Decorating with...Maps

I'm seeing maps everywhere lately! And no, I'm not on a road trip. Instead of hiding in glove compartments and hanging on classroom walls, maps are now being used as art. And why not? They can represent places we've been, or places we hope to go. A map can be a great way to display your heritage or help your child to become curious about the world. Whatever the reason, maps are definitely a style statement:

So what are you waiting for? Go raid your glove compartment and hang one of these cartographic wonders on your wall ASAP!

Super Chic or Super Freak?

So I was scrolling through Home Sweet Home's new photos, and was stopped in my tracks when I laid eyes on this dining room:

I honestly just wasn't sure what to think. I definitely love the dramatic chocolate walls and bright white accents, but the glowing animal heads gave me some pause. And as much as I love the idea of keeping a space open, the ottoman seating raised an eyebrow.

So tell me, glowing creatures and backless seating - super chic or super freak?

A Minty Fresh Take on Finances

I'm loving this article by Aaron Patzer on

Three Principles of Personal Finance: All You Need to Know for Financial Success

More than 10,000 books have been written about personal finance. You could spend a lifetime reading them. Some of them are great1; others are 99% motivation, 1% actual, actionable information2. The truth is personal finance is simple. Every one of these books can be reduced into three basic principles:
  1. Spend less than you earn
  2. Make the money you have work for you
  3. Be prepared for the unexpected

While the principles might sound like common sense, the real trick is to truly understand them, and more importantly, to apply them.

Easier said than done, Aaron, but we're working on it little by little! To read more, click here.

The DIY Show Off

Check out this fantastic new blog - The DIY Show Off by Roeshel. I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of those dramatic before and after shots, so this will be a great daily fix! We were flattered when Roeshel recently featured our living room makeover - check it out here. It's still a work in progress, but the bones are there and we're loving our new open space. Best of luck in your new venture, Roeshel!

Wedding Weekend

The hubster and I are off to my best friend's wedding for the weekend (don't worry, I won't try to steal the groom Julia Roberts style - my best friend (from high school) is the bride). I thought I'd leave you with some inspiration photos from another friend's beautiful wedding:

Kelly and Zach's Country Chic Wedding

Have a great weekend everyone!

Dining Room Dilemma

So I was browsing the message boards on one of my favorite sites tonight -, when Christy, a regular poster (and author of new blog Domestic Princess) posed us a question:

Does anyone have a chocolate room? I'm having a hard time with direction/inspiration for the dining room. I really would love to get a new table and to take inspiration from the green apples in the apothecary jar. I'm leaning more toward contemporary design. I would really like a mirror on that big wall, maybe a buffet table to put the jar on, and maybe green rectangular pillows for the chairs or chair covers.

Here is Christy's room currently:

And with a few splashes of green and some white to ground everything:

Christy's clean, contemporary, and green dining room. Thanks, Christy, for letting me experiment on you for my second idea board ever!

Table - Christy's current table painted white
Chair fabric - Ballard Designs
Buffet - IKEA
Green vase - Alessi
Leaf prints - Ballard Designs
Paint color - Sherwin-Williams Kaffee
Capiz Chandelier - Pier 1 Imports (not available online)
Wall Mirror - Ballard Designs

The Ghostest with the Mostest

Nope, not that ghost.

This one!

I love these clear acrylic wonders - virtually invisible! Perfect for my teeny tiny house. I'm always looking for ways to create a functional space that doesn't look like a claustrophobic nightmare...and these beauts are just the ticket!

Here are two affordable options:


Both of these invisible icons can be yours for a mere $249. Just be careful if you're a clutz like me your name isn't might forget it's there!

Decorating with...Coral!

I've been seeing coral EVERYWHERE lately! It's a great way to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. Each piece is such a beautiful little sculpture just waiting to be displayed on my mantle/table/wall (yes I'm sure that is where every piece of coral aspires to end up) Here is a sampling of the coral that I'm currently crazy about:

Pottery Barn

Neiman Marcus

Anabella Gebhardt

Crate & Barrel

Bobby Berk Home

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

So what do you think? Is anyone else crushing on coral as much as moi?

Bathroom Breakdown

Our bathroom has had a breakdown. Literally. It is falling apart. From the peeling plastic floor to the cheap cardboard tub surround - it is in need of a serious makeover. BUT...because we are venturing to Australia this summer and have oodles of other home reno projects to complete (re-carpet the second floor, new garage roof, kitchen reno, etc.), we need to do this on the cheap!

Here is a photo of what the bathroom looked like when we moved in, complete with hideous black curtain and animal print bathtub border:

Here is the plan (my first idea board by the way):

We are going with inexpensive subway tiles for the tub surround. We've already painted the walls in two soothing green tones - Behr Olivine and Palm Breeze. The current white toilet and pedestal sink will stay, but might get a new chrome faucet. For the floor we are going with a period black and white hex tile. This is a little pricier (approximately $6 per square foot), but our bathroom is tiny, so it won't cost much. Our hideous light fixture will get replaced with a classic and inexpensive one from the Home Depot. Finally, classic accessories will complete the look - glass jars (Crate & Barrel), a metal waste bin (Target), and framed photos from our honeymoon in Germany and Austria.

Check back to see in-progress photos of this project in a few of weeks!

White and Wonderful

We are eventually going to be painting our dated kitchen cabinets a fresh clean white. Here are some white kitchens I love for your viewing pleasure:


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