Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Little Jar With A Whole Lot Of Love

On February 14th my husband and I will have been together 11 years!  (Not married that whole time, but in love none the less.)  So for us it is a day packed full of love.  But...I will admit I am not a huge Valentine's Day junkie.  Chocolates, flowers, jewelry no need.  Just a great card to make me smile.  If it sings even better!  And for that same reason Valentine's Day decorations will be very simple in our home.  Actually so simple that I can put it all in one jar...our Love Jar!

This one mason jar will be the star of the show.  Beginning February 1st we will fill it with things we love about each other, our daughter, the furry ladies known as the dogs and our family as a whole.  Any time the mood strikes we will write down something we love about one another filling the jar to the brim.  And on the 14th we will read all the little notes and be filled with love.

I can't wait to see what my daughter "writes"!!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate!

As the Christmas decs came down a few weeks back my husband mentioned to me that he doesn't want our house to be overtaken by stuff and I couldn't agree more.  Although I love a good singing Santa as much as the next person I do not need boxes and boxes of holiday bling filling my garage.  I do not need ten million candles, hurricanes, lanterns, frames, bowls...the list goes on and on.  So I have been trying to reuse items I already have as well as make sure anything I do create can be used in multiple ways.  And I started with my daughter's birthday party.

I put in a good amount of time and thought into creating the decorations for my little 2 year old's shindig (more here) and the thought of packing everything up or even worse, throwing it away, would have been a total bummer.  So as I crafted and created I kept that in mind and set out to make decorations that could be reused.

This is why I used fabric for the bunting rather than colored paper.  And why I picked colors for the pom-poms that would match my daughter's room. 

So after all the partying was complete I attached the bunting to my daughter's wall using some brass nails.  BTW, I bought these nails to dress up the headboard I created for the master bedroom I few months back but I use them all the time.  I highly recommend picking up some pretty nails next time you are at the hardware store.  They really help dress up simple stuff.    

And the pom-poms now hang from the ceiling in her room.  Don't they just make you smile?!?! 

Part of my Mission Decorate resolution was to do a better job at recycling in the kitchen, but hey why not carry that idea throughout the house.  Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saying Goodbye...To Picnik

Wow, what a wonderful weekend!  I was lucky enough to spend it with three amazing women in Chicago.  The weekend was highlighted by a fabulous dinner and Aida at The Lyric Opera.  Much more fancy then my real life! 

But there was one major disappointment which came in the form of an email Sunday morning that started something like this..."Official Announcement: Picnik is closing." 

Yes, you read that right my beloved photo editing website, Picnik, is going away.  I knew that they had been purchased by Google a few months back and at the time I thought good for them but now that I know Google will be closing them down I am super bummed.  Yes, many of the Picnik features will be offered through Google+ and yes I will probably check it out to see if it is just as wonderful as Picnik but I am skeptical to say the least. 

But there is some good news...Picnik will be offering all of the advanced features for FREE until they close in April.  So although I hate to get you hooked on something that is just going to go away, the advanced features are great and until now I have been paying for them so take advantage and check it out! 

So here is a quick tribute to all the wonderful pictures Picnik has helped me create (cue sappy music)...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mudroom Redo - Part One Complete!

In an effort to make my mudroom work as a shoe / jacket / hat / scarf storage area and as a welcoming entrance from our garage the first step was to create a complete mess.  And that is exactly what I did!  Last week I pulled out the old shoe rack and stuffed everything into the closet so I could put some paint on the walls.  (Here are the deets on that.)  But of course the shoes quickly overflowed into the hallway and jackets ended up all over the floor.  Complete project backfire.

Well, today I took the first step into organizing the chaos.

Now before I go any further, let me please apologize for all pictures that come from this space.  Awhile back the overhead light exploded.  No seriously, EXPLODED!  Smoke coming out of it and everything.  It is on the list of things to get fixed, but until that happens it is really hard to get good photos in here.  OK, but back to the story...

So yes, hooks is where I began.  Crazy, I know!  But of course I couldn't just screw hooks into the wall.  I needed a little more style then that.  So I cut two pieces of wood down to size and painted them the same color as the opposite wall, Fire and Ice by Benjamin Moore. 

Then I found the studs and drilled them into the wall.  One at adult height and one at toddler height...

All working around the alarm control panel (big ugly white box on wall).  Next came 5 hooks, Antique Brass Finish from Home Depot.

Throw in some "warm things" and my mess has taken one giant step in the right direction!

So, I'm feeling good about getting this first step accomplished but there is still a long way to go.  My mom and I will be swinging by IKEA on our way home from Chicago this weekend.  She is taking me to see the Opera (wow, I am so fancy!).  So I'm hoping to pick up some storage ideas for the laundry room because my capacity for the mess is shrinking daily.  

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Beyond The Picket Fence

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthday Party For My Not So Little Girl is official, my little girl is 2.  And before I dive into the details of her wonderful birthday party I just gotta share with you a few of the many things I love about her...

