Posts Tagged ‘Decorating’

Amy’s Notebook 10.26.16

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Yarn Pumpkin Inspiration

source: eighteen25

I just got all sorts of pumpkin decoration inspiration from this post.

What a sweet dinner ritual to try with your family.

Do you do date nights at home? We love them!

Pumpkin Spiked Lattes? Yes, please!

Swooning over the sneak peek of this kitchen makeover.

How creative is this pumpkin hack? I would have never thought to use an app to animate one.

Here are a few tips and reviews on shapewear options.

Pumpkin Butter Pull-Apart Bread

source: baking bites

Pumpkin butter pull apart bread made from a tube of biscuits. Dang, I wish I wasn’t gluten-free!! HEAVEN!

Two more great uses for the instant pot- pumpkin puree made easy in the pressure cooker & a pressure cooker tomato sauce. I freaking love that gadget!

Decorating ideas for parents of differently-abled children. So many things I would have never thought of!

I can’t wait to try out some of these sweater-weather recipes.

Just finished this read and it was a good one! Definitely add that one to your reading list!

Inspiring Gallery Wall

source: design mom

A beautiful thrifted home interior- inspiring for small budget decorating!

This looks so cute and easy- turn a summer chambray dress into a vest. Adorable!

I love this basket upcycle! It makes me want to head to the thrift store to recreate it.

I was pretty cozy on my flight thanks to this! I love it so much, I’m thinking about getting another one!

This might make you think differently about peel & stick flooring- I know it did for me.

The coolest book covers of 2016- I completely agree.

I love this advice to consider dressing in levels.

I don’t know if we could pull this off, but I’m loving this diy storage shed and how it flows with the rest of the home. We need a shed for storage now that our shed has been taken over by this.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo


Amy’s Notebook 10.19.16

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016





source: alice & lois

These indigo pumpkins are everything.

Another sheet pan meal to try- yum!

I need to up my bookcase game- these shelves are inspiring!

How to find all the food shows on Netflix- time for a binge session!!

The trick to the crispiest chicken and turkey skin- who knew??

Did you know that the elderly homeless population is on the rise? Breaks my heart and reminds me to stock the car for the winter again with these.

Gretchen Rubin shares 81 Children & YA books that are her favorites. (and if you don’t know her- read this book immediately!)

Speaking of books, here are 100 YA books that have little to no romance in them (great selections for your YA reader!)

10 mason jar soups to share.

Buffalo Check Cork Bulletin Board

source: i heart organizing

Buffalo Check Bulletin Board. Love this idea for organizing papers!

I can’t wait to ask my kids these three questions tonight over our family meal.

I love these 4 decluttering epiphanies. All things I need to work on over here.

Can’t wait to dig into this book for my local book club- have you read it yet?

14 small space journeys to follow on IG.

Inspiring meatless meal ideas.

Waffled Pizza Fries

source: real food by dad

Waffled pizza fries? OMG!!! I’m all over this one!

This pumpkin bread looks heavenly- would love to adapt it to gluten-free.  I also had no idea that this is a great way to store it- will have to remember this!

Tips for making pho at home- YES!!

Read this first review and belly laugh. I’m still laughing.

This is a great series for working parents- bookmarking to listen to these stories. The juggle is real.

What your wine glass should look like- oops.

Who wants to move into Hermione’s house? ME!!! ME!!!

I just discovered these- not impressed with what they did to my whites, but a good add to my other loads!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Amy’s Notebook 10.12.16

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Everything

source: our best bites

My friend, Sara, tried all the pumpkin spice things so you don’t have to- what a champ!

It’s time to show up- this is something I am working on too. Presence is so important in relationships.

Speaking of pumpkin, this pumpkin pie smoothie looks like a great autumn treat.

I am truly savoring this book this week- have you read it? You must!

A great guide to the best fall lip colors!

161 ways to add a little storage to every room in your house. What a great read for small space lovers!

The truth about work life balance. This is a good one!

Exterior Home Goals

source: white buffalo styling co.

This before and after on the exterior of this house is so inspiring! Cannot wait to do this to our house someday.

