Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Star Wars Laser Tag Partay!

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!  We had a little family cookout tonight, and I totally forgot to take pictures!  I'm such a bad blogger!  While, I have no photo evidence of the fun we had this weekend; I do have some photos of last weekend's birthday celebration (that I promised I would share).  Which will also prove just how badly I am in need of one of those super cool silhouette machines!

My boy turned 7!  I. can't. even. believe.  I'm the mother of a 7 year old!  He is a Star Wars loving kind of boy, so we had a Star Wars themed laser tag birthday partay!  The laser tag place actually has an Indiana Jones/ adventure thing going on inside as far their decor goes, but we managed to use the force to make the decor work for us.  :)   It was also pretty dark inside so taking good photos was somewhat of a challenge.  Such is the nature of laser tag I guess.  Anyhow, I made a paper pennant with some scrapbook paper I picked up at the Hob Lob.
It's ridiculous how happy yellow clearance stickers make me :) 
I used chipboard letters to spell out Happy Birthday Collin.

I told you the lighting was not good!
The kids played two rounds of laser tag with some down time between games.  I knew I would need something to keep them occupied between games.  I raided the Target dollar section and picked up a few small metal buckets and some glow in the dark necklaces/bracelets.

Yep- that's just a craft stick wrapped with pipe cleaners and some scrapbook paper with a plain old label.  With a silhouette machine this "coulda been a contender".  ;)  
Since we weren't doing a pinata I brought in some fun little treats.  It's not a kids birthday party without lots of sugar in my opinion!

Ummm.....have you tried the dark chocolate Reeses cups?!  They are evil they're so good! 

I also used a roll of craft paper (also from Target) as a table runner to encourage coloring and writing birthday messages.

Between making glow necklaces/bracelets, coloring, and eating cake the kids were happy.  Happy kids = happy parents!  Plus the table runner is a nice little birthday keepsake too!

I went the store bought route (Kroger and yes I had a coupon) and added a couple clone troopers and fun birthday candles.  

That's my birthday boy sporting a Darth Vader getting the bunny ears t-shirt ;)  

That's my girl being a supportive sister with her Princess Leia inspired hair style :)

Instead of goodie bags the kids went home with these M&M filled miniature light sabers.  I scored a deal on these at Toys R Us thanks to being part of the birthday club.  They even let me have the display box!

I borrowed an idea from my girl Courtney and wrapped an empty soup can with scrapbook paper to hold the forks.  Once again - you could learn a lot from a blog ;)

This is my favorite picture of the party and the memory I'll remember forever.  

Have a great week!  And may the force be with you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

What Rene's Learned - "You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" - Guest Blogger Series

Here to wrap up this little series is none other than Rene from Cottage and Vine!  I was instantly in love when I stumbled upon Rene's blog.  I absolutely love her design style and on top of that she's one of the most supportive bloggers out there.  She's always so encouraging and inspiring!  I was so excited when she agreed to participate!

Hello to Carmel's readers!  I am Rene from the blog Cottage and Vine.

Wow, what have I learned from blogging?  Not sure how to begin answering this question so maybe I can break it down into categories.

As far as design goes, I have learned that a little paint goes a long way.  If it holds still, it can be painted.  I have painted plates, lamps, curtains, and walls, etc.  It is an inexpensive way to use what you have and make it fresh again.  The bonus is that it works for any budget.

 A great resource that I have learned about through blogging is etsy.  There you can find anything from business cards to custom window treatments.  I was so inspired by the etsy shops that I opened my own little store specializing in hand picked vintage finds.

The last thing, and probably the greatest part of blogging is finding a community where house nerds like myself all fit in.  We may not have the same style, but we are passionate about our homes.  We share what works and often what doesn't work.  We share resources, support, and how-to's.  Funny thing, I have always told my kids not to talk to strangers on the internet and what do I do?  I not only talk to strangers on the internet, but I show them pictures of my house and my family.  Go figure ;)

Thanks again for including me in your series Carmel!

