Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Post!

I thought it was pretty cool when we were approached by a blogger in Australia when she asked to feature our family room HERE and I'm equally thrilled that we have followers in the UK and one reader in particular who has offered to do a guest post for us today!

Helen Davies broke straight into the design industry straight from college and is now regularly published in a range of magazines and websites in both the UK and US.
Inspired by designs and designers who seek to balance form and function Helen is always on the lookout for new ideas and a creative approach to interior design.
 Helen lives in the Northwest of England with her husband and children.
 
 
 

Stencil your way to a personalised bathroom


Maybe you don’t have room in your bathroom for cabinets, but you’ve got a lot of counter space. Some bathroom suites are like that: they don’t really allow a lot of room for cupboards, but have plenty surface space.

So you think you’ll add some freestanding storage (boxes, to you and me), but all the nice ones are too big or too small. The really perfectly sized ones, the ones that would fit just so on your countertop, are boring, brown cubes of dullness. It’s a poser: do you go for the cool ones that are the wrong size, or do you get the ones that will hold your stuff without intruding on your space - but that are so dull you want to fall asleep just looking at them?

Well, I would say there’s nothing worse than storage that is inadequate for its purpose, and I would get the dull ones. But in my home, they wouldn’t stay dull for long. See, I’ve embraced stencilling.

You can buy ready made stencils or, if you’re feeling really creative and have a clear idea of what you want, you can make your own. Then you just need paint, a brush (not too big!), some old clothes, and some time. The only limit here is your imagination - and even if you’re totally, totally unimaginative (and I’m sure you’re not), you can still do a quick image search on the net and find something pretty to copy. The beauty of stencilling (after how cheap it is, and how great it can look) is that if you don’t like the result when you’re done, you can paint over the top and start again.




 

Don’t stop at decorating your bathroom storage either - stencilling looks fab on walls, and a painted, stencilled wall can be a wonderful alternative to expensive wallpaper. This is a fun, creative way to revive your bathroom decor without damaging your bank balance



 
all images from Houzz

 

Helen Davies is also a content writer for Better Bathrooms



Thank you Helen and have a great week everyone

Amanda

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Family Dinner

 
Life is moving fast and its hard to stay in touch with friends, with family,
sometimes even with ourselves.
My family decided to begin a monthly tradition of the family dinner.
Sometimes it feels that overnight my little nieces have become practically grown women, my brother who enjoyed terrorizing me for the tv remote when we were kids now has silver in his hair.
I have come to cherish these dinners, in a sense we are all slowly getting to know each other again.. the people we have become while life was happening.
The host and meal is different each month but the spirit remains the same
xo
 
Do you have a special tradition you share with your family to keep connected?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mama got a FANCY phone

It finally happened
I joined my friends and entered a whole new world
(insert Aladdin music here)
Mama got an IPhone
that's right biotches, I'm bad!
 
 
 
But seriously, most of you are laughing because you have probably had a "fancy" phone for years.
 I held out. I fought it. I didn't want to be one of THOSE people
the ones who paid a ridiculous payment each month to
brag talk about some new App that was life changing
scan something with their phone
or consistently share instagram photos on facebook to remind us how boring their life is.. yay another picture of your kid, pet, dinner.. (you get the idea)
 
 
Guess what happened in the short time Ive been a proud fancy phone owner..
that's right, I'm that girl
and I'm not ashamed. I love it
(with the exception that I do not pay a ridiculous amount each month, obviously found a great sale)
That's right, another picture of my kids, oh and crayons, and lunch, and whatever else floats my boat.

 AND the strangest thing, my other instagram friends (we are like this massive gang of 3) kindly share a little heart on my pictures to support my lameness.
Camaraderie folks and its cool.
 
So for fun, here are a few of my super lame cool pics
 
self portrait, notice how i am looking into the distance and appear so dreamy and smart. Okay confused but who cares.

My kids cook! child labor begins early in our house

Balloons and a little boy, seriously Hallmark I know you want us.

Broken dishes from helping toddlers, It doesn't get more exciting than this

 

 My instagram photos will continue and I can only hope they become more exciting.
Until then I think its neat to have a bit of a daily photo diary.



