Tag Archives: decor

Fall Hits Home

I do love fall. It is for sure my favorite season. And although I don’t enjoy the cold weather that is to come, I love the colors of the leaves, the crisp smell of the air and the feeling like change is coming. I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but I love me some Thanksgiving. Probably the best holiday of the year in my opinion. I feel like Thanksgiving is what Christmas is supposed to feel and be like before America ruined it with things like extravagant gifts and Black Friday. Anyway, a holiday where you think about all you have to be thankful for, gather with family, eat mashed potatoes… well those are pretty much the best things all in one day.

So welcome to my fall decor and thankful home…
th decro 10 th decor 8 Meet Whiskers the Turkey. He is an old whiskey bottle that belonged to my Papa. My Nanny had kept it many years and when Doug noticed it one day at her place she told us the story. Nanny is now gone, but I hold onto anything that would keep her memory alive. Papa died when I was 8, but I have a few things that were his as well. This turkey is probably a collectors item but in this house he found a home in the seasonal decor. Th decor 9 th decor 11Here is the Thankful Paint Chip Banner I made this year. Isaac’s school-made turkey is hanging in the kitchen too so he can see it each breakfast and say “Gobble, gobble”.
TH decor5 I have a few leaf shaped bowls and plates that sit around the house in different places. TH decor1
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Th decor 6Above the stove are some crafts that Doug’s grandma has made with the nursing home she volunteers for. (They also made the pumpkin on top of the refrigerator and the “Give Thanks” sign sitting on the mantel). TH decor 4 th decor 7TH decor 3

I love this little half book. A super-craft-woman I know was making pumpkins out of old books and one of them split in half. I I got to take it home. I think it makes a great little stand. It was empty for weeks until Doug’s employer sent us a holiday card. Perf. TH decor2So, though the decor is simple and basic it makes me smile. I am reminded to be thankful each day for all the blessings the Lord has given me and our family. He is so good to us.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, from Project Momma.

I’m Seeing Stars.

Remember that song? “Oh my starry-eeyed surprise, sun down to sun rise. Dance all night, we gonna dance all night, dance all night to this DJ…” OK, thad to get that out. Sometimes I feel like I live in a musical because everything reminds me of a song, even this event decor. I hosted a National Nanny Recognition Week celebration few months back for our local professional nannies in Cincinnati. They are stars.

Theme: VIP (Very Important People). Colors: white, black, gold, and silver. And, what says VIP, like glitter stars? Nothin.
star2 I borrowed a star punch from a crafty friend of mine. I almost purchased this same one at Michael’s but my gut told me that I  could save my wallet and I texted her. star3 It was a good thing that I did not have to cut them out by hand with scissors, because this Martha Stewart glitter paper was a mess! A beautiful mess, of course. I sorted them by color and put into envelopes to take to the party venue. star4 After I was done I had all these leftover sheets with star cut-outs. They were just as gorgeous as the actual stars. So, I decided to use them as the pretty on the hand-written notes for each of the nannies. A little spray adhesive and cardstck was all I needed for this quick design. card1 Pretty, right? Plus.. I love it when things all tie in together. card2

The stars were used as confetti on the banquet table between the DIY Gold-dipped Vases. An inexpensive, quick and easy decor. Sometimes simple says classy.

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The Dining Room

I am starting to add pictures of our home to the blog. Eventually we will have a “House Tour“! dr 11Right off our kitchen is our dining room. It is actually officially our 3rd bedroom. When we bought the house 4 years ago, we didn’t need a 3rd bedroom, especially one right off the kitchen. So we made our great room into an extra large living room, and made this room our dining room. The room used to have wallpaper and 80′s shag carpeting. We peeled walls, pulled carpet, painted, and added trim to this room.

In our previous rental house we did not have a dining room. I was also spending more time in the kitchen preparing meals for my man. So I was really excited to have a place to sit and eat and enjoy meals together.
dr 4The table was a hand-me-down from Doug’s aunt and uncle. It used to be a blond wood but Doug spent a lot of time sanding and staining this bad boy. He chose the stain color to match the bench. We only had four chairs passed onto this, but the bench was another “hey do you want this?” from Doug’s grandma. The highchair was handmade by Doug’s dad for Isaac. Isn’t it awesome? It is super sturdy! Doug stained that to match as well.
dr 1On the wall behind the table are a few Pottery Barn shelves. Maybe the only thing I have purchased from the actual store, not on sale! They were my birthday present our first year married. I still adore them. The black base cabinet was a $10 purchase from goodwill about 12 years ago. It once was a TV stand in my apartment; I painted it black way back then, but it is due for another coat.
dr 5I used to store service ware, glass dishes and vases, etc. until Isaac became mobile. Then the glass went bye-bye. I would love to get doors on this friend so I could use it for safe storage again. In fact we even bought the hinges and have spare wood for the doors in the basement. Gotta make my way onto Doug’s project list! dr 7

