30 January 2013

Look For Less: Anthropologie Bedding

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this picture on Pinterest and fell in love with the bedding. Jordan and I have been on the hunt for some new bedding  for our master bedroom and this set from Anthropologie would be perfect. I'm really loving that shade of blue. We currently have gray/white bedding from Target which is great, but is starting to look dingy thanks to a certain 85 pound pup who sneaks into our bed at night. We're working on that issue, too.
Image via Pinterest
Upon closer inspection I quickly realized that the above is actually two separate bedding sets. Now let me start by saying that I love, love Anthropologie and if you know me you know my house is a testament to that, but the prices there can scare you a little. I mean with the Rivulet bedding alone you're paying $98 for a sham. ONE SHAM. Come on Anthro, calm yourself. That doesn't even factor sheets, duvet cover, quilt, etc. I was starting to get anxiety just looking on their website.
I did a little searching around online and found a much more inexpesive alternative to the gorgeous Anthropologie bedding.
The duvet cover is from Urban Outfitters and is a lightly brighter, less ruffled version of the Anthropologie Duvet (which appears to be discontinued anyway). The sheets are a simple jersey set from Target for $25.99. If you still crave a little ruffle, swap out the $98 shams for this Euro sham from Anthropologie for $68. You can get everything above for a total of $216.99. The two Anthro ruffled shams alone would cost you close to $200.
I haven't bit the bullet and bought these yet, but I will say I'm pretty tempted. I'm loving the idea of the darker sheet set, but I'm also wondering how I will feel in the summer when I'm craving light and bright. I could always swap them out for a lighter blue or gray.
What are your favorite bedding sets that don't cost and arm and a leg? Any suggestions?

28 January 2013

Lucy's Toddler Room

I have been wanting to take new photos to share how Lucy's room has evolved from a nusery into a toddler room. It's been a long work in progress since she turned a year old in July and I am just now starting to feel like I'm somewhat finished (for now). 
In the beginning Lucy's nursery was primarily a pretty room where I changed her diapers and sometimes nursed her as she spent the first half of her life sleeping in our room (basinett and co-sleeping). Now that she has fully transitioned to a toddler and has been sleeping through the night in her own room since she turned one, I wanted her bedroom to be a place where she would want to spend time - reading, playing, relaxing. I used fabrics, paintings and small accents to add some color to the neutral pallet. I love keeping the walls and furniture fairly simple so I can  continue to change her bedroom as she grows (and as I constantly change my own mind).
I adjusted her gallery wall slightly, swapping out one of the infant photos for a more recent one and adding some color with art. The top herringbone painting is from my Etsy shop, Lucy + James, the bottom painting was purchased from Jen Ramos' Cocoa and Hearts shop.
The quilt is the Lali Toddler Quilt from Rikshaw design. This was the first item I bought when I decided to start upgrading her nursery and determined the look and color scheme that I chose to plan the room around.
The corner by the window is where I keep most of Lucy's toys, books, and other things she likes to play with when she's upstairs. The chalkboard was a vintage find from Goodeals. I swapped out the matchy-matchy ottoman that came with her glider for a pretty teal pouf from Urban Outfitters.
The opposite side of her room hasn't changed much.
Pillow covers are both from Etsy. Hello Fifa Doll from Land of Nod. Glider is from Walmart, although I don't recommend it, unfortunately. I was hoping for a more inexpensive version of the famous Pottery Barn glider and all the reviews I read said that this one was the closest people could find to an alternative. Well, it looks more yellow in person and the chair moves back an inch every time you rock it. We now have a gash in our wall thanks to this chair. But I'm hoping we won't need it much longer and that corner will be open for a small table and chairs.
I call this the 'Lucy' corner and joke that if she ever forgets her name we've got her covered. The letters are from Anthropologie, the banner I made for her first birthday party, all of the Lucy frames on top of the bookcase are either DIY by me or a gift from friends and family. There are 8 Lucy's in that corner.
And of course, Lucy's new play kitchen. 99.99% complete and I'm love love loving how it has turned out. I will share in another post more photos and details of how we revamped two ugly nightstands into this pretty little kitchen.
Our little girl is growing like crazy. At her 18 month appointment last week she was 22 pounds and 32 inches long. (Tall and skinny, don't we all wish!) She also is speaking so many words and phrases (we counted more than 50 that she regularly says or puts together) that the doctor said her vocabulary is close to what they expect of a three year old! She also can spell her name and count to 7. I plan to take some photos of our girl to share with you all more detail on how she's grown. I've been so busy lately that I've swapped my fancy Canon camera for my iPhone and Instagram and I'm missing our mini photoshoots we used to do each month.
Happy Monday!