How to teach your child emotional agility.

My favorite cardigans got marked down to $6.99!!!! Seriously, jealous!

A new Halloween centerpiece- this cracks me up!

Narrow entryway inspiration- I can always use that!

Now THIS is the way to buy a house. Aren’t you inspired?

2 ways to wear a neck scarf- I want to try these!

Vegetarian Meal Ideas

source: the kitchn

25 vegetarian meals you can make in a cast iron skillet. I have this one ($20!!) and I can’t wait to put it to work!

Small change, small victories… I needed to read this today!

Love this realistic look at what trends you should be embracing this season if you are 40 or older!

This group Halloween costume is epic.

Adding this chicken cacciatore to this week’s menu plan.

A fellow ALDI fan shares her favorite items at the store. Love it!

A quick guide to buying better this fall- lots of brands that I did not know about!

Can someone please make this for my cat? Seriously awesome!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Small-Budget Crushes 10.09.16

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Mustard Cardigan

shaker stitch cardigan (so many cute colors), $19.99

Honeycomb-Stitch Infinity Scarf

honeycomb-stitch infinity scarf, $16.94

Driftwood Jewelry Organizer

driftwood jewelry organizer, $22

Fur Throws

fur throws for every room, $15.88

Halloween Garland

halloween burlap garland, $9.99

Hammered Metal Earrings hammered-disc drop earrings, $9.94

Rosette Fur Pillow

rosette fur pillow, $9.97


Amy’s Notebook 10.05.16

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Quinoa Lasagna

source: fit foodie finds

This quinoa lasagna is going on my menu planner this week.

Why absolute minimalism will never feel like home- I loved this perspective.

I love that they tested internet viral kitchen hacks (with surprising results!)

A simple slow cooker marinara sauce for busy weeknights.

“Learn to embrace a paradox: Time is precious and plentiful. To have as much time as you need for the things you want, you need to be ruthless about not filling time with things you don’t care about.”- secrets of people with all the time in the world.

I can never turn down a great twist on caprese. Get in my belly!

Stuffed Baked Apples

source: camille styles

Stuffed baked apples look like a heavenly autumn treat.

Here are a few ways to turn chicken nuggets into dinner.

Have you heard of a FEED supper? It looks like a great way to share an experience & money for a good cause.

An adorably decorated Halloween porch.

Book Styling Ideas

source: apartment therapy

New ways to style your home with books- SWOON!!

Speaking of books, I am really enjoying this read and excited to dive into this one this week!

The minimum amount you should be tipping for food deliveries.

We need to start a family movie tradition.

These apple treats look like the perfect portion size for our family.

Fake a mantle- we are still enjoying our space heater version that I painted for our office.

This is such a great budget exercise. It makes me think about my own spending.

Halloween Plate Wall

source: tatertots & jello

These are such cute decorating ideas for Halloween!

Blanket scarf diy’ing must be happening right now- this is our top article this week!

I can’t wait to give this new podcast a listen.

Meal prep IG’ers on fleek!  Off to follow them all…

I’m going to work on simplifying my email responses.

You guys must be cozy, blanket capes were your top purchase this week!

I am SO EXCITED about this new Netflix series!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo


Amy’s Notebook 09.28.16

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Italian Salad Platter from FoodieCrush

source: foodie crush

Ultimate Italian Salad Platter idea- what a great way to share a meal with friends without cooking.

Speaking of entertaining, who wants to join my Crappy Dinner Party?

Great tips for freezing and thawing food.

I hate cilantro- why do you exist?

I never knew why Honeycrisp apples are so expensive until I read this.

Take a peek at the co-founder of Anthro’s house- Um, yes please!

This navy bean, bacon, & spinach soup looks like another pressure cooker winner!

Speaking of soup, this looks like a big bowl of autumn!

I’m reading this right now and I already know it is going to be a 5-star rating from me. It’s exquisite!

Yeah, so I’m thinking about soup a lot and this one looks good too! #obsessed

Advice for choosing and hanging art in your home. I wish I would have had this advice when we were first hanging our pieces.

Excited about the next Big Library Read- are you in?

