Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Dream House

Like so many, I have fallen victim to the addictive nature of the 
beast known as Pinterest.

Which means I have tons of fabulous rooms and projects pinned that I no longer have time to complete because I am way too busy pinning things.

It's a vicious cycle.

And a little bit like crack.

But in my mind, I am collecting photos of what will one day be my own version of the Barbie Dream House.

I can't even begin to tell you how many hours I spent arranging and rearranging furniture, down to the last tiny fork and spoon upon Barbie's breakfast table, after receiving The Dream House for Christmas back in the early 80's.

So I thought I would share what my version of Cortney's Dream House would look like based on my extensive collection of Pinterest boards and pins.  
(Sources for photos may be found here.)

The Entryway

but with this rug:

The Living Room

The Dining Room

The Breakfast Room

The Kitchen

The Master Bathroom

The Master Bedroom

The Backyard:

And there you have it!
A tour of my Dream House.

In reality, though, I wouldn't actually want to wave a magic wand and have these rooms appear.
Because then they would be someone else's rooms and not my own.

I like working on my house over time and letting it evolve into something that really tells a story of who our family is.

But, it's always good to have some inspiration to make your Dream House a reality!

À la vie et à l'amour

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's talk about art and squirrels and Canadians

because I'm really fond of all three of the aforementioned.

Firstly, this:


It's a painting my daughter, Bailey, made for me.
It's a Boston Terrier.
It's awesome.

And, for now, I put it here in my kitchen so I can look at it all the live long day.

Also this:

It's a squirrel.

Well, a  squirrel's backside to be specific.
It's doing laundry.

The photographer, Nancy Rose, is Canadian.
She sets up cute little scenes and uses peanuts as bait and lures unsuspecting squirrels into the realm of her camera lens and ends up with photos like the one above.
And these that I found via TAXI


This last one I included for one of my devoted blog readers (my daughter's BF) who also plays the french horn and puts up with all of my posts about decorating even though he would probably much rather see musical squirrels.

You can check out more of Nancy Rose's squirrel photos through this flickr link.

And people like Nancy Rose are just one of the reasons that I really like Canadians as a general species.

Also because they make excellent maple syrup.

Have a happy Monday, everyone!

À la vie et à l'amour

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thirfty Thursday: Skirting the Issue

This Thrifty Thursday post is sort of like a band aid -
It's a good cover up for something nasty underneath.

Many a long time ago I was looking through the pages of a House Beautiful decorating book and stumbled across this photo:

I am not really sure why I hadn't previously thought to add a skirt to my vanity but I knew this would be a great solution in my bathroom and a few other places around my home to add storage space and cover up some less than attractive areas at the same time.

Such as my master bathroom:

Since I am still gathering ideas for my bathroom update I am not ready to commit to a nice fabric until paint and other details have been decided.
So I temporarily used a beige linen I already had on hand and a small tension rod.
 But you could also just staple gun it directly to the back of the vanity if you prefer.

I love that the space underneath is not wasted and it's a great way to introduce some color to the bathroom 
(unless you're using beige linen, of course.)
Aaaannnd... you can change the fabric to suit your mood/taste/season and it won't break the bank because it only takes a couple of yards.

I'm thinking about something like this from L&S Fabrics:

Or maybe this Waverly fabric from my local Joann Fabrics store:

My bathroom is not the only place where I have used a skirt to mask a storage area.
This monstrosity under my husband's desk drove me nuts every time I would look at it.
(Why can't everything be cordless?)

Hello, again, beige linen fabric skirt.

Don't judge - this is my husband's office/desk and is the single most hideous room in the house.
 Progress is slowly being made but, for now, covering crap up is the best I can do, people!

My daughter also wanted something to cover the uglies underneath her desk/dressing table and to add some femininity to a very modern table when she updated her room.

Oh, look!  A beige linen skirt again!
I must be really awful at estimating yardage because I still have tons of this stuff in my fabric stash and have used it for countless projects already!

I'm also thinking about a more tailored look for my bathroom skirt rather than one that is gathered.
Maybe something along these lines from the wonderfully talented, Jenny Komenda, over at Little Green Notebook:

Don't you just LOVE that lavender trim tape with the forest green velvet?

Hmmmm...maybe it's time to start making some progress on my bathroom.

À la vie et à l'amour

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Backyard Glamping

I do not like camping.

The idea of camping is quite lovely...fresh air, sleeping under the stars, campfires...
but actual camping just isn't for me.