SO true about paint; I'm always amazed at the power of paint!  Thanks for telling us all what you've learned Rene!  I couldn't agree more about the blogging community; it's so nice to be surrounded by house nerds :)   I'll have to tackle the "not talking to strangers on the internet" thing with my kids in a few years.  Right now they don't even know what a blog is :) 

Have a great 3 day weekend!!!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Erin's Learned - "You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" - Guest Blogger Series

Today I'd like to introduce you to Erin from Richmond Thrifter.  She's one of my new blog friends!  I think I found her on twitter?  Her blog name really caught my eye because I used to live in Richmond, VA.  In fact they say Virginia is for lovers and I'd have to agree considering both of my kids were born there ;)  Anyhow, I was instantly drawn in to Erin's blog as she's constantly impressing me with her thrifty finds and fantastic makeovers!  So, take it away Erin!  

Hi Our Fifth House readers!  My name is Erin and I write the blog Richmond Thrifter.  I am honored to be included in the guests this week sharing what they've learned from the blogosphere.  What a talented group of gals!  I "met" Carmel a couple of months ago when she graciously became my 200th follower and I've loved reading her blog ever since.  Love her sense of humor and amazing design sense!
So here goes!  Just a tiny glimpse into all that I have learned from this wonderful world of blogging!  Let me tell you, it was not easy to narrow it down!
1.  Oil based Primer is a lazy girls BEST FRIEND:
And my best friend goes by the first name of Zinsser.  This stuff will literally stick to ANYTHING!  Without sanding.  Yes, you heard me right, NO SANDING!!!  I am super lazy when it comes to prep work so I would be lost without this!  It seriously stinks though so use it in a well ventilated area!  I just bought the spray for the first time yesterday and it makes me insanely happy!  I was a little nutty looking around the garage trying to find things I could prime!  I rolled the top and sides of a dresser and sprayed the intricate doors in no time!   Another tip, since its oil based primer soap and water doesn't really take it of hands but vegetable oil will!
2.  No Reply Bloggers are the pits!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting comments from readers.  It makes my day!  I would be mortified if anyone ever found out how often I check for comments!  But hopefully that will never come out ;)  So here's the lowdown on No Reply Bloggers.  If you are one I can't reply to you through email (which is how I prefer since some people don't check back to the blogs they commented on).  Good news though!  Follow these steps to become a Reply Blogger!
Sign in to Blogger and bring up your Dashboard or Profile Page. Click on EDIT PROFILE.
See the third box down (SHOW MY EMAIL ADDRESS) there should be a check mark in it.

Scroll down; see the section titled IDENTITY. See the box labeled EMAIL ADDRESS. Your Email address should be in that box.
If there is no email in that box or if you don't have the Show My Email Address box checked. You are a NO-REPLY blogger and I can't email you back.
3.  Floetrol totally floats my boat!

I just learned about this stuff and your very own Carmel just wrote a hysterical post on this amazing product.  Basically it reduces or eliminates brush and roller marks when painting.  I mean...where has this been all my life?  I just picked up my first bottle yesterday and I could kick myself for not using it on the million projects I have done up to this point!  So hurry up and go get some, its pretty cheap too, around $7.00.
So thats all folks.  I could go on and on but 3 is the magic number!  Thanks again for having me Carmel!  It's been so fun!

Thanks Erin!  Funny thing is I learned about Floetrol from Kate the Centsational Girl, and I've been in love with the stuff ever since!  It's amazing what you can learn from a blog.  I feel like a learn something new just about every day!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Courtney's Learned - "You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" - Guest Blogger Series

Today we have the oh so talented and kind hearted Courtney from A Thoughtful Place here to share what she's learned from blog land!  I'm so thrilled she agreed to participate in this series as she's one of the most creative bloggers.  I learn so much from reading her blog!  She's become such a sweet friend!  I could go on about her forever but instead I'll just hand over the mic   - take it away Courtney! 