Love this Penguin classics poster!

Pumpkin Creamer Recipe from Inspired by Charm

source: inspired by charm

Homemade pumpkin spice creamer for your coffee. YUM!

Spicy red curry cauliflower “wings” sound like a great game day appetizer.

5 things anyone with food allergies should have on their phone- I need to add these to mine.

These booties are my favorite ever. I danced the night away at a Chicago rooftop bar and my feet didn’t hurt a bit. Holla!

The best foundations at different price points- might need to revisit this for fall!

Sheet Pan Bruschetta is on next week’s meal plan.

DIY Wooden Planter from A Beautiful Mess

source: a beautiful mess

What an adorably easy wooden planter.

Hamburger Helper glammed up. I admit it, I loved this stuff!

I am listening to this on audiobook because I get to meet the author tonight- woohoo!!! Pinch me please.

These are some great tips to help reduce your dining out budget.

I always love touring her home.

I’m sure you can guess my political side (if you are on the same side, you’ll enjoy this! ), but I always appreciate good documentation on both sides. Here is the presidential debate with fact checking. It really helped to read the entire transcript and the facts. Who knows? Maybe you might change your mind…

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Amy’s Notebook 09.14.16

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Sheet Pan Nachos from Damn Delicious
source: damn delicious

This recipe might help with my late night Taco Bell cravings.

How to make a week of lunches to save money- I can always use this type of inspiration!

Sweet potato toast? Who comes up with these genius ideas?

Tips to help your daughter cope with mean girls.

Grain-free pumpkin blender cookies are on my planner this week!

We have used this EVERY SINGLE DAY since we got it- I am not kidding. Saving a lot of $$$ on takeout.

Speaking of takeout, I want to make more Chinese take-out at home.

Here is what you can expect from the fall television line-up. Anything you are excited to catch?

Tips for painting exterior doors.

Almost Makes Perfect: Housewarming Party Inspiration

source: almost makes perfect

There is a feast for the eyes in this housewarming party post.

More antipasto platter goals.

I have worn this dress three times this week (no joke!).

So smart to freeze kits for breakfast casseroles.

5 mistakes to avoid when cooking eggs in a pressure cooker. Noted.

McMansion hell is my new guilty pleasure read. I love my small house.

5 funny shows to watch now. Also, this is the first time I have ever heard of traumedy as a genre.

This piece on aging and style really gave me a lot to think about.

I could not put this book down this weekend- REALLY loved it!!

Bookmarking this cute black cat cupcake for Halloween.

How to have a beautiful home with children- lots of great tips and #housegoals.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

How to Create Vignettes in Decorating

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

This is a guest post from Mo Breden, a local designer who stages the most fun spaces. I asked if she would share some of her knowledge with us on how to easily create some spaces that make us happy in our own homes.  How lucky are we to peek into some of their beautiful spaces? I hope you love this as much as I do! xo


The holidays are over and your home looks as though the Grinch visited. The tinsel, garland, and lights are tucked away for next winter, and your home has an empty and cold feeling. The pages of home magazines entice you with their perfectly decorated rooms. How can you get your space to look like that on a budget?

The answer is in a fancy word with a simple concept. – vignette.

A vignette (pronounced: /vinˈyet/) is a decorative design which creates a pretty picture by using an arrangement of several objects. In a nutshell, you’ve got to accessorize with the right pieces and in the right ways.

All you need to create a vignette is a flat surface. They come in all shapes and sizes; mantles, entryway tables, nightstands, end tables, desks, ottoman trays etc. Vignettes can be the focal point of a room and make a big statement or they can be as simple as placing a few beautiful pieces together on a side table.

Follow our DO and DON’T tips below and you’ll be vignette-ing your home in no time:

vignette-cocktail table

DO: Add some of your favorite pieces!

A vase you received for your wedding, a hand-me-down lamp or picture frame of you and your girlfriends. You’re the one walking by it every day so use the things you love. Just because the magazine showed a series of accessories that are pretty all together, add some things that have a story and add character to your spaces.

DON’T: Overcrowd your vignette to the point it loses its function.

Remember to leave room for that coffee cup and spot for your book.