The dining room has two entries, the other connects to the hall that leads to the other bedrooms and bathroom. From this view you can see the dining closet (also known as my office) and the built-in bookshelves! I love them. They are so fun to decorate, but I admit that they have not seen much love recently. Again, once Isaac could reach, things migrated closer to the ceiling. dr 2 The shelves are pretty cluttered with household items that needed to take another step on the stairway to heaven. On my project list is to de-clutter and prettify these shelves…again. You can see that the lower shelves hold some of Isaac’s books and a toy. When he was smaller he used to sit and play in that corner as Doug and I would finish dinner. So I kept a stash of toys and would rotate items in there to keep it interesting for him. That was a mom trick so Doug and I could eat and catch up. Isaac now eats with us and then is “all done”. He rarely sits and plays there anymore. dr 3 Our fourth chair sits in the corner near the kitchen. Since we have a small kitchen, no mudroom  and congested entry from the garage/basement I have created a little nook here. This is a place where Isaac knows he can find his shoes and jacket. We will also put anything he needs for the next day – lunch bag, backpack, snack for class, etc. We can send him to grab his stuff, which sometimes is really helpful! dr 10So there you have it. Our plain jane dining room! It is very functional for us right now. As time and budget allows, I would love to do some updates in this room:

  • Paint the room a new color, maybe a medium grey
  • Purchase a rug to break up the wood in this room. Must be easy to clean
  • Construct doors for the cabinet, and repaint
  • Artwork for the blank wall
  • Update curtains
  • Paint or add decorative paper the back of the built-in
  • Hang a really fun light/chandlier over the dining table
  • Update/move around decorative items

Isaac’s Train-themed Party

Isaac is 2 and loving life. Loving life with trains, I should say…

A few months back I started thinking about his party. I thought maybe we’d do Curious George since he loves”Ooh-Ooh-Ah-Ah” as he calls him. Then he met the train table in the toddler room at daycare and he was all about trains. Thomas, you know “The Train”, slowly rolled into this Schraer station. So, I moved from the monkey ideas to a thought of a vintage train party. Cute, right? I began pinning all these sweet ideas. I could easily do trains and leave the whole Thomas theme out. I made an Evite and sent it out.

evite- isaac's partyBut as the party got closer, Isaac’s love for Thomas (and his friends) got very passionate. So much, that we took him to meet said train as part of his birthday present. So, I embraced Thomas and invited him to the party (sigh)… for Isaac. Sadly, I ditched all the vintage ideas, except the cute train T-shirt that I already ordered from Etsy. 2 party isacI approached this birthday party much differently from the last. Year one, I felt like most of the party was about how to host the large quantity of people invited to our house. Preparation was mostly in taking care them, fitting them, feeding them, etc. We had a great time but it was a lot of work! This year, I wanted to focus on the simple things that Isaac loved with the people that love him. So we hosted a casual party on a Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. = Isaac’s prime time. We had it outdoors at a shelter within one of his favorite parks, complete with train to climb. decor 7We had his favorite foods… strawberries, grapes, apples, pretzels, cookies and juice boxes. I picked them up from Sam’s the day before. Easy. decor 5Also from Sam’s, a train-themed cookie cake! We did a cookie cake simply because we knew Isaac would like it better; he is not a big cake, cupcake, or ice cream fan. Sam’s did not have a train theme decor cake, so I asked them to tweak the Cars-themed cake. They made the road into a track and left the Cars figures off. I added my own little train; I had already bought Percy as a gift. He is the green engine below, if you aren’t as immersed in the Island of Sodor and it’s inhabitants. He was brand new and clean, so he made the cake. Sorry, Thomas. decor 4Thomas did leave his mark as the high-maintenance balloon I chased through the park a few times. He is supposed to hover the ground and I thought Isaac would love that. I finally had to tie him up since he would not behave. Isaac loves balloons right now and relates them to a birthday party, because of his Curious George book. One page has a party with balloons and he always skips to it and sings “Happy to you… happy to you.” I knew I had to have balloons for him this year. decor 9I like the thought of the kids leaving with a simple goody bag, so I put together a small sample of some of Isaac’s favorite things. decor 8Look familiar? I stole the idea from my work party snack bag. Inside a sucker, M&Ms, stickers, Curious George fruit snacks, a Thomas temporary tattoo, and a mix CD of Isaac’s Greatest hits. See the label? I copied that logo from the Evite using the an application called Grab. I basically took a screenshot of just the train picture with little man riding inside. So cute and easy!

decor 2The CD had songs that were memorable from Isaac’s first two years. Some songs Doug and I sing/sang to him. Some songs he danced to as a baby, while others he heard on the radio and picked up some words. We love music in our family, and there were memories attached to each of these songs. It is a fun gift idea for kids and their parents, especially since they are not all kiddy songs. You can buy burnable CDs, sleeves, and printable labels at any office supply store. But, I already had these at home because I bought in bulk when they were on sale a few years back. decor 3 I made a few extra CDs for the grandparents and adults without kids who may want one. We played the CD in the background at the party. I set out the goody bags on the gift table along with some leftover party hats from last year.decor 6Overall, I think this party was casual, fun, and still themed without too much work. It was a party for Isaac and the little details were all about him. The weather was great! It was nice to keep it simple and hang out with the people Isaac loves and those that love him!

train theme 2I’ll be back later in the week with some pictures from his party and the rest of his birthday week. Yep, he got a whole week!

