Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mom's Reading Nook- A.K.A. My New Favorite Corner of The House

I love to read.

reading chair

I love to curl up with a good book, a hot cup of coffee (or glass of wine), and get lost in the pages.   As a mom, it's hard to find the time.  Squeezing in a few minutes every day or every other day is the most I can do lately.  I decided to set up a little corner of my bedroom as my very own reading nook.

A quiet place........... away from the chaos............ where I can steal a few minutes.............. to read and relax.

mom cave
It was pretty simple.  I already had the chair in here (Arhaus) and the rest, besides the curtains I made, came from shopping the house.  I took the lamp from the hubs office.  I'm using a vintage picnic basket as a side table.  The horse picture is an old diy project.  The other frames and things were found in the storage closet in our basement.

mom cave

It's just a little collection of things I love.  I framed a cocktail napkin from our wedding (in case you were wondering what was in the frame at the top right).

I have all the essentials.
mom cave

Now all I need is some peace and quiet.  ;)

Do you have a reading nook?  Where do you like to curl up and read?  And for the record, I'm not a "nook" or any kind of e-reader girl.  I like the feel of the pages in my hand.  I'm old school I guess - I did just start internet banking though.  ;)  Where do you stand on the e-reader subject?  My hub keeps trying to convert me.  I'm holding strong!

Linking up at Thistlewood Farm, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Miss Mustard Seed, Beneath My Heart, At The Picket Fence, Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, The DIY Showoff, Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, July 30, 2012

Giveaway: You Choose Your Prize

Happy Monday!  I have the best giveaway in store for one lucky Our Fifth House reader.  It's a giveaway where the winner gets to choose which prize they want.  Remember last week when I showed you my canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints?

napa vacation souvenir

Well, guess what?  They're offering a giveaway in which the winner gets to choose a prize from one of their four companies.  That's right - if you win, you get to choose which prize you'd like out of the following:

 - A Gift Card for an 8x10 Canvas Print from Easy Canvas Prints 

Easy Canvas Prints

-  A $30 Yard Signs Gift Card

yard signs

 - A $50 Car Magnets Gift Card

car magnets

-  A $40 Banners Gift Card


So which prize would you choose?  

To enter this giveaway: 

- Be a follower of Our Fifth House 
- Leave a comment letting me know which prize you would choose if you won!

This giveaway is open until Friday, August 3, 2012.  I'll announce the winner on Facebook.

*This giveaway is only open to US Residents excluding Alaska and Hawaii.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sick Baby & Tissues

I'm making it quick today because my little fashionista is sick today.  She started complaining of a soar throat yesterday afternoon, and then last night woke up with a fever.  I just hate when my kiddos are sick.

She's gone through a million tissues so far.  I wish we had one of these cute tissue box covers from Urban Outfitters.

                                                     Source: urbanoutfitters.com via Carmel (@ Our Fifth House) on Pinterest

Do you have a cute tissue box holder or do you keep your tissues under the sink and only pull them out when someone in your family sick?

I'm headed to the pediatrician.......hoping she starts feeling better real soon!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mom Tip: Choose Outfits Once a Week

My friend Courtney is having an organization party today!


I thought I'd share my best mom tip for dealing with the chaos of a busy week.  Even though we're still on summer vacation the school bell will unfortunately be ringing very soon and we will be back to an early morning schedule.  Getting out of the house on time has always been a struggle for me even before I had children.  I found that preparation and organization were my best friends when it came to being on time.  As a mother they've moved from BF's to BFF's.  ;)

What works best for me is choosing all of their outfits for the week on Sunday night. (I shared my other tips for a stress free morning here.)  In addition, I have a designated spot for their weekly clothes in each of their closets.

In the girl's closet..........

I use these easy to reach Ikea bins.   One is just for her weekly clothes.  In the morning she can get up and put on whatever outfit is laying on top.  Some of you may have noticed that her closet looks a little different from the last time you saw it here on the blog.  I replaced the white baskets (they moved into my pantry) with some fabric covered bins I picked up at HomeGoods.  These works great for headbands and they slide out (kind of like drawers) much more easily than the baskets did. 

