31 May 2012

Anthropologie Napkins Turned Wall Art

I recently purchased a set of linen napkins that were on sale at Anthropologie. I had no real plan for them, but I loved the colors and figured I would find some use for them. I also had a large Ikea frame from when I went on a frame shopping binge a few months ago. Once my napkins arrived, I had the idea to put the two togther. I only had one frame and made an impromptu trip to Ikea last weekend to grab another, along with a few other goodies.

Once put together, I loved how the napkins looked with the white mat and frame. I wasn't quite sure where to put them and Jordan suggested that we replace the mirrors above the couch in the living room. I thought it was a great idea since the mirrors had been in place for a few years now, and the framed napkins could bring a fresh change to the room. I put my hubby to work last Saturday and in no time we had the frames on the wall behind the couch.

For comparison sake, here is how the room looked before with the mirrors on the wall.

And how it looks now with the new wall art (and my ever changing collection of pillows.)

I think the framed napkins along with the miscellaneous books on the coffee table are both the perfect pop of color needed in this room. While I was craving a simpler, neutral theme for this room, I know that without at least a little bit of color, the room would start to look dull and washed out.

As a side note, did you notice I recently replaced the lamps in the living room? I was sick of the brushed nickel lamp stands we have had for the past several years. Both new lamps are from Target. I really like the look of the clear glass bottom and the gray lampshades work nicely with the pillows and other neutrals in the room. I feel they are more muted than the bright white lampshades we had before.

Have you turned anything fun into art lately?

30 May 2012

The Hunt for the Perfect iPad Case Comes to an End

Two weeks ago I shared with you some of my top picks for iPad covers. I told you I was on the hunt to find the perfect cover and came across a number of cases in a variety of price ranges. I finally buckled down and purchased a case. Which one? Actually, none of the ones I shared with you. 

I remembered seeing this iPad case from JessLC a while back featured on MadeByGirl. Loving the combination of hot pink and gold, I pinned it to my Pinterest Wish List board, long before I had an iPad to use it with. I had completely forgotten about it until recently when I was scouring the internet for the perfect case. I went back to MBG and searched the website to find where I could purchase the case. While JessLC  didn't have the exact case I originally wanted, she offered other leather iPad cases in a range of great color choices.

I had a hard time deciding which case I liked best and was leaning toward the middle and right ones. In the end I decided on the cocoa colored leather case in the middle with the coral lining. The best part of this case is that it's not just a sleeve to put your iPad in, but it actually straps your iPad down so you can use it while in the case.

I'm loving this case and can't wait to use it everyday.
What do you think? Do you love JessLC's cases, too?

29 May 2012

Life Through My iPhone

I didn't get a chance to prep the post I wanted to do today, so I'm sneaking on here during my lunch break to share recent Instagram photos and show you all what we've been up to the past few weeks.


Row 1: First dinner on the deck this year - some impromptu landscaping.
Row 2: Vintage goodies at work - painting - my favorite new scent for cleaning
Row 3: Greek salad (my new weakness) - Lucy's first crayon - Mother's Day flowers 
Row 4: Point-to-Point, an annual local horserace (or, an excuse to dress up and drink!)
Row 5: Lucy's first baseball game
Row 6: New copper shoes - Mother's Day gift - Ikea trip with my girl
Row 7: New living room art - Red Sox win with my love - feeding my shopping addiction
Row 8: Beer dinner  menu- Memorial Weekend To-Do list - My ever growing canvas collection

28 May 2012

Trend I Tried: Paint Dipped Furinture

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you are all having a great long weekend. I know we are. I always look forward to these longs weekends as I feel I can get the perfect balance of doing work around the house without feeling like I'm neglecting family time. Jordan and I worked hard on Saturday getting things done so we could really take advantage of yesterday and today. We were able to get our first dinner on the deck last night! First of many this summer.

After putting the guest room on hold due to a bit of a creativity block, I'm proud to say we're back on track. I made a few purchases this weekend, finally decided what direction I wanted to take the room, and squeezed in this last minute DIY project. 

I mentioned last week how I love the dipped furniture trend I've been seeing lately. I decided to give it a try with a table that we've had in the dining room. My plan is to move the table into the guest room and use it as a nightstand next to the bed. 

To start, I measured and taped off the legs where I wanted the paint to stop. I wanted the white to cover about 2/3 of the bottom of the table, so I measured 8 inches from the top to mark and tape off the legs.

Since I decided to use spray paint, I needed to cover the rest of the table that I didn't want painted. To do so, I simply cut up two plastic bags and wrapped them around the top of the table and used masking tape to secure them. 

I selected a spray primer and spray paint both from Rust-Oleum. The enamel paint is a gloss white. I find this Rust-Oleum paint to be the best when spray painting wood furniture. It's easy to use, dries quickly, a leave a nice semi-glossy finish.

Since my table was dark, I opted for two coats of primer.

Two coats of primer and two coats of paint later, I let the table dry thoroughly before taking off the plastic and tape. The next morning, it looked like this.