~ She is adventurous...just like her mama.
~ She is very rarely shy.  She usually jumps right into the action.
~ She is a little bit of a tomboy.  (Love that!)
~ She has the same sense of humor as her dad.  They both think they are hilarious.
~ She is well lets just call it head strong.  On a daily basis this one can be a killer but in the long run I think it will make her great.

OK so enough about how wonderful my daughter is (truly wonderful, if you missed that) and onto the rockin' celebration!  Just 4 days ago if you looked out the window you would have thought it was April.  Blue sky, green grass and NO snow.  Which was great for everyone else but not so good for the sledding party I had planned.  But then a Birthday Miracle, the snow gods listened to all my pleading and the skies opened up and it snowed for two days.  It will all probably be melted away by next week but who cares...the sledding party was back on!

So sled we did and it was a huge hit!  Especially because the kids had been waiting all winter to pull out the saucers and snow pants.  We ignored those patches of grass and flew down that hill!

Kylie & Dad getting ready to zoom. (Yes, she looked like Randy in A Christmas Story.  "We'll put your arms down when you get to school.")

The indoor decs where a hit as well!  The Martha Stewart Pom-Poms looked great.

And the fabric bunting was my favorite.  Which you can learn more about here.

We used the left over tissue from the pom-poms to decorate the table as well as a few additional mini-pom-poms. 

We filled the table with cupcakes as well as all the fixins for the hot chocolate bar which was a huge hit to warm all those cold little hands.  Graham crackers, whip cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, the works! 

We made easy cut-outs to put above the mantel and filled the floor with balloons. 

And to finish off the grand event we gave play-doh to all the little attendees. 

It was truly a perfect afternoon.  And two cupcakes and lots of marshmallows later my little girl was happy as can be!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Change of Heart...and Color!

I often feel like the very moment I declare something to you, my lovely Mission Decorate Readers, I completely change my mind!  Well, it has happened again.  Just days ago (8 to be exact) I shared with you my plan to modify an armour to use as mudroom storage.  Remember this?  Maybe within hours of that post I was Pinterested.  Is that a verb?  It should be!  You know cruising Pinterest and something grabs you and you just can't get it out of your head.  Well that is exactly what happened when I saw these two pics...

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Both fabulous, right?!?! 

So today a quick run to my favorite ACE Hardware resulted in this

fire and ice

I apologize for the blurry picture!  Benjamin Moore wont let you use an pics off their site.  This was the best I could do.  Here is a link to BM to see a better shot.

I just finished the first coat and I'm loving it.  One more coat during nap time tomorrow and it will be done.  (My daughter's nap time.  No I do not nap and paint at the same time, but wouldn't that be great if I could!)  Next step is to swing by my favorite local food coop who confirmed over the phone that they have a few wood produce crates I am welcome to take off their hands.  I was warned that they are a little "splintery" so if they don't work then I'll be placing an order at for some of these babies...

...and then we keep our fingers crossed that my husband loves the purple & wooden crate shoe wall as much as I do.  Some days I question his sanity for putting up with my total lack of any!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pinterest Printables

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Are you on Pinterest?  What, you don't know what Pinterest is...OK quick explanation.  Pinterest is idea gold!  It is a wonderful idea sharing site where you can find endless inspiration.  Recipes, rooms, style, art, hair do's, workouts, books, the list just goes on and on.  And Pinterest allows you to make "boards" to help you organize all those amazing ideas.  Truly you must check it out!   

OK so now that we are all on the same page, Printables have been all the rage on Pinterest lately.  You know, printables like this...

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and this...

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Well, Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick just shared a huge secret with her readers that I just had to share with to make your own printables in just a few minutes.  You have to read this.  And if the link doesn't take you directly to her "How to make your own Printables" post (the link is being a little funky) then go back to her post from Sunday, January 8th and you will find it.  Look, I even made my own!

My plan is to print it, frame it and give it to my daughter for her birthday.  She loves Where The Wild Things Are and this is my favorite page in the entire book so it will not only be a good gift but it was fun to make! 

BTW if you are reading this and not on Pinterest you will need an invitation to join so just write a comment or email me at with your name and email address and I will send you an invitation :)  

Birthday Party Decorations

In just one week from today my little girl will be 2.  And just as all parents say... I can't believe how big she is!  Her first birthday party seems like just days ago.  Let's reminisce...

Her 1st Birthday Party had a storytime theme.  I decorated with picture book pages and gave the kiddos books to take home.  And my brother read Kylie's two favorite books to all the little ones gathered around.  It was a great day highlighted of course by this!  (Here is the full post.)

This year I started planning for the big bash early...May to be exact.  I was enjoying the lovely Spring weather when I was inspired.  Kylie's next birthday party will be a sledding party!  Brilliant!  I am going to have to deal with the weather every year for her birthday so rather than fight it, why not make the most out of it.  So sledding it is.  Invitations have been made and sent and everything was going smoothly until one major problem...WE HAVE NO SNOW!  No seriously, I live in Wisconsin.  It is January and we have absolutely ZERO snow on the ground.  Of course we don't!  So back up plans are being discussed and I am sure we will come up with something great, but in the mean time I have gotten started on the decorations (of course).

