Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favs 39

Happy Friday!  Cheers to a three day weekend (hopefully you're enjoying one too)!


Every year, I swear that I'll do something to make our patio and front poor look more pulled together and inviting.  For the cookouts and gatherings I'll undoubtedly be throwing, I tell myself.  But really it's for me and Mr. M. to sit outside and watch our birds at the bird feeder, which is usually the most action that our patio sees.    Regardless of my reasons,  and despite my best intentions.... each year I fail to bring any sort of design to our outdoor spaces. 


It's not that our outdoor spaces are terrible.  They're not.  But they look sort of haphazard and unintentional...which is exactly what they are.  I don't know what I want to do out there, so I don't do much of anything other than set up my hand-me-down outdoor furniture, throw some plants in a pot and call it a day. 

Ok, so that's not completely accurate.  I do know what I want to do to our outdoor living areas, but  an expanded patio with an area for a pergola,  in-ground pool, and outdoor kitchen and fireplace just aren't happening right now.  Or probably ever. 

So in honor of my ongoing, yet unfulfilled longing for a chic outdoor space, here are some of my favorite (realistic) patio decor inspirations.

Fav #1
Interesting furniture, love all of the greenery.

Fav #2
Love the coastal vibe, and especially the whisky barrel coffee table.


Fav #3
Colorful pillows draw me in every time.  Plus, that table and those chairs are awesome.


Fav #4
I'm digging the centerpiece here, as well as the updated wicker.


Fav #5
Pops of color.  Need I say more?!


Over the next few months, I'll be looking for ways to bring these inspirations into our outdoor decor.  New furniture is just not on the agenda this year, so my challenge is to work with what I have.  Hope I'm up for it!

What do you do to get your outdoor areas ready for spring?!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shabby Chic Flower Headbands

After last week's post about the baby shower baskets that I made in anticipation of the arrival of my triplet nieces and nephew, a few of you emailed me to ask about the headbands I used to decorate the girls' baskets. 

So in case you were wondering, I did make the headbands, and they were so simple (and cheap)!!


I started out by ordering shabby flowers and elastic from Pick Your Plum, which cost a total of $9 for a total of 30 flowers in 15 different colors and 5 colors of elastic.  After setting my materials out on the table, I came up with 6 different color combinations that I liked.

  I used Style Me Classy's measurement guide for determining the length of each headband, and added half an inch to each length of elastic to account for overlap when I hot glued the ends of the elastic together to make a circle. 

Then I used the hot glue gun to glue the flowers into clusters, based upon the color combinations that I had already selected. Once each cluster was securely fastened, I used the hot glue to attach each cluster of flowers to the top of the corresponding elastic band.  

And that was it!  I made 6 matching sets of hand bands, all in the colors of outfits that I can imagine the girls wearing.  Whether they are wearing matching outfits or not, they can coordinate and look fab with cute accessories!







Which is your favorite? I can't choose between the brown/blue or the yellow/gray!  Ooh, and I like the black, white and pink as well...it reminds me of something a ballerina would wear.

Linking Up At
Sweet Haute

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Monday, April 14, 2014

When in Doubt....Make it a Planter




Happy Monday!  I had the best weekend.  The spring weather just makes everything better :)

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this interesting object at my favorite shopping destination (Goodwill for those of you who are new around here!).....no clue what it was, but I bought it anyway.


It had some cool carving along the sides.....


...and some really pretty blonde wood on the bottom.  It's too bad this lighter wood wasn't on the top...I may not have painted it if that were the case.


Whatever this thing was...I thought it would be a cool planter, and a great opportunity to try out my new Country Chic Paint sample! 


I thought it was pretty cool that County Chic Paint let me try out their paint and wax for free.  I chose Elegance, which is reminiscent of a robin's egg blue, and gold wax in keeping with my Midas tendencies.

You know me and gold....we're besties.  
Can't stop. Won't stop.

Before I could paint though, I had to widen the long hole on the top of the object  in order to be able to fit plants in it.  I mostly leave the power tools to Mr. M. (although I'm slowly learning), but even I can operate the Dremmel MultiPro.


I love that thing.  I used the sanding wheel to widen the opening to fit the roots of  the plants into the container, and then it was on to the paint!  

The best thing about Country Chic Paint is that it requires virtually no prep work. So I was able to skip the sanding and get right to the transformation.  Giving the planter two coats of paint was a snap, because the paint dries really quickly.  And once the paint was fully dry, I added a coat of gold wax, which brought a golden, shimmery finish to my planter. 

Then, I used my old trusty, Martha Steward Liquid Gilding and a small paintbrush to enhance the carvings, which turned out to be my favorite part of the whole project.


I added potting soil, some succulents, and a mini cactus that I bought at the drugstore (who knew??), as well as a few white rocks from the outside of our house to mask the soil and keep it in the container.  Since succulents and cacti require little water, I'm not too worried about water damaging the planter.  I just add a few ice chips to the top every weekend, which is when I water all of my plants, and it seems to be fine.


Right now, this little planter is bringing some life to our coffee table in the family room.  But the blue/gold combo will also look great in our living room, master bedroom, or hall bathroom.  

I see this thing moving around the house as inspiration strikes, and it's versatility has me quite pleased.


Anyone know what it was in the first place, anyway?!

Linking Up At

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Favs 38

Happy Friday!
 I'm so happy for some warm weather this weekend.  It's supposed to be 81 degrees here on Sunday...I can hardly contain my excitement!  Now if I could just get a tan....

