Time with Tahoe

It was another great weekend weather-wise. Although I wish I could have spent it on the beach, I enjoyed some play time with my favorite yellow lab by the river.

We found a great spot with plenty of sticks and where the water wasn’t too deep, but deep enough for him to swim!

He just loved finding sticks!

But not so good at sharing! grrrrr

“Mom I’m looking for a stick not a squirrel, chill out!”

Found one!! “This is the best stick ever! Mom will be so proud of me!”

Action shot!

After our swim was bath time. After all dry and clean…nap time…

Then I made some left over fish lettuce wraps, which were super easy and good!

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Dining room wall

I’ve been going back and forth with ideas for what I wanted the dining room to look like. When I first moved in, I bought a set of eco friendly furniture, but didn’t have a plan after that.

Then I found these great bookcases from Ikea that matched the furniture, so I put one on each side of the buffet.

(these are great because they are carved out at the bottom to accommodate the trim,

which allows the shelf to fit right up against the wall with no gaps).

I bought this very large shelf from Ikea almost a year ago when I bought the furniture for my art studio. It ended up being too big for the room and I never took it back because I had to borrow someones truck to get it home.

I think I finally found a purpose for it in my dining room! I was nervous about drilling holes in the wall, so I ended up resting it on the top of two book cases. I know you’re thinking “now that is tacky”, but I can’t even tell after covering up the ends with some ivy plants. So what do you think?!

I have been playing around with the placement of all of my trinkets, plants, etc. I shopped the house instead of buying new things and now the rest of the rooms look like they’ve been robbed! It’s going to be an ever-changing arrangement—depending on the seasons and the new things I buy or find at the thrift store. Which will be fun for me!

This photo from one of my Pottery Barn books is what inspired me.

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Getting outside

The weather was finally cool enough to do something outside this weekend! After 4 or 5 weekends of 90+ degree temps, I was eager to get out of the house and spend some quality time with nature. Kayaking is a favorite outdoor hobby of mine. I was introduced to it a few years ago when I was given the opportunity to try it for free. I was a bit intimidated by how low they sat in the water. But once I actually tried it I realized how liberating it felt!

One of my favorite nearby places to go is Piney Run Reservoir. It’s a pretty massive lake with lots of trees surrounding it.

As I got closer to this farm I could hear the horses.

Lots of butterflies and dragonflies were fluttering about. Every time I see a butterfly pass me I think of my grandma. I think she knows that too. When I was out in the middle of the lake there was one that circled me a few times. Pretty cool! “Hi Grandma”!

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Transforming drop cloths into curtains

I took these first two pictures with my phone on July of 09, the day I bought my condo! As you can see, I have a great view of the woods with sufficient sunlight. And notice how the fireplace that backs up to the sun room is covered with mirrors on three sides from floor to ceiling? Well the reflection floods the space with natural sunlight. On a sunny morning it’s likely you’ll see rainbows all over the room!  This space could not be more perfect for me.

Throughout the past year I’ve enjoyed observing the changing of  seasons through these windows. I watched as the leaves turned to their beautiful fall colors.

And I had a front row seat to one of the biggest snow storms of the decade on the east coast!

Now that it is summertime, my need for shade has increased, along with the 90 degree temperatures. My poor air conditioner just can’t keep up with having to keep the place cool everyday on it’s own. It needs all the help it can get and the vertical blinds that came with the place only cover the lower portion of windows.

During the day I’m always skimming through my favorite design blogs. I came across this video from the bloggers of The Lettered Cottage that included a great solution for some low budget, but expensive looking curtains! It was perfect timing because I was looking for a weekend project.

It’s really the only thing that would work because I only found one place that sold 11 foot curtains and they were way over my price range. I spent $40 on 2 drop cloths and cut them each in half to make 4 panels. This allowed me to splurge on some nice curtain rods and matching rings, so I could just clip the curtains right on! There is also room for an inside rod if I choose to add another layer of curtains in the future. I’m already working up a plan for some low budget bed sheets.

Notice how I chose to hang the curtains above the top window panel.

It definitely blocks all the sunlight from coming in and creates a more dramatic look. I think my pets enjoy the shade as well. And in the evening when the sun isn’t so intense, I love how they frame the windows.

Thank you Layla for this fabulous idea! My bank account thanks you too!

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Decor advice

One of my favorite bloggers once said “shop the house when looking for accessories.” It saves me money. And when I’ve run out of options, I use my pets as a decoration! Isn’t it great how they match my color scheme?!

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Cabinets done!!

I have become more optimistic of this kitchen transformation after seeing how great the cabinets turned out—compared to what they looked like before.

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DIY Chandelier

I’ve been obsessing over this chandelier idea for about a year now. I decided last weekend that it was time to take action, even if it ends in failure. At this point, I think I at least need to try and create it! Inspiration came from Craftynest. They posted a step by step blog on how to make this great lamp.

And their inspiration came from west elm’s chandelier

Plan A has already been shot to sh@#. Instead of having someone else do the lamination, I thought I would be saving money by doing it myself. I found what I thought was a great laminater that would get the job done, but did it? Nope! It broke the first night I used it. I guess my only option is to go to an office store and have them do the laminating for me. However, that will not be my biggest challenge. I need to find a way to make it look like a chandelier and not a table lamp while keeping the price down. So far I haven’t found anything promising. Maybe I could use the frame of this light from Ikea.

The wheels are still turning on how I can make this work. If only I knew how to bend metal rods into a perfectly round shape!

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