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My Shiny Angel Christmas Mantel (and more)!

I love the holidays and there is something that I’ve been looking forward to all month long… a decorated mantel! I blame Pinterest. I had hoped to DIY some things, but time got away from me. I ended up just winging it with what I already had in the house. So here is what I call – My Shiny Angel Christmas Mantel!

Below is what our mantel looks like normally. Simple and I admit kinda boring. Thus, my hopes to get some fun decor up on this bad boy. The mantel is one of the areas that my son cannot reach. So I can put pretty and delicate things up on my adult mantel and he cannot destroy it!  And that, my friend, it is a luxury that I should be taking more advantage of!!

BEFORE: 
photoSo, I started with a clean slate. This helps me focus on what could be as opposed to what was just there. I kinda had a little plan in my mind, similar to what I had up there last year.

photo I knew that the clock would go back up, we use it and would screw with our minds if it wasn’t there. Since I am lucky to have an outlet on top, I thought about laying lights the length of the mantel.  Unfortunately, the only lights I had were green wired icicle lights. I thought that would look just plain bad, but I wanted some evening ambiance. So I used the glass hurricanes that were on the mantel with candles in them. The lights fell down inside so I just used a few pieces of scotch tape to hold the lights up and the glass hurricane to make the lights a little higher inside. (This picture is pre-tape. Too clumpy and low, right?)

photoI like the stockings hung off the mantel. I used command hooks to hang them with ribbon. In years past, I took cues from off the deep red and hunter green colors for ideas for the rest of the mantel. I love my Nutcrackers. I danced in the Nutcracker Ballet for many years as a child and teen, so they are something that I love to pull out each year. The last few years they have been on the mantel, so that is where I started…. and got stuck. photoThen I found these gold branch and berries that I had picked up from Michael’s earlier in the week. I was not sure where they would end up in the house, but I think they were $1.30  per clump. I had the small green vases in the Living Room and just popped them up there. I really liked the glittery shimmer as the shine from the Christmas lights bounced off the gold glitter.  It needed some height, so I put the gold vases that are usually on the mantel back up there. Hmm, could I do something with the glass vases? I have tons of these in different shapes and sizes. Still a tad boring. I needed more gold or a theme…. thinking….

photo…That is when my son woke from his nap. I went in his room, changed his diaper, then saw this angel music box that sits in his room. I love it because it belonged to my grandmother; she passed away about 6 years ago and we were very close. This angel is very special to me. I loved the idea of bringing it out to the mantel. I had my theme! photoSo, I went digging in the Christmas decor for more gold and angels. I found this set of 4 angel ornaments given to me by a friend. Perfect!
photoThey are each unique, playing a different instrument. They added sweetness and individuality to the decor.photoI found another ceramic angel given to me by a girl I used to care for. She was 7 years old at the time and I am pretty sure that she bought it from her school Christmas sale. You know the kind… where you give a kid $10 and they come home with 10 gifts? It is special to me though, because she thought of me and wrapped it up. She is now 22 and probably has no idea that I still have it. I forgot to get a close up of it though, sorry!

I also found some simple gold ornament balls that I plopped into the glass vases.

photoSo here is the finished product. I really enjoyed how it turned out. Not only festive and free but angelic and sentimental. We also got rid of the baby gate and replaced it with a fire! We are living on the edge people.

AFTER:

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Decorating this year was harder than is has been. Isaac is now 15 months and into everything. He is so curious and smart and we cannot be with him every second. Below, you can see him in his daily activity of investigating the tree lights.

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So, we limited the decor we put out and even skipped ornaments on the tree. Counters and tabletops were safe!

Here are a few other easy decorations…

Ornaments in  glass bowl and star tablecloth on our Dining Room table.

photo Some kid friendly objects on the bottom shelves of this bookshelf in our Dining Room…photo…and, the other gold branch and berries found a home in a vase on our kitchen table.
photo This gifted reindeer basket has been the card catcher for the last few years, though I’d love to make something clever to display them next year. Check out that cutie in the card in the front – - easily my favorite card this year! (That is one of Isaac’s girlfriends. Her mommy blogs over at hildagotrocks.)photo…and I am sure you are wondering where my Nutcrackers ended up. They are on the Living Room buffet. You also might recognize that red velvet box of from the angel ornaments? I used it to add color and height to my disply. Use what you got, right?  (The candy dish was swapped out later). The frame usually hangs on the wall with a family picture, so I just emptied the frame and hung the wreath with ribbon. Easy. photo

Well, that is all I got. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did! Now it’s time to enjoy that fire.