Hi there! I am Courtney from A Thoughtful Place and I am so happy to be hanging out here at Our Fifth House. Carmel has quickly become a dear friend and I so admire all that she has created in her beautiful home. When she asked me to think about what I have learned from blogging, I had to really stop and think. Not because I haven't learned anything. It's quite the opposite. I feel as though I am learning something amazing everyday. Whether it be about myself, the design world, the amazing blogging community, or the vast opportunities and services that become available to us via blogging. So here are just three of the important things I have learned over the last eight months.

Number One: The Party Pom Pom.

So I have to admit I fell in love with these little numbers. I know they are everywhere, but I hadn't really taken note until I saw them in blogland. They are so easy to make and have transformed our party decor. I have used them for tea parties and birthday parties. After the party, I use them in the children's rooms for decor. They are a great pop of color and serve as a fun reminder of the parties. I used this tutorial to make mine.



Number Two:  I am addicted to Houzz

I think I first noticed Houzz.com when I was reading through Janell's blog Isabella & Max Rooms. If you haven't already been to this site let me warn you. You will be on it for a while! It is filled with spectacular images of homes. They are fantastic inspiration and allow me to drool for hours on end. Here is one of my favorite images from Houzz

Living Room modern living room

Rachel Reider Interiors via Houzz.com

Number Three:  Printables! I never knew how many talented people there were offering adorable designs for us to print for free. I have used many of them and am so thankful for the resources. Here is one of my favorites!

Christmas Tags from Jones Design Company


You may be wondering why I am showing you Christmas Tags in spring, but as you can see, the polka dot and chevron tags can be used year round. Just too darn adorable.

I could go on and on with what I have learned. I feel so blessed to have been introduced to the talent and generosity that abounds in blogland. I can't wait to learn even more from this great series! Thanks for having me, Carmel!

Thanks so much Courtney!  I learned about Houzz through Janell's blog too!  If you've never been over to Courtney's you seriously must go now - the girl knows how to throw a kid's party like nobody's business!  She's got what I like to call "the mad party skillz"!  :)  Tomorrow, Erin from Richmond Thrifter will be here to dish about what she's learned!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Michaela's Learned - "You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" Guest Blogger Series

Today I've invited Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs to talk about what she's learned from blog land.   Michaela is one of the absolute sweetest bloggers!  She has such a passion for design and life.  I always look forward to reading her posts!  This one is no exception - take it away Michaela!  

Well hello Our Fifth House readers! Don'tcha just adore Carmel? I'm so excited to be here today sharing what fun things I've learned from blogging. Where to even start?! I've learned so many things.  The most important thing I've learned since starting my blog is how important it is to find people who share in your passion.  I've been so blessed to meet such wonderful ladies who share in my passion for design. 
But, let's get down to specifics here! 

I've learned some crazy good DIY projects.

Centsational Girl taught me how to refinish an ugly old dresser I found at Goodwill into something drool worthy:

Michaela Noelle Designs
Megan from Honey We're Home inspired me to cover my bookshelves with fabric!  Here's hers:

I learned flowers always make me {and everyone else in blogland} smile.

Melanie from Pretties and Posies shared how to create the prettiest little carnation heart bouquet (:

Even paper/fabric flowers for pins and headbands! Jones Design Company has great tutorials:

I've learned I have a sweet tooth.

I've been sparked to want to start being more creative in the kitchen with all of Val's amazing recipes!  Some of my faves:

A special treat for those who love both candy and cake! Butterfinger Cake:

The only sushi I'll ever eat: PB&J!

Do you like how I cheated and added a few things per category? I just couldn't narrow it down to three!
Thanks for having me, Carmel!


Thanks for sharing what you've learned Michaela!  Those PB&J sushi rolls are the cutest thing I've ever seen!  I'm so going to make those for my kiddos!  Tomorrow Courtney from A Thoughtful Place will be here to share what she's learned, and you won't want to miss it!   