24 January 2013

Updated DIY Page

In an effort to freshen up the blog for the new year, I have finally updated the DIY page to reflect some of my more recent projects. You now have your one stop shop for all things DIY. I'm also working up sprucing up the actual layout of the blog a bit so keep an eye out for a new look in the upcoming week or so.  For now, enjoy this quick little upgrade and take a tour through the past three years of DIY-ing.

22 January 2013

Vintage Dresser Turned Bar

If you follow me on Instagram (@jessicademaio) or you've liked the Simple Kind of Life Facebook page (see link to the right) you may have seen a sneak peek at this piece of furniture. I've been on the hunt for some time for a vintage dresser that I could repurpose as a bar in our dining room. I wanted a dresser primarily for the storage space of having drawers, but also wanted to find a unique piece that I could either refinish or leave as is. I've been looking on and off at thrift stores but never had any luck finding a dresser for under $150.

Last Thursday I was dropping LJ off to my in-laws in preparation for a night out with my hubby. On my way home I decided to check out my favorite resale shop, Goodeals. I've praised this place before and I've had some really good luck sometimes while others have been hit or miss. 

After a few minutes of walking around I came across this great dresser marked at only $25. The ticket on the dresser said 'As Is/Needs Work' so I was a little hesitant at first, but after checking the piece and seeing there was no structural damage, I was sold. My parents helped me bring it home this past weekend and I wasted no time dressing it up. 

This was just a quick styling of the dresser and I will probably change it a bit to make it more practical. The gold rimmed glasses are actually knock offs to the Anthropologie version that I found for $1.00 each (sorry Anthro..). The mermaid bottle opener was on my holiday gift guide for men. 

The whiskey jar in the above picture was a Christmas gift for Jordan. He's since filled it with a bottle of his whiskey of choice, Jefferson's Reserve. We are also patiently awaiting the arrival of Jordan's whiskey's stones to add to the bar. 

I am seriously loving this dresser. The mix and match of wood tones and the carved details make my heart pitter patter everytime I look at it. There are wheels on the bottom, but they are a bit old so I'm toying with the idea of taking them off or replacing so they don't scratch our wood floor. 

The top of the dresser is in near perfect condition. 

The front of the bottom two drawers is where the dresser is damaged. Large chunks of the front of the drawers have worn or chipped off over the years. I'm still uncertain how I want or could fix this piece up. I'm considering sanding the drawer fronts down and restaining, but for now I'm loving it flaws and all. I'm really loving the wood tones too much to considering painting, it just needs a little TLC.

Our new bar is tucked in the corner of our dining room adjacent to the wall with my lyric painted canvas. I'll be on the hunt for some art and/or a mirror to hang on the wall above the dresser.

In case you're curious we of course still have the vintage bar cart I scored from Goodwill two years ago. I use that to hold the majority of our liquor and a few glasses. I'm still in love with this lucky thrift find.

Funny enough if you had seen this shot of our dining room a week ago you would have seen a corner filled with storage boxes, canvases, and all of my craft supplies. Our dining room is finally starting to look like a functioning room.

21 January 2013

Merci Chocolate Giveaway Winner

The Merci Chocolate giveaway is now closed and I'm excited to announce we have a winner.

Congratulations to Christel! I will be reaching out to you regarding your prize.

Thank you all for participating!! Happy Monday!

17 January 2013

Catching Up with a Little Wedding DIY

Do you remember this post where I showed you some fun bridal shower DIY I did for my best friend's sister? Well the wedding was at the end of December and I was lucky enough to be asked to do a few things for the big day. 

Unfortunately between Christmas, a family dose of the flu and trying to get things done in time for the wedding, I didn't take any pictures on our good camera and only have these two shots from my iPhone. 