Enjoy your week
Amanda

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bathroom Envy

A few years ago our good friends Lara and Jeff purchased a home that needed a bit of love. Besides the fact that the home has a great layout for their growing family and an amazing yard I think the bathroom sold them. It was the only room in the entire house that didn't need any work. The previous owners had knocked down a wall between the ensuite and the main bath to create one large, bright and beautiful space. Lara has done a great job decorating this very unique and unusually large bathroom. Every time I visit, I definitely have bathroom envy, can you blame me?

 
 
When we renovated our bathroom I jokingly asked if they would be willing to sell me their bathroom vanity! I looked high and low and couldn't find this model for a decent price,
its still my dream vanity..sigh.
Needless to say they turned me down




The large freestanding soaker tub is the first thing you see from the bedroom entry. The tub looks een more luxurious in person. I can only imagine how nice a long hot bubble bath would be in this beauty. The flooring is linoleum and perfect for the space. I quite enjoy the gallery wall Lara has created above the tub. Just the right touch


There are so many cute little details and touches in this very sweet washroom and its always immaculate, even with 2 little boys in the house
 
 
 
I heart this bathroom, thank you for sharing your vintage inspired bath with us.
 If you would like to be further inspired, check out some of Lara's  articles at Suite 101
 
xo
Amanda

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A new kind of Album

Last month I took about 500 photos.
Unfortunately its really difficult to decide which photos to print and which to purge.
We usually end up printing an enormous amount every few months, sorting them and stuffing into albums. The giant albums usually get put in a cupboard and are pulled out occasionally when memory lane is calling. I realized that besides the hours upon hours it took to make the albums it was also costing us a small fortune. To save on space and cost I chose not to print a single picture for the 2012 year. Instead we created a printed hardcover photo album


oooh look at me.. I'm so skinny and shiny
 
 
 
Using My Publisher we simply chose the style of album we liked and uploaded our favorite pics. You can drop them all in and let publisher place them for you or you can have a bit more creative ownership and choose which photos go where, what size, etc.




Once the album was to our liking we waited for a good sale
(because y'all know I rarely pay full price)
 
For only $70 (including shipping) we have a beautiful album that is a fraction of the size and cost of our old method. I still have thousands of pictures backed up in case I ever need them but this album really does tell an accurate story of our year with the photos we chose.

I don't think I will EVER go back to printed photos placed in albums after this

Enjoy your day and thanks for visiting
Amanda
xo

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coolest Valentine Evah

With Valentines Day soon approaching Alex and I explored some Valentine card ideas and not only did he choose this very cool photo idea but he also made the decorations, decided on the chocolate lollies and gave me a ton of laughs as he took control of our at home photo shoot. Did I mention how much I love this little guy!?  We are super hyped about the homemade Valentines he will be giving to his classmates next week


Here is how we made the coolest Valentine EVAH


 
Alex traced and cut hearts from red poster board and decorated each heart with glitter glue. I then attached each decorated heart to a paper doily
 
 
 
We purchased a few shiny hearts and cupids from the dollar store and hung the doily hearts from a clothesline in the corner of the living room to create our backdrop
 
 
We had so much fun taking pictures. It was definitely one of those moments where I was reminded that my baby is growing up.. FAST
 
We chose a pose and used PIC MONKEY to add the Valentine message and "from Alex" text to one of our hearts. I had the 4X6 pics developed and made a small slit above and below Alex's hand to accommodate the chocolate hearts on a stick made by his Grandma (thanks mom)
 
 
I HEART homemade Valentines and cards xoxo
I know his classmates will enjoy them too
 
Thanks for stopping by
Amanda


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dresser love

Last year when our television broke we replaced it with a slightly larger set which turned out to be way too big for our flimsy stand.  I held my breath each time we moved it or pulled it away from the wall in fear that it would collapse.
I have been searching FOREVER for a vintage looking dresser which might replace the old stand.
 
Finally we scored this solid wood dresser for only $40 from a family friend
 

 I had envisioned a future project when I first saw a picture of the dresser, however now that its sitting in our living room we kind of like it just as it is. Even after a good scrub we noticed that the drawers had a bit of an odour, our solution? Good old car fresheners!!

mmmmm berrylicious


 Unfortunately our cool retro dresser is still a bit too small for the space and our television. Nine drawers would be perfect so our hunt isn't over quite yet. Once we do find the right dresser, this bad boy will be destined for Alex's room and we might be tempted to change it up then.
These dresser pictures are giving me some major inspiration
 



via


via









via


                     I especially love the last inspiration pic, 
a masculine ombre finish would be perfect for any little boys room.
 
 
Amanda