Monday, May 23, 2011

"You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" - Guest Blogger Series

Happy Monday!  We had a such a great weekend.  My sweet boy turned 7 (yikes!), and we celebrated with a Star Wars themed laser tag partay!  The force was most definitely with us.  I promise to post a little party wrap-up, but first let me announce my FIRST EVER guest blogger series!!!!  AHHHH - I'm so excited!

With the school year coming to end I'm always amazed at how much my children have learned in a year.  I realize that while I'm no longer a student I'm still learning new things all the time.  More specifically I feel that I've learned so much since I started reading blogs and even more since I started one of my own. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to ask some of my favorite bloggers to reflect on what they've learned from blog land, and so the "You Could Learn A Lot From A Blog" series was born!  I'm so grateful to my guest bloggers for taking the time to participate in this series!  So to kick us off I'd like to introduce you to Michelle from Ten June!  I just love her and her blog!  Her style, sense of humor, and taste in music ;) are impeccable!  Take it away Michelle!  

Hi friends! I'm Michelle from Ten June. I'm sure you know this, but Carmel is one of the sweetest bloggers out there. She found a place on my blog roll after I fell in love with her dining room makeover and it's been a great friendship ever since!!
(Awww, she's the sweet one - thanks Michelle!) 

Today, I'm sharing with all of you what I've learned from the blog world, or "Blog Land" as I affectionately call it ; ) I actually want to share two things I have learned from Blog Land. I have to be kind of sappy to start- the number one thing I have learned from blogging is kindness. The positive vibe that I receive and see between other bloggers honestly amazes me each and every day. No matter what the project is or what the post is, you can be sure that someone out there will have something to say and it will be kind. You don't find that kind of love and support everywhere! Blogging is the best : )

But enough of the sappy stuff. The second incredible thing that I have learned from blogs is how to shop on Etsy! While I had heard of the website before blogging, I had no clue how many amazing things could be found on the website. Just one quick click and you can have an incredible handmade shop at your fingertips!

After reading others blogs and seeing their beautiful Etsy finds (jewelry, home decor, etc.), I have just fallen in love with the website! My favorite things to buy on Etsy are art prints- there are so many beautiful prints out there! 

In fact, I've got an Etsy print on my master bedroom wall from this shop. I framed the print in fabric and paired it with a DIY print... it's my favorite wall in our home!

So my husband and our checking account can thank all of you... from blogging, I have learned Etsy shopping!! 

Thanks so much for having me, Carmel! 

Thanks for sharing what you've learned Michelle!   You are most definitely a part of what makes the blogging community a kind place!  Isn't her master bedroom gorgeous?!  Come back tomorrow to find out what Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs has learned from a blog! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's For The Love Of Chairs #2

Last Friday's post was a no-show due to the blogger issue.  No worries though because I have a really, really good one for you today!  It totally makes up for missing last week.  In fact this week I'm featuring just one chair - it's. that. good!

Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling totally knocked me over with her dining room chairs makeover.  You know how I feel about a little ikat.  You also know how much I love a good stencil project.  Well, she totally took it to another level.  She actually created her own ikat stencil!

She made that stencil,  created her own ikat fabric (in the most beautiful color!),

and then recovered her chairs!


Is that not the most amazing chair!  I'm so in love!  


For me dining chairs are like the frosting on a cupcake  - the very best part!  Thanks Elizabeth for allowing me to share your gorgeous chairs and beautiful dining room!  Head over there for a complete tutorial.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Age Old Question

I'm finally starting to spruce up our entry foyer after over a year of living in this house.  It's time, right?!  I think of an entry foyer, no matter the size, as the first impression of your home.  It's for this reason that it has taken me so long to really do anything with this space.  First impressions are so important, aren't they?

There are two of these brass sconces flanking a round mirror over our entry table.  They were left here by the previous owners.

I'm trying to decide the age old question - to spray paint or not to spray paint?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What would you do with them?  Spray them?  What color?  Or maybe you think I should ditch them entirely for something new.  I just love all the wonderful ideas you all give me when I ask these kinds of questions!  So, dish -and thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions!


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