The sign on the left is a piece I made for the bride and groom's three year old daughter to carry down the aisle. It's pretty much the same as the "Future Mrs. Walker" sign I had put together for the bridal shower, finished with a thick piece of satin ribbon as a handle. I made sure to use a piece of wood that wasn't too heavy or bulky for the little one to carry. 

The picture on the right isn't the best quality. It was taken in the middle of the reception, which was at one of my absolute favorite places - Pizza by Elizabeths! (You can read me gushing about that place here.) The letters are actually Christmas tree ornaments from Pottery Barn. Each letter is silver and covered in pretty sparkly glitter, perfect for a winter wedding, and have a piece of rope on each to hang on the tree. I took another piece of craft wood (about two feet wide) and stained it before hand painting the word 'Congratulations'. The heart is a simple wooden craft piece I painted a deep red. Each letter is hung from the wood by a thin piece of rope. The picture definitely doesn't do it justice as you can't see the gorgeous sparkle of the letters and the rope was much less noticeable in person in the dark reception. 

Even with the craziness of the holiday season and the flu which set our whole family back, I had such a great time putting these pieces together. I have considered offering signs like the one on the left and the one for the bridal shower on my Etsy shop. I just don't want to get too in over my head. Will definitely keep it in the back of my mind, though...

My next big project is helping to plan a March baby shower for one of my best friends as well as helping her design a nursery for her little boy! 

Pssst! Don't forget about the Merci Chocolates Giveaway! It ends tomorrow at 8PM EST!

15 January 2013

Noodles on the Wall Blog Feature

I'm so excited and incredibly flattered that Elena from Noodles on the Wall reached out  to feature myself and Lucy + James as her Stick of the Week. Elena's blog shares stories of and features 'creative moms taking on the creative' and her Stick of the Week column features one mama and shares that mama's 'noodle on the wall'.

Launched in March 2012, Elena's blog Noodles on the Wall is "about creativity, inspiring nuggets, mama moments and all things creative. I am especially inspired by Creative Moms Taking On The Creative! They are making the world more fun, a little bit easier and a whole lot prettier for us and our kids. I want to share their talents, ideas and products to the world". I love this blog as it showcases creative mamas and encourages moms to seek out their creative outlet. 

Thank you to Elena for this great opportunity! Check it out here.

Don't forget about the Merci chocolates giveaway. It ends Friday, January 18th at 8pm.

14 January 2013

Merci! Chocolate Giveaway

Once the new year rolls around everyone, myself included, makes a resolution to better themselves a little. Be healthier, stay more organized, and be more thankful. Merci means 'thank you' in France, and I was thrilled when a box of Merci Chocolates arrived at my door the other day.

The box included delicious European chocolates with flavors ranging from Milk Chocolate, Cream Truffle and Hazelnut-Almond (my personal choice) to Dark Cream and Praline-Creme. Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge chocolate or sweets person. Which is why I chose to show some thanks and share my sweets with my close family and friends by having them out for visitors to snack on when they stop by the house. I love the individual packaging of these chocolates. They were made to share. 

What better way to say Merci! to you all than to share some sweet treats?

As a thank you to my amazing readers, Merci is going to give one lucky person a box of their own chocolates to share. 

To be eligible to win:

1. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me who you'd like to thankfully share your chocolate with! 

2. Also, share a link to this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment below. 

3. Want a third chance to win? Tweet a link to this giveaway and leave another comment with a link to your tweet. Three chances to enter this contest!


08 January 2013

Coffee Table Facelift

Do you remember when my mom gave us this coffee table to replace our long, not-so-baby-friendly Ikea one? It was a little beat up from being decades old, but was a great addition to our ever-changing living room. Also the fact that it was given to me by my mom makes it a little extra special in my mind. 

I love the coffee table and the size of it is perfect for our living room. It just needed a little TLC. There were many spots along the side where the wood had worn down or chipped. You can't even see the worst of it in these photos. I guess I tried to hide it when I introduced the table in the previous post.

I purchased this gold liquid gilding a few weeks back as a back up plan for some gold leaf I also bought. My original plan was to use the gold leaf on the table edge to spruce it up a bit and cover the damaged sides. After about 2 minutes and a 15 on the frustration scale, I pretty quickly scrapped my original plan. I have never worked with gold leaf before, so I may not have been doing it properly. Either way, the sheets kept sticking and wrinkling and it took me no time to decide I needed my backup plan. So I brought out the gilding.

