passing them out downtown.  The man who put it on him said "Run with courage!" as he placed it around Tim's neck.  Melody also wrote her personal cheer for Tim on the large sign in the convention center...


That night we also took advantage of being in the city to go to a Red Sox game! It was fun... but also very cold.  Like 30's cold... brrrrr.

The cold weather really got to some of us....
#crazyeyes

The next day we made the trip to the Cape Cod area.  Oh my goodness... so beautiful! The houses... Mel & I were drooling.  I've always loved the east coast house styles more than the midwest style... and this trip just confirmed that even more.  Someday, if I ever get to build my own house, it will look like it got transplanted from Cape Cod.  Anyway, we had some really good food and took a quick little stroll on a beach!  Don't be fooled by the beach scene though, it was chilly!

snapped this one with my phone

Probably my favorite picture from the trip
Yeah I know, I had them face the sun in that top pic... bad photographer... :(


Monday was race day! We dropped Tim off at the starting line and Caleb, Melody, and I made our way to Framingham, MA at mile marker 6 and waited for a couple hours...
While waiting we see the wheelchair racers and racers with other disabilities go by, then we see the elite runners {aka wicked fast} go by as well.

Waiting patiently & taking up time with a photo opp // wheelchair racer // Shalane Flannigan - American runner who set a record that day! // entertaining signs along the course // Caleb & Mel updating social media and friends
We also saw the Hoyt's running in their last Boston Marathon...


Despite some kids trying to block my shot, I did get a couple of good pictures at mile 6...
Tim did the heart symbol in memory of his friend, Chad, who passed away last year while out on a run - also his bib number has "4 Chad" written out on it

Next we went to mile 17 in Newton, MA to wait for Tim to pass by.  Caleb got a really good video of Tim -- they {Caleb & Mel - I can't yell & take pictures at the same time!} were screaming to get his attention because we had to stand up on railings because there was no room anywhere else!

video


Then we made our way downtown via the subway station that was right next to us at mile 17, and got out to see Tim pass by at about mile 25.  He did not see us, as I'm sure his mind was elsewhere.  He was also hiding behind some people so I never really got a clear shot.  He might have been running beside his future self??? What do you think...?

Finished in 3 hours and 1 minute! An amazing 6:55 mile pace!

It was an amazing trip! And yes, Melody & I are really good at the Bahsten accents... :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

lovely spring things {2014 edition}

My blogging frequency since moving into our new house has been slow.... slower than I expected.  My decision making on where things go and where to hang stuff up has been a bit of a struggle.  I'm trying to be extra careful about hanging stuff because I really just don't want to have to re-do it later!  With spring around the corner I think I'll be motivated to make some more decor decisions and bring in some more color.  I always wrestle with starting a project and then getting easily distracted by other projects or potential projects {one of the major downfalls of Pinterest}!  I'm going to attempt to make myself a list of projects and try REALLY hard to stick to it!

In the mean time I've been scouting out what types of things I need to add to my decor for spring. Some I will try to DIY and some I need to buy.

First up, abstract art.  I want to try and DIY at least one large canvas using these as inspiration...


1 // Underpinning abstract art by artist Clare Elsaesser via Etsy
2 // Abstract by artist Britt Bass Turner
3 // Abstract by artist Britt Bass Turner

I really love the Britt Bass Turner painting and she does offer prints in her shop, which would make them a lot more affordable to possibly purchase in the future.  We will see how my abstract skills pan out.... I haven't had a ton of luck in the past.


I would like to buy one {or maybe more} of these...


1 // Pineapple print from Creature Comforts on Society 6
2 // Flower Child print by artist Clare Elsaesser via Etsy
3 // Navy & Yellow floral print by artist Clare Elsaesser via Etsy

I would LOVE the pineapple print for my kitchen! I admire so many of Clare Elsaesser's artwork as well.  She offers prints too, making it very affordable!


Next, I'd really like to get a wreath on my front door. Our front door has a huge pane of glass almost the width and length of the door, so having something to obscure the view would be nice since our house sits close to the road. I would like to DIY one and have been looking at some like this for inspiration...


1 // Skinny floral wreath
2 // Baby's Breath wreath {found on Flickr}
3 // Fruit & berries wreath from Style Me Pretty Living

The baby's breath wreath would be a very classic wreath that would look good anywhere and during pretty much any season.  I love the skinny looking wreaths too, I think I may attempt to make mine a skinny version.  The fruit and berries is a nice fresh looking wreath, although I would probably want to find fake fruit that doesn't look too fake.  I'm unsure how long real fruit would last...? Same with flowers though, either dried or pretty fake would be best.

If you want to see last year's "Lovely Spring Things" post, you can find it here.