I like indoor plumbing.
And electricity.
And sleeping in a real bed.

GLAMPing, however, is something I can get into!


And there are companies that you can hire to handle all of your GLAMPing needs like the Glam Camping Company :

They're a British company but you can definitely find places in the states that can provide you a fantastic Glamping experience.


You can make your own Glamp-Out.
Which is what I did last week during my kids' Spring Break!

I set up the tent we already had under the swingset.
It seems like an odd place to set up the tent but this was the only available place for set up as we do have a pool that takes up most of the yard space.  
(Not complaining about that at all - just explaining the reasoning behind the locale.)

And, yes, I probably would have gotten 'Mom of the Year' if I had figured out a way for us to be able to go down the slide right into the tent but the logistics were just not making that possible.

Even though I told the kids in advance that we would be having a Glamp Out, and they watched me lug things in and out all day long, the reveal was a surprise.
 And I was worried they would think it was cheesy and boring and hate it.


 I made our 'Camp Haney' sign using a branch from the yard, a leftover fence board and paint I had on hand.

One of my favorite touches were the cut logs that held candles.
I used a piece of firewood we had and cut it into small pieces of varying heights.
It ended up being too windy to light the candles were they were still cute and I saved them to use again.
Maybe indoors???




Glamping is all about comfort so instead of an inflatable mattress and sleeping bags I dragged a real twin size mattress into the tent and made it up with a favorite vintage quilt, afghan and TONS of fluffy throw pillows.
I also brought in a rug from the office so that our bare feet could walk on something soft.


My husband and I drank champagne out of my plastic picnic basket cups and I taught Stone to play Blackjack.
He picked up on it very quickly and beat me every round .

Even the dogs had fun jumping around in the tent.
I guess they could feel the excitement! 

I was just glad they didn't try to pee on the rug.

 The star-shaped string lights were a $2 thrift store find and were the best part of the tent itself!
I hung them with clothespins all along the inside top so that when you were laying down it was like a starry sky.

We didn't sleep outdoors but we spent most of the evening relaxing out there, eating s'mores and just enjoying our little family night.
And everyone wanted to keep it set up for the following day and night.

I can't wait for our next Glamp Out!

If you want to see more Camping and Glamping ideas check out my 'Backyard Camping' Pinterest board!)

À la vie et à l'amour

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let's Get the Band Back Together, Man!

Wow!  I can't even describe how great it is to get back to my blog.
I've really missed you all!

I wish I could say that my absence is because I was on tour in Europe,

or that I had a brief stint in some plush rehab spa facility,

or that I was hiding out on my own private island after suffering incredible backlash from negative publicity resulting from the unauthorized release of yet another one my professionally filmed and edited sex tapes...
I know - the mere thought is enough to invoke nightmares. 
And a bit of throat vomit.

But the truth is, I have been doing much more exciting and important things!

The biggest and most best-est being that I finally got the entire house painted gray!

But, since I already brought up the subject of rehab let's just go ahead and start with my bar update, shall we?

If you recall from this post, I did make a few paint and accessories changes not so long ago.

Those changes made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

For about a day

I've been told that the quirky or interesting features that make a house seem so appealing when you first look at it and, subsequently, buy it, are the things that you end up despising and having the hardest time figuring out what to do with once you've lived in your home for a while.

Does that ring true for you like it does for me?

This stupid bar is a prime example of that, my friends.
It's like an itchy butt rash - super annoying and difficult to deal with.

Anyway, when I was getting everything all gray-painted-y (including my dog), I started thinking that this area needed to look much more intentional and substantial.

Like these beauties...


So, out with the crappy old 1 inch thick white shelves and the cheap metal rails /slash /tracks/ slash/ whatever the heck those things were...

and in with some new mini L-brackets and 2 inch thick natural wood shelves.

As with ALL of my projects, this one is not 'finished' yet.
I am planning to apply gold spray paint to the mini brackets and stain the wood shelves once I have decided on a stain color.
BUT...I really couldn't wait to show you the progress!

Yes, that is a ginormous bottle of Wild Turkey that is almost gone.
No, I am not related to Janis Joplin.

It's mostly used for Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce.

And sometimes mixed with a little egg nog at Christmas time.

Every now and then I use it when I wake up feeling like P. Diddy and need to brush my teeth but the bottle of Jack is gone.

Okay, so stay tuned...
I've got some really fun things to share with you all and I know you will not want to miss a single minute of it.

I'm really glad we had this chance to chat again.
We should get the band back together more often!

À la vie et à l'amour