DO: Create height!

Whether it’s a vase with sticks in it or a slender buffet lamp, add something that is taller than your other accessories to create pretty visual layers. For added balance use 3’s and 5’s. Either use 3 large accessories/objects in your vignette or bump it put to 5 items. Working with these odd numbers helps in creating balance and offsets the height of your tallest pieces.

DON’T: Break the bank on accessories.

Although you may not think you have an eye for pulling it all together without starting from scratch, sometimes all it takes is one inspiring piece! Grab that gold sunburst accessory from Target and place it on top of an old stack of books, a wooden box or a glass vase. Re-invent some things you already have and your wallet will be thanking you too.

vignette- long buffet

DO: Include light!

A lamp is a great thing to add to your vignette but there are ways to use natural light too. Hang a mirror, use a mirrored tray or add in a mercury glass vase to reflect the natural light and add some sparkle.

DON’T: Forget to add in some unexpected color.

Using colorful pieces adds flare to your vignette and grabs your eye as you pass by. Fresh flowers are another way to bring beauty and color in you your space.

vignette- long buffet

DO: Use textures.

One of our favorite things to do is mix textures into our designs! Mixing woods, silvers, golds, blacks and whites adds a really cool look. Find an old tin box and place it on a white washed night stand, then add in a chrome sphere or a glass table lamp.

DON’T: Expect perfection on your first try.

Whenever we create a vignette we bring options to choose from. You may have to try a few different items to find that perfect piece!

Now you have the tools to kick out the Grinch, and make your home the warm, beautiful space
you desire. Happy Vignette-ing!

Ideas for Transforming Corners In Your Home

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

In honor of our Transforming Your Spaces M Challenge, I’m republishing one of my favorite posts about transforming small areas of our home using a combination of what we have, a few new inexpensive items, and some new fun art!

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

I can’t believe that we have lived in our home 11 years now. What I saw as just our temporary residence until something better came along has now become our forever home as we inch closer and closer towards paying it off.  This is the longest I have lived anywhere and I am so proud of the updates that we have made to our space and creating a place that we can be proud of and share with our family and friends.

Tackling a big renovation on your space can feel daunting and overwhelming. When I look around there is so much that I wish I could do, but just isn’t in our budget. The good news is that small switches in your home can still make improvements to your space that can sit sweetly in your budget and time constraints.

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

Walmart challenged me to refresh a corner in my home using some items from their store and I knew exactly which corner in my home I wanted to tackle. This corner is where I live during the school year. You will find me happily flipping through library books between getting my kids off to school and on their buses or spending my evenings knitting and sipping tea in this chair in the evenings.  The wall has had these three black-and-white pictures of shoes on it for ten years and I find that as I get older and develop my style more, I am drawn to lighter and brighter things in my home, rather than the masculine tones and colors that I was drawn to before.

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

I decided to brighten up the space with a few things we had around our house (rearranging, after all is always the most budget-friendly option), to add a few fresh picks from Walmart that would fit in my budget, and then combine it with our love for great art.  At Walmart, I found two throw pillows for my chair, beautiful picture frames for under $20, a fiery red flower pot, and a small succulent that would require very little watering. I pulled in a light throw I had to bring in the lighter tones and moved a wreath that I had from our kitchen into the spot next to our clock.

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

The entire color scheme hinged around some beautiful prints I found from Janet Hill Studio on Etsy. If you haven’t heard of her, I would just run right over and spend your afternoon coffee with her shop.  We had so much fun picking art for our wall and her pictures were so amazing that it took my husband & I almost three weeks to come to an agreement together on which prints to select. These prints brighten up the space so much more than my black-and-white photos and are a beautiful conversation piece. I love them so much that I have asked my husband if I can have a print for my birthday each year. I want to fill my home with her art, it really makes me that happy.

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

Of course, once you start, it can be difficult to stop.  For me, it is a never ending process of rearranging and adding and taking away items in our home. My view from  the chair was rather uninteresting too so we went ahead and ordered one extra print.
Transforming Corners In Your Home from

Transforming Corners In Your Home from

I now have a pretty view of this beautiful piece titled, “Tallulah Shaw Rehearses Before Her Final Show. 1959.”  With our new front door and the pop of color we embraced while turning our shed into a bonus room, it is a very different hallway view from a few weeks ago.

