Wall Art.

I have a theory that there are very few original ideas any more, if any. Much of that is solely thanks to the very item I am currently typing on. Okay, so it has everything to do with the computer and its quite treasured friend, the Internet, but I am certainly not saying that’s bad thing. In fact, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite aspects of mine and CK’s place… our wall art.

I don’t think in any way it’s exceptionally unique. But in the spirit of passing along  ideas, I thought I’d share, as I tend to get my own ideas from material other folks have posted.

Piecing a home together is for most of us the largest work of art we will ever undertake. It’s a complete or combined expression of what matters to the folks who call it theirs, and I love that no one place is decorated the same. Some are cozy, others are modern, some are muted and calm, while their counterparts are bold and shiny. I love the variety!

I tend to go for the cozier take on a home, as I like small spaces and warm colors. Here’s the varied wall art we have chosen to make our place come to life and feel like us…


Like so many of you (if you are married) we have this photo from our special day. It hangs above our bed and I love it. After we got married, it seemed like all of our framed photos were of the wedding. I assume it is like that for most folks. However, I still wanted to put more photos on the wall of our fabulous day, but Christopher was adamant that he not have to look at any more photos of himself. His offhanded comment actually gave way to a what become a really good idea.

Photos of our wedding day… but with no people in them! Years later, I am still obsessed with how these turned out. Shutterfly produced these beauties and I could not have been more impressed. They hang in our living room above our couch. It is the perfect nod to one of my favorite days, without including a photo of a face.

That brings us to the other living room stand out. Our map. If you have read our blog before, you know it’s arguably both of our favorite items in our place. We love to travel. It’s an excellent conversation piece. And it is perfect for filling up a large wall. Enough said.

And lastly,  an illustration of where you have and are calling home. I think it’s even more a plus, when it is a photo taken by someone you know (right), or when so many friends and family have wished you well (left). To me, this is the fastest way of making a place feel like yours, surrounding yourself with the familiar and treasured.

Cheers to making your place your own!






pallet to planter

If you are hunting for a fun outdoor summer project to take on or if you are looking for an inexpensive way to bring some color in the form of plant life to your back yard…. Keep reading.

Although my thumbs boast no fun color to speak of, my husbands on the other hand (no pun, of course) are of the brightest green! Christopher is one of those folks who actually likes to work in the yard…and it shows. But since apartment living does not always leave room for master gardening, he decided to take on making the front of his office/warehouse building not look so drab. So, out came his creative side and thus began the pallet to planter evolution….and the point where Christopher begins typing….photo 2

Things needed… a pallet. landscape fabric. potting soil. flowers. paint. staple gun.

First, I spray painted the pallet but, I would actually suggest doing this in step 3 (see below).

Cut about a foot off the pallet because I think it looks better and will cost less in plant material.

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photo 4Then, attach the landscaping fabric to the bottom and three sides via a staple gun. I would suggest using a lot of staples anywhere the fabric touches the wood.

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Third, here’s where I would paint the pallet, so you also paint the landscaping fabric that is overlapped and stapled to the pallet. (Ashley thinks blue would also be a good color to paint it)

Fourth, lay the pallet flat where the plants can grow for about 3-4 weeks.  Add the potting soil to the pallet. Slowly add the soil in between each board starting at the bottom and packing the soil in.  Place something over the top section of the pallet so the soil doesn’t fall out. You can plant these plants later.

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Fifth, plant the flowers. Pack the flowers in tightly. Water when done.

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I suggest leaving the pallet horizontal to let the plants’ roots take hold so the soil doesn’t wash or fall out. After about 3-4 weeks you can move the pallet to the vertical position and plant a few other flowers in the top section. Water the pallet regularly and keep a close eye on the lower plants as that soil seems to dry out quicker. Enjoy!

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i love real simple.

Real Simple2Love this gem. I can remember the first time we met… it was an instant friendship. And I would guess, most of you have probably read at least a copy or two of this idea-filled magazine in your past as well. But if you are looking to slowly organize life, while also not taking on some huge project, I recommend picking this (back) up. Because it tells you want you want to hear… that projects don’t have to be hard. The beauty of Real Simple is that it offers small “simple” solutions that you can do in an afternoon or an hour – some even less. And even better, most of their how to’s are in list format… step 1,2,3, done! I love that. I think you will too.

Some of the best ideas, come from just looking at the pictures. Take this one forReal Simple4 example. A few months back as I was flipping through an issue (January 2013) I ran across this hanging rack for pots and pans. Ding! This was the answer to Christopher and I’s “where to put our pans in a small kitchen” question. Definitely, not an earth-shattering concept by any means, but when you have been so used to doing something one way (hiding your pans), it can be the obvious solution that never comes to mind. RS is quite good at reminding its readers that the light bulb is not far away and easy and cheap solutions can be a reality. Here is a look at our rendition. Need your own? Click here  for the one we used.

Now, I am no stranger to how much these guys cost to pick up at Target or Barnes and Noble. I even tried asking for a subscription last year as a Christmas present, so I could forgo the splurge, but still have this literary goodness sent to my PO Box. Butttt… no one in my family thought a magazine subscription was a good gift. (Helloooo, I asked for it! Shouldn’t I decide that!) So, anyways to their website I still go, and I have to say it’s pretty wonderful. It’s super easy to navigate and just like the ‘zine version, gives all its how tos in a step-by-step fashion. But this time you get pictures, pictures, pictures… which say everything words can’t! And who doesn’t love pictures. Check them out…http://www.realsimple.com/.

If you have yet to pick up RS , don’t let this article fool you into thinking it’s only about organizing… oh thats a huge chunk of it, sure. But they throw out plenty of decorating, fashion, food, gardening, etc. articles, as well as some of the best random facts to know! One random April issue fact… 32. It’s the number of “Q without U” words you can play in Scrabble, according to the National Scrabble Association (should have known there was one)! I’m a junkie for random knowledge like that!

You will notice as you look through  the Real Simple website. They are huge fans of The Container Store. So many of the organizational pieces they use come from that fabulous store.