I'll admit I made a bit of an amateur mistake and didn't sand the side of the table before applying the gilding. Oops. I had all intentions of doing so and I think I was so frustrated with the gold leaf that I just wanted to cover it up. The end result surprisingly doesn't show many flaws. 

What do you think? I feel like the photos make the gold almost look a bit copper-y. I'm ok with that, but it looks more gold in person. This simple upgrade was really easy to do as long as you do it with some patience and a steady hand. I used a thin strip of green Frog Tape along the top to leave the lip of the tabletop.

It received the thumbs up from Jordan, which is always a plus. He's usually on board with most of my projects. 

PS. Keeping it real. I stole that succulent from another place in the house just for these photos. Our coffee table usually is covered with Lucy toys, coasters with sippy cups and remotes. Makes me realize our coffee table could use some fresh flowers.
PPS. I have new pillows beign delivered this week to add to our couch and punch up the color in our living room a bit. Can't wait to share when they arrive.

02 January 2013

Kilim and Patterns and Over Dyes, Oh My!

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I'm starting to see this trend of bright colors, geometric patterns and over dyes everywhere and I can't get enough. I've purchased a rug and two pillows over the past week and I'm already scouting out what else I can add. While the colors may seem feminine on some, the geometric patterns and textures are enough to get the hubs on board with this trend.
I'll admit I was seeing the word 'Kilim' everywhere but wasn't even sure what it meant. So I checked out Wiki (one fact about me, I Google everything). Kilims are flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs produced from the Balkans to Pakistan, but these patterns and over dyes are popping up on more places than the floor. This Kilim trend goes hand in hand with the Moroccan and Aztec prints everyone seems to be sporting these days. I've selected a few of my personal favorites that I'm eyeing up.
What are some of your favorite Kilim pieces?

01 January 2013


Happy New Year! Hope you all had a happy, safe and healthy holiday and New Year's Eve.
Last night was one of the most low key New Year’s celebrations that we've had in years. My evening wasn’t surrounded by drunk friends, rich foods, fancy dresses and drinking games. Instead, I rang my New Year in with my husband, in our PJs, eating takeout and drinking bubbly.
Some of you have probably noticed that I’ve been a bit MIA on this blog for the past two weeks. The flu, the holidays and the craziness of this time of year caught up with me and I needed to take a step back and reboot. I have to admit I’ve enjoyed these past two weeks without blogging and it made me re-evaluate what I’m doing with this blog and with my personal life in general. I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. I’ve realized that it’s due to the fact that I tend to overwhelm myself, make too many commitments, pile on too many projects, and I never relax.
Don't get me wrong, I’m not done with blogging, I don’t think I could be. I’m making the decision to not let this blog run my life. I still plan to post projects I’m working on and snap shots of room updates and lifestyle topics I want to share. I want to write quality posts about topics that I’m passionate about and I want to do projects that I enjoy and not scramble to write posts because I feel obligated to fill 5 slots every week. I may have a week where I write 5 posts and I may have a week where I write one or even none. I don’t want to make myself feel guilty for wanting to take a breath.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I have 5 followers or 500 followers, I want this blog to be something I’m proud to call mine.
That being said, my New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to better myself. It might sound silly to you all, but it’s what I need to do to keep my sanity.
A few points to myself to achieve my goal:
-          Family, health and happiness come first.
-          Take the time to appreciate the moment right now.
-          Let the house be a mess for another day and take Lucy somewhere new. 
-          No more impulse decisions.
-          No more impulse purchases.
-          Be thorough and organized and finish all projects through to the end.
-      Keep our house a home and not a workshop filled with half-finished crafts.
-          Stop caring what other people think.
-          Cut the laziness. Get up for work on time. Squeeze in that work out. Put away the laundry when it’s folded.
-      Be healthier and bring lunch to work. Stop wasting money.
-          Get real sleep.
-          Do something BIG in 2013.
-          Appreciate my real life and how amazing it really is.  I have the best family and friends in the world and I want us all to make more time for each other.
Now I'm off to spend the rest of my day with my beautiful family.
Happy New Year!