I like keeping everything she needs to get dressed right here in one spot including any hair accessories.  For me it just makes it easy to grab it all at one time (especially since she usually brushes her teeth in my bathroom instead of her own?  and I don't want all of her hair stuff taking over my bathroom!). 

I painted this Made By Girl inspired canvas and stapled ribbons to the back to hold her hair bows.  

Moving on to the boy's closet.  

Boy's need a little more help sometimes (at least mine does).  You know how a man can look for something in the refrigerator and say he can't find it because it wasn't in the very front; then you can come in and find it in half a second because you actually looked for it as opposed to expecting said item to smack you in the face?  Yeah, well, that's my boy too.  SO for him instead of a bin for school clothes I use a sweater organizer with the days of the week labeled. 


I think it's important when you're organizing a space for someone else to think about how they will use the area.  I know for my son if it wasn't laid out like this he'd be coming to me every morning wondering which outfit to wear.  My kids are different people so it makes sense that what works best for them would be different too.  

Anyhow, this is what works for me and my kids.  When I slip up and don't lay it all out on Sunday night we all notice a difference.  Our mornings just aren't as smooth without "the system".  ;) 

What are your best mom tips or getting out of the door on time tips?  Anything that requires me to think less at 6 am is a good idea in my book!  My brain doesn't function all that well until around 8ish - and after 2 or 3 cups of coffee.  ;) 

Oh and one last side note I just now thought to include for any moms out there like myself that are raising tiny fashionistas. 

My girl has become quite opinionated.  Gone are the days when I could choose whatever and she'd just put it on without protest.  She has her own style, and I admire that about her.  At the same time at 6 am I don't have the time or the patience to deal with the "I don't want to wear that" routine.  I have found our Sunday night ritual to be less stressful as we choose things together, and it's also become a special bonding time for her and I.  

For more organization projects check out the organization tab up above!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Bookcases are Coming!

Since the day we moved in to this house I have wanted floor to ceiling bookcases in the hubs office.  It's supposed to be a formal living room, but there's nothing formal about the way we live.  So it was the perfect spot for my hub to set up shop.  Here's how it looked after the initial makeover I gave it back in March of last year.

Then many months after my hub told me that he didn't like having his desk against the window, so we re-arranged the furniture.  Men!  Sometime in the next week or so, a floor to ceiling built-in bookcase will be going in along the wall where the Target bookcases are now.  So today I've started..........

pulling frames down from the gallery wall.  Because I can't just have bookcases built.  I have to also put up wallpaper and change the curtain panels, obviously.  It's never just one thing is it?  Anyhow, I can't wait for the contractor to start building and installing.  For now I'm still dreaming..........

                                              Source: emilyaclark.blogspot.com via Carmel (@ Our Fifth House) on Pinterest

                                                       Source: houzz.com via Carmel (@ Our Fifth House) on Pinterest

but very soon my dreams will be a reality, although they will have a more masculine feel to them since it's his space of course (cough, at least he thinks it is, cough).  The bookcases will be a combination of these two inspiration pics.  It's going to be so great to have this extra storage space as we don't have a closet on the first floor and my hubs job requires lots of "stuff".  Now instead of piling his desk high he'll have a place to shove all his junk.  At least that's my hope anyway.

So, does one thing lead to another when you're making improvements in your home?  Do you like the look of floor to ceiling bookcases?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easy Canvas Prints (Napa Vacation Souvenir)

When the generous people at Easy Canvas Prints offered me a free canvas I literally jumped at the opportunity!  As I was going through pictures trying to decide which to choose I kept coming back to the file named "Napa Vacation".  Kuleto was the most beautiful winery we visited, and this is my favorite picture from our trip.

kuleto winery

This canvas is the perfect souvenir.

napa vacation souvenir

canvas print napa vacation

The quality of this canvas is fantastic.

napa vacation souvenir kuleto winery

Everything else you see in this vignette I already had.