I hope this inspires you to makeover a corner in your own home.  The beauty for me is that next week this corner could look entirely different because the joy is in the rearranging, the repurposing, and the frugal additions that can make your space so fun!


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How to Paint a Kitchen Table: Our Kitchen Table Makeover

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Originally posted in 2011, I thought this would be perfect for our Transforming Your Space M Challenge since it was a fairly simple project (after I learned a lesson!) that made a huge difference. I love paint and it’s power to transform!

How to Paint a Kitchen Table

I never dreamed that I would ever paint my kitchen table when we bought it. For ten years though we abused it daily, it survived a brutal move with a terrible moving company, and the polyurethane coating never did look right after it was damaged in route to our house on the day we bought it. The table was loved to pieces, literally, and that is why we had to paint it.

Passing through our kitchen, you might not have noticed the table’s beat-up appearance. From far away or cleverly covered with a tablecloth when it got really embarrassing, the table just didn’t look that bad.

Upon closer inspection though, your eyes are assaulted with the damage that has happened to it. The polyurethane coating was flaking away, the ends were terribly damaged on the table, and a huge gash went right through the center of it that I never thought the table would ever recover from.

We decided that we would stain the table and restore the tabletop with a nice deep and rich color. We bought lots of supplies to stain the table and I couldn’t wait to get started.

For two days I sanded the table to within an inch of its poor little life. The polyurethane coating remained. I bought polyurethane stripper and left it on the table for twenty-four hours. The polyurethane remained. I sanded the table more. The polyurethane remained.

I cried.

I rocked in the fetal position.

I kicked myself for starting a project that I didn’t feel as confident in.

I gave up.

We ate at a sad folding table and chairs for an entire week, only to discover this staining would not happen at my novice level of furniture staining.

At this point, I had nothing to lose.

We decided to paint the kitchen table.

The chairs were in good condition other than a quick reupholster to the tired fabric that had been on them. The table legs also happened to be in decent condition so we made the decision to leave the table legs and chairs in their natural wood color (partly out of laziness and partly because we needed our kitchen table back) which definitely cut down on the work.

I am no expert on painting furniture so I consulted with my best friend who has been painting her furniture recently and the ever amazing and wildly talented Kate, from Centsational Girl, who has this amazing tutorial on how to paint furniture. Between the two of them, I felt a tad more confident than I did before.

Once the table was sanded and wood filled in the spots that were really rough on the table, we applied two coats of the Zinsser Cover Stain Primer over the table. Between each coat, once the tabletop was fully dry, I gave it another good sanding and wiped it clean with a cloth. I had to admit, even with just the primer, the table was already looking better.

Once the primer was dry, I applied two coats of paint to the tabletop. We wanted our tabletop to match our kitchen cabinets so we chose Valspar Blanched Pine (7005-15) for the shade of white we were looking for. Two coats of paint were applied to it. The first coat was applied with a brush and then the second coat, I used a roller and then used a brush to smooth out any roller marks.

I did take Kate’s recommendation and added Floetrol to the paint (as directed on the packaging) which really did seem to help cut down on the mistakes that I usually make when painting. This paint conditioner will definitely be used again when I tackle another painting project.

After the paint was dry, we then applied two heavy coats of polyurethane to the tabletop with an angled brush. We allowed the polyurethane to set on the tabletop for four days with no use. I think this was one of the hardest parts about the process, but we wanted to make sure that the tabletop would really be able to withstand our daily abuse once we brought it inside.

The table legs were reattached, the new-to-me chairs were slid under it. We were in business.

Here is our newly painted kitchen tabletop.  It is not perfect, but we truly did the best we could to improve upon something we already owned.

I am so happy to have a tabletop that I don’t have to cover with a tablecloth and my husband is thankful I am done with this project, I am thankful to have reclaimed the garage, and we are all thankful that we didn’t have to purchase a new set of furniture for this room.