First up, the lovely oh so fun Martha Stewart Tissue Pom Poms!  They are so easy to make and are just so cheery.  I just love them.   

Now quick disclaimer...the above picture is not of the pom poms I made.  This pic is from Young House Love.  Mine are very similar...Pink, Yellow and Green...but are still hiding away from the birthday girl so I couldn't take a pic yet.  But that will come soon :)

To her credit, Martha Stewart gives an easy to follow tutorial with pics here so if you want to make these yourself check it out! 

My next project was equally easy, fabric bunting.  (I actually don't know if this qualifies as bunting but it is a fun word so we are going with it!)  I picked up some fabric quarters and fished thru the remnants bin to find a lovely mixtures of colors and patterns.

I cut all the fabric in stripes of random length and width...

And then simply hot glued each strip onto ribbon.

And the best part is I can reuse both of these projects as more permanent decs Ky's room. 

So more decorations are in the works and even though the snow has decided not to cooperate with us I am certain it will be a wonderful day!  And don't worry, I will give you all the fun details next week! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help Me Help You

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If you had asked me 3 years ago what blogging really was I would have told you I had no idea.  2 years ago I heard the blog Thrifty Decor Chick mentioned on the Nate Show and got totally hooked.  And 1 year ago Mission Decorate was born and totally changed my life. 

As I have jumped into the home decor blogging world I have been amazed and impressed by all those authors out there who have turned their little blogs into big business.  Yes, people do make a living (and some, a very good living) off of blogging.  Mission Decorate all began with the idea why not me and so once again I come back to that very first spark...why not me! 

Now making money off a blog is a very slippery slope.  It is easy to let something that you once loved be overtaken by sponsors, numbers and money.  Really the best advice that many great bloggers keep coming back to is to blog because you love it and if money follows even better.  But the real truth is that writing this kind of blog not only takes a lot of time but it does take money.  And even though I make every effort to share with you thrifty decor ideas even thrifty isn't free! 

So here is all I am really saying...I hope you, my Mission Decorate family, will support me as I strive to build followers, increase readership and sponsorship.  And with that support I promise you I will not devalue your Mission Decorate experience.  I will not sponsor anything that I do not truly believe in and I will always disclose if I am being paid for any material I bring to you.

And here is how you can Help Me Help You.  If you are not already a Mission Decorate "follower" please become one just by clicking on "follow" in the upper left hand corner of your screen.  And / or "like" Mission Decorate on Facebook by clicking here.  The more followers I get the more opportunites I have to bring you great things like giveaways and discounts!  If you have any interest in learning more about sponsorship opportunities click on Advertise! above.  But most of all please tell your friends!  The best flattery is a referral so if you enjoy reading Mission Decorate then tell your friends about it!

So thank you for indulging me with this post.  I know it is out of character for me and I know it is probably not what you came to read today but I really feel passionately about Mission Decorate and I would love more then anything to turn this joy into a huge success.

And if all else fails...

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On The Prowl

The first step to any successful project is a plan.  But sometimes coming up with that plan can be the hardest part.  (Time power just went out.  Ok back on now.)  Just last week I shared these dreadful pictures of our mudroom with you...

Since then I have been pinning, browsing and thinking a lot about what would look great but also tame the shoe explosion.  My first route was completely practical.  Search for shoe racks that hold a bunch of shoes and aren't to ugly.  I found a couple of things I didn't mind like this shoe cabinet on Overstock

It is a little pricey at $230 but holds 20 pairs of shoes, which is more than most this size, and has doors to hide some of the mess.  So although it is lacking in the style department it will still remain on the list as a back up plan. 

As I continued to look I kept being drawn to spaces like this
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and this

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In spite of the color theme what I really like is the real furniture look.  Not the storage cabinet look in the first option.  I also really liked the idea of an armoire.  Something with a couple of drawers for gloves, scarves, hats and some doors to hide the shoes behind.  As I was sitting thinking about this very thing I was suddenly struck by brilliance (well, it was brilliant for the next 60 seconds or so).  I jumped up from my chair, grabbed a tape measure and raced upstairs.  Does anyone remember this...

It used to sit in our Master Bedroom until it was moved into the spare room until later needed.  Well my thought was wouldn't this be perfect!  Add some shelves, some new handles and of course refinish the entire thing but...oh so sadly it is to big.  Bummer.  Total bummer!  Wouldn't that have been perfect.  And not to mention very cheap. 

So where does that leave me?  It leaves me on the prowl.  I am a lion stalking its armoire prey and Craig's List is my jungle.  The size I need is very specific which makes the task that much more challenging, but I am optimistic that once again Craig's List will pull through.  And I figure I may even find similar but different inspiration along the way. Maybe a dresser will work or some kind of kitchen cabinets.

Are any of you needing to organize your entry way or mudroom?  If so there really is great inspiration on pinterest.  Here are a few more of my favs!

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