The prospect of warm weather really got me thinking about what I need to buy to get my wardrobe and home set for spring.  Online window shopping was in full effect this week.  Here are some favorite finds!

Fav #1
Check out this cool toroise shell from ZGallerie!  How great would this look on the console table in our living room?!  It's half-off right now.....so hurry up if you love it!

Fav #2
I love this anchor sweater for spring.  The weight is perfect for spring weather, and the navy/lime color combo feels so fresh!  Oh, and it's also on sale!


Fav #3
I've shared my love of Dr. Scholl's Fielding flats before. I love ballet flats for their comfort while running around at work, and the comfort of these Dr. Scholl's flats is unsurpassed.  I just discovered this cute red/navy pair and I really want them for spring!  The wedge version is also pretty cute!



Fav #4
One of my girlfriends has this gorgeous fringe scarf, and I drool over it every time she wears it.  For less than $9 and with free shipping, I think it's time to pull the trigger.  Don't worry, I'll get a different color!


Clearly, the warm weather has put me in a bit of a shopping mood.  How about you?  What home and wardrobe updates are your eyeing up for spring?!

Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What We Ate {Oreo Truffles}

You may remember back in December when I told you about our annual Cookie Exchange party at Christmas. Well, hosting this tradition for the past few years has left me with a TON of delicious cookie recipes. Unfortunately I don't bake very often, so most of them go into my recipe box and never see the light of day again.  

But recently, I found myself searching for a recipe that tasted great and looked impressive to take to an event...but I didn't have a lot of time to spend making something that took a lot of work.  Luckily, I remembered that one of my co-workers had shared her recipe for Oreo Truffles at one of our cookie exchange parties.  

They are to-die-for, and I knew they didn't require a lot of time or ingredients.

Sold!


Ingredients
1 package Oreo cookies
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 package chocolate melting wafers
1 tablespoon shortening

Using a food processor, grind cookies into fine crumbs. Reserve 1/4 cup cookie crumbs.  Add cream cheese to the remaining crumbs, and beat cookie crumbs and cream cheese until thoroughly combined.


Roll mixture into approximately 48 one inch balls.


Melt chocolate wafers and shortening using a double boiler.  Or if you don't have a double boiler, just put them in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water, like I did.


Dip each ball into chocolate, using a toothpick.  Place chocolate-coated balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  


Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs, which is helpful in concealing the holes left by the toothpicks.  Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for one hour to allow chocolate to set.  

I made two batches--one with white chocolate coating and the other with a milk chocolate coating.  They looked so cute arranged on a serving tray, and tasted every bit as good as I remembered. 


Needless to say, there weren't any left to bring back home, which was probably a good thing.  

I'm not sure I could be trusted with them in the house!

Linking Up At

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby Shower Baskets

So, I've been holding out on you guys about some pretty major happenings around here....  I'm about to be an aunt to TRIPLETS!

And best of all, the babies are a boy and two girls!  Pretty exciting, right?!!

We're already lucky enough to be blessed with a sweet niece and a cool nephew, but they were born before I met Mr. M....so I missed out on all the fun and anticipation of awaiting their arrival.
Not. This. Time.

My sister-in-law's baby shower was this past weekend, and I had such fun coming up with a cute way to wrap her gifts.  I just love beautifully and creatively wrapped packages. 

The main gift that I bought was too big to tote along to the shower, so I decided to put together three baskets full of baby essentials...


I started with three basic sea grass baskets, which I thought might be useful as storage in the nursery, and added paper Easter grass as basket filler.  


Each basket got a 'stork bundle', which was a pyramid of rolled diapers wrapped in a receiving blanket, and a variety of random baby items from the registry.


I also added some PJ's for the babies to each basket as well.  Triplets are typically born early, so the clothes were SO tiny and adorable!


The girls got some handmade shabby flowered headbands, as well.  If they're anything like their Aunt Emily, they'll love to accessorize.


I just love the sweet details of each basket.

Any advice on being a good aunt to three little bambinos at the same time??  I'm super excited that there will practically always be one that needs to be held and snuggled :)

Linking Up At

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Favs 37

Holla!  It's my favorite day of the week once again!

Is anyone out there new to blogging or interested in starting a blog??

 When I started House in the Heights last summer, I knew next-to-nothing about blogging and knew even less about the technical side of blogging.
In case you're keeping track, even less than next-to-nothing equals nothing.  I didn't even know what HTML was, let alone how I would need to use it to determine how things look on screen.  

Completely. Clueless.
(About two steps away from 'kind of clueless', which is where my blogging knowledge now clocks in.)

Luckily for me, there are some fantastic tutorials out there that were able to help a total beginner like me get started.  Here are some of my favorite posts that helped me figure it all out...I hope they are helpful to you as there have been to me!

Fav #1
21 Rosemary Lane helped me figure out how to create a blog header and how to insert it my blog template.



Fav #2
A Typical English Home offered free social media icons AND instructions on how to insert the icons into my sidebar.....



Fav #3
....and also helped me figure out how to insert a signature at the end of my blog posts.


Fav #4
And finally, Code It Pretty, showed me how to install Pin It buttons on my blog images, allowing readers to pin my posts with a simple mouse-click.  



Hope these help!
What blog tips do you have?  I'm always looking to make things better around here...

Have a great weekend!

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