canvas print souvenir

I layered the canvas over our engagement picture.  Our wedding guests signed the matte as they entered our reception.

kuleto winery canvas print souvenir

The glass vase is an apothecary jar without the lid.  I filled it up with the corks from our trip as well as from some of our date nights.  We save our corks and typically write the date and restaurant name on them.

kuleto winery souvenir

This canvas is the perfect souvenir, and I couldn't love it more!  I walk into my bedroom and I kind of feel like I'm on vacation again (until I hear my kids calling for me to get them a snack).

canvas print napa vacation souvenir

Last time you saw this room all I had here was the two lamps.  Maybe sometime in the next hundred years or so I'll actually get around to hanging some curtains.  But before I completely change directions on you, let's refocus.

The Easy Canvas Prints site is so easy to navigate.  I will definitely be ordering again.  These canvas prints have the ability to make a simple photo feel so much more special.  They would make the perfect gift too!

And FYI the folks at Easy Canvas Prints also have three other sites where they sell car magnets, yard signs, and vinyl banners.  So all of you small business owners be sure to check their other sites out as well.

*I was offered a free canvas in exchange for writing a review.  My opinions are 100% my own.  I always tell it like it is.  So if Louis Vuitton wants to send me a bag to review I am totally up to the challenge.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This Pretty Much Sums it Up

Thanks to my friend for sharing this photo - all I did was add a tag - she captured the moment.

8 adults + 8 kids + 1 beautiful beach house = 1 fun, loud, crazy, memory-making summer vacation.

Our kids obviously had a blast.  The adults did too.  But I'm pretty sure we all feel like we could use an adult-only vacation now.  ;)  

Thanks to our friends for sharing the beach house with us.  Isle of Palms is breathtakingly beautiful.  I could totally get used to waking up with an ocean view.  Although, I doubt if I had ocean views from my home I would ever want to diy anything except maybe a beach chair.  Ha!  

I'm moving slow today, but I'm moving.  How was your weekend?  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vacation Mode

Hello Thursday!  Guess what?

Yesterday afternoon the hubs, the kids and I road tripped down to Isle of Palms, South Carolina!

We're staying in a beach house with friends of ours.  My plan is to soak up the sun, play hard, read a lot, laugh 'til my face hurts, and enjoy each and every moment.

                                                                        Source: heysilly.tumblr.com via Emily on Pinterest

Be back next Monday.

Enjoy the rest of your week!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Feel free to vacation vicariously through me via Instagram.  ;)  Check the sidebar on the right to get connected.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My First Joss & Main Purchase - A New Rug

If you follow me on instagram you've already seen my new rug.  In addition, if you've checked out my diy-rubbed-n-buffed-stenciled-greek-key-tray post (that was a mouthful), you've already seen the new rug in action even though I didn't mention it at all in that post.

All I can say about this rug is ......it was fate......I have no doubt it was meant to live in my family room.

Does it not look like I designed the room around this rug instead of finding it after the majority of the room was already done?

So here's the story.  I'd been looking for a rug for the basement for months.  I never found anything that I loved.  Then one day I thought.....hmmmmm.......wonder if the rug that's in the family room would work in the basement.  Here's the old rug that used to live here.

black sliding doors

The old rug I bought at Pier 1 about 2 years ago.  It looked good in this room, but I decided to try it out in the basement just for kicks.  Shopping my house seemed like a smart thing to do especially because I couldn't find a rug I liked for that space anywhere else.  Well, wouldn't you just know it - this rug was perfect for the basement!  (I'll show you pictures of it down in the basement soon.)  Now you see where this is going.  I had finally found the right rug for the basement, but now I needed a new one for my family room.  One thing........always leads to another doesn't it?

I literally found the perfect rug for this room in less than an hour.  I sat down at my computer and randomly decided to check out Joss & Main .  If you're unfamiliar with Joss & Main, it's a members only website that offers new curated sales each day many times at up to 70% off retail!  I pretty much stalk that site although this was my very first purchase.  I saw this rug and it was literally love at first site.  I was a little worried that the colors on the computer screen wouldn't be true to life, but to my surprise when it arrived it looked just as it was pictured.