I love it!

Here is a side by side comparison of the table before and after painting. I really like the contrast of the dark table with the white legs. I was initially debating if I wanted to stain the bare wood half a different color. I also was considering painting the top white and leaving the bottom the wood color. I'm so glad I left the wood alone and painted the bottom half. I'm really please with how the table turned out. 

This project was so easy to do and I'm thrilled with the results. I can't wait to try it with another, larger piece of furniture. And maybe a few small decorate accessories, too.

Anyone else planning to dip some furniture?

25 May 2012

Lucy's 10 Month Milestones

10 months seems so old! Our little girl is maturing so quickly and growing like a weed. Two shorts months and we will be celebrating her first birthday. Time truly does fly by. A few key milestones this month:

- Stands every chance she gets and walks along furniture. Can walk using her 'walker' toy that sort of looks like a manual lawnmower.

- Has started to say a few words mostly Lyla and Elmo. Da-da and ma-ma are still regulars in her vocabulary although we aren't sure if she knows yet what they mean.

- Loves water/baths. Splashes like a fish. We can't wait to bring her back to the pool.

- Knows the word 'no' and reacts to it. Usually listens and stops what she is doing, but sometimes tests us.

- Dances!! She is dancing so much lately. Especially to her favorite songs on Yo Gabba Gabba.

- Gives kisses - the sweetest!! Sometimes they end up a bit sloppy, but sweet nonetheless.

- Points to show what she wants. i.e., points to the TV when she wants her show on.

- Loves books and flipping through the pages to point at the pictures. Sits very well each night when we read before bed. She just sometimes like to turn the page a big prematurely. :)

- Sleeps great at night. Usually goes to bed after her bath around 8:30. Some nights she sleeps until 4 or 5. Some nights she still wakes up once to eat. She is usually awake for 'good' around 6am. Eventually goes back down for a nap in the early morning.

- Still just two teeth at the bottom. Loves to grin and show them.

- Eats like a champ. There is really no food we have tried that she won't eat - fruits, veggies, cereal, puffs, you name it.

- Still on breastmilk. Looks like we will make it to one year! Once she turns a year old we will switch or organic whole milk.

I'm sure I'm forgetting more milestones, but those are certainly the major ones.

Some shots of Lucy from my iPhone. What did parents do before the camera phone when you can snap a picture in the moment without having to run and grab the camera?

23 May 2012

Social Media

With so much social media going on these days it can be exhausting to maintain and keep up with everything. I've been trying to cover all the basics with the SKOL website. I have set up a SKOL Facebook page separate from my personal one that is updated with each post. Twitter is linked to that page and updates with each Facebook update. The Twitter is my personal account, so not all posts are necessarily blog related, although most of my free time is spent doing blog-related things. And for fun I added my Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr accounts. Feel free to check them out and follow any if you'd like. :)

There are links to most of these (excluding Tumblr) on the right sidebar, too.

And of course if you ever have any questions, comments, suggestions, send them over to the SKOL email: simplekindoflifeblog@gmail.com. I'd like to do a 'Getting to Know Me' post in the future, so feel free to send any questions you might be interested in knowing. I'll answer anything from blog-related questions (i.e., 'what is your favorite DIY project you've tackled?') or just some fun semi-personal ones (i.e., 'what is your favorite food?'). Send them my way (email or comment on this post) and I'll answer your questions in future post.

22 May 2012

TREND: Paint Dipped Furniture

One trend that I really love is the paint dipped look. I've been seeing it everywhere lately: half painted tables, chairs, spoons, baskets, anything. And they literally look like they were dipped in a bucket of paint. You can pretty much dip anything both furniture and accessories for an instant upgrade.

You can approach this trend one of two ways: using painter's tape to get a smooth dividing line, or literally dipping your accessories to get that imperfect, dripping finish. I'm personally a fan of both.

I love this trend so much that I'm going to give it a try this weekend with a side table I'm taking out of the dining room to use as a nighstand in the guest room. If it works out well, I may just dip some more furniture!

These stools are the color/style that I plan to dip the table that currently resides in the corner of our dining room. It really is serving no real purpose in there and I think will be better suited as a side table in our guest room next to the bed. The space between the bed and walls is minimal so something tall and thin like that table is ideal.

This one is my inspiration for the sofa table in our bedroom. How cool would it be to have the top dipped pink and the legs dipped gold? If I have luck with the smaller nightstand, I am definitely tackling our sofa table.

21 May 2012

April Photo a Day Recap

I'm finally getting around to recapping the April Photo a Day Instagram Challenge. I'm excited to say I finally completed this one! It was hard and there were days I was tempted to skip, but I toughed it out. Jordan had offered to do the challenge along with me to keep me motivated and I even outlasted him! Here the topics for each day, followed by my photos for all.

I missed the boat on May's challenge. It started when we were on vacation and I didn't even think to look up the topics until a few days in. Maybe I'll jump back in for June.