It is gorgeous, super soft, and works perfectly layered over my natural fiber rug (that I purchased at Rugs USA during a huge sale event).  I love the way this rug marries the red and blue in the room.

Sometimes you just have to go with the decorating flow, shop your house and let the process guide you.  Ha-ha - or just stalk Joss & Main.  Whatever.

Speaking of...............my friend Courtney's curator's sale goes live tomorrow, so be sure to check it out!  I have no doubt it's going to be awesome!  But don't blame me if you break the bank - blame her.  ;)


Are you a member yet?  Get out from under that rock if you aren't!  ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rub 'N Buff (How-to & Easy Tips)

As promised yesterday I'm back today with a post on how to use my beloved rub 'n buff.

how to use rub 'n buff

Okay so let's go ahead and get all the giggles out first because yes we're talking about "how-to rub 'n buff" and yes that just brings out the 12 year old in all of us.  I mean couldn't they have named it something other than "rub 'n buff"?

Although for those of you who are expert rubbers and buffers you understand completely why this is its name.  The name gives you the instructions on how to use this product.  It really is just as simple as: step 1 - rub, step 2 - buff - the end - awesome.  Except the first few times you use it you may think you're doing it all wrong.  At least that was my own experience.

So here are a few tips and things I've learned through trial and error.

1. Use your fingers. 
rub 'n buff tutorial

I've tried using a brush or a sponge applicator but it never works out as well as when I use my fingers.  I've also tried to wear a rubber glove and wasn't very happy with the results.  I've learned, for myself, that using my fingers while messy yields the best results.

Speaking of messy fingers, when it comes to clean up I use warm to hot water and a mild dish soap.  The tube itself recommends mineral spirits, but I've found that hot water and soap works best.  Sometimes I use a scrub sponge or an old toothbrush.

2. A little goes a long way but sometimes it takes more than one coat. 

rub 'n buff tips

Here I squeezed a very small amount on to my ring finger and covered this much.

using rub 'n buff

Sometimes the first application doesn't completely cover.  If you try to glob it on it will start to pill up and it won't spread very well.  The best thing to do if the first coat doesn't cover the way you want it to is to let it dry for a few hours and then apply another coat.  This is what I had to do on the silver brackets I used on this tray - 2 coats of gold leaf rub 'n buff gave me the desired results.

tips and tricks for using rub 'n buff

3. You literally rub and then buff.  

This mirror started out like this.

I rubbed (back and forth motion) silver on the entire mirror. 

rub 'n buff - how to

And then used an old t-shirt to buff (tiny circles).

tips for using rub 'n buff for home decor projects

rub 'n buff  - tips and tricks to using it

4.  Use it in a well ventilated area.

As compared to spray paint it really isn't super fume-y but having a fan going and/or an open window is best.

5. You can use it on practically everything! 

The awesome thing about rub 'n buff is that 1. you don't need to prime first 2. you can use it on almost any surface - wood, metal, glass, etc.

* Edited to add  - It does sometimes help to sand lightly before applying to achieve a nice, smooth finish.  You can also sand lightly in between coats.

I've used it on sconces......

rub 'n buff on sconces

on lamps.......

rub 'n buff lamp makeover

on spoons.......

rub 'n buff wooden spoons

                  outdoor chair makeover using rub 'n buff

on frames.......

using rub 'n buff to dress up picture frames

and most recently this stenciled tray

                 diy rub 'n buff stenciled tray

The only limitations are the colors available although you can find more options for colors online than you can in most craft stores.

So there is my 2 cents on rubbing 'n buffing.  Hope this post helps any of you who have yet to try it or have felt like you weren't getting the results you desire.  I honestly think that it takes a little practice to get the hang of using it and every project is different.  In my experience it goes on wood differently than it goes  on metal.  If you've never used rub 'n buff before you may want to experiment on some smaller projects before diving into something bigger.

For all of you rub 'n buff pros out there, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

*Sharing this post at Home Stories A to Z, Shine Your Light

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