Today is the day we celebrate those we love in an extra special way! We started a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner tradition with the boys a few years back. They look forward to it–especially the food! I make one of my most liked recipes, my Vodka Cream Pasta with Prosciutto. They all gobble it up like it is going to be their last supper. It is one of those recipes I am proud of because I tweaked it and made it my own.
Today, I am sharing our Valentine’s Day table with you. I think it is fun to create special occasions in your home. Those little family traditions that make your family special. I love to have my family around the dinner table and spend an evening enjoying their company… and delicious food. So, naturally, we do the fancy feast with a decked out table every year.
I thought it would be fun to show you guys how I save money doing this every year. You might think that creating a beautiful table could cost a lot, but I am going to show you how I keep the cost down every year.
Splurge v. Save
Splurge. First things first, you got to know what to splurge on. When I say splurge, translate that into what it means for you. I choose to splurge on the basics that can be reused dinner after dinner. White china is a great investment and transitions to so many occasions. We actually use this white china for our every day set too and it has held up going on 12 years now. It is just the classic white china from Pier 1. Not expensive, but if your wallet is a little tighter you can find basic white china at the dollar store. I would shoot for dinner plates. You can always add in a new look with a patterned appetizer plate or napkin.
I also think a basic white tablecloth that washes up nicely is another item to splurge on. You can change runners, placemats, and center pieces over a white tablecloth. Mine was not expensive at all and I found it at Target. It has held up just fine over the years.
One more table item I think is worth the splurge is a fresh floral bouquet. It’s great when the weather is nice and you can just go out in the yard and clip greens and flowers. In the dead of winter,a quick trip to the grocery store for flowers is cost-effective. This bouquet was only $15 and it will keep for at least a week with proper care. Flowers on a table just make a table feel more expensive and beautiful.
Save. Now that you have the basics the rest you can get really creative with. You don’t have to buy a table runner. You can make one. I love to use uncommon things for runners. I’ve used full length mirrors, art paper, scarves, and all kinds of things. I like to shop my house first. This year I had enough of this gold striped wrapping paper left over. It makes a fun runner.
Reuse items. Now I like to layer my table, so I took an old Halloween runner and flipped it over and added the greek key ribbon left over from a DIY project. I save clippings of fabric and ribbons from projects just for occasions like these.
Shop thrift stores and clearance sales. I found our Italian crystal bar glasses at a flea market new in the box. The whole set was $7. I had just seen the same set at TJ Maxx for a lot more and know it retails a lot higher. Our chargers are from Goodwill. 50 cents each. The appetizer plates were an after Christmas Target clearance item. Only $5 something for all 4. If you are looking to save and have a little patience, you can find the best things if you are willing to shop thrift stores and wait for clearance sales.
Make your own decorations.Sure you can buy seasonal decor, but I really like to make my own and it’s free! Scrapbook paper is my go-to for crafts. I made these DIY heart arrows a couple of weeks back using stuff from around the house. Kebabs and paper, that’s all it is. My heart paper punch got a work out this holiday and I used the left over hearts on the table like confetti. The calligraphy phrases were a free printable and I just printed and glued them to paper.
I can’t wait to enjoy this table setting with my favorite people tonight! I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!
If we had cameras on us 24/7, things around the Cadwallader household would look like an intricate dance of continual furniture moving and finding places to work and store supplies. I figure we have to be half crazy to take on all these projects at once. Some have risen out of necessity and others are things on the original list of home improvements. Needless to say, that making over two bedrooms, a bathroom reno, and a kitchen reno at once is a lot to work into our lives.
Good things have come out of moving the boys into separate rooms though. My office was going to be Sam’s “now” room. So, I got stuck in a corner in the living room for a while. Not so bad really, but not a lot of work space. So, we have looked at our basement in a whole new light. Our basement runs the whole length of the upstairs so it’s like having another house below us which is great. So, I’ve been joking with you guys about my super top top secret project that rhymes with “schmoffice”. The space downstairs is actually really ideal for my workspace since half of it is an open layout. Dave and I both agree I need a decent place to work so, yes, I am going to have a proper office! Yay!
Here are the before’s of this space:
This is pretty bare bones right now which is great because I can make it into anything. The flooring needs updating but the rest is pretty much cosmetic. We have chosen not to cover the rafters but they will get a fresh coat of paint and some finishing details.
This side of this open room is equipped with a kitchenette. It is pretty new and in great shape so that is a bonus. Half high walls separate the office side from a family room and kid’s play area and another fireplace. There is so much potential down here!
I will have 3 different zones in this office. 1) I will have a desk area for my computer. 2) A workspace complete with storage and a table to work on projects and crafts.3) The kitchenette. I will also have a spot to sew and cleverly hide my sewing machine when it is not in use.
I plan on injecting a lot of my personal style in this space through the use of wallpaper, paint, architectural details, new lighting, new furniture, and decor.
I will be revealing it in 3 phases:
Phase one will be the desk area.
Phase two will be the workspace/storage area.
Phase three will the kitchenette/sewing space.
What is going to make this my super top top secret project is that I will be working on it behind the scenes while our other projects are going on. I won’t be sharing details until each phase is ready to reveal. So, we are having a little fun with it!
FYI- I HATE SECRETS!! So, this is really really hard on me because this space already looks so different!
I am giving myself a big old pat on the back for this one! I actually have all the Valentine’s Day shopping done ahead of time this year! That NEVER happens. I even have the classroom stuff for the kids done too! It’s a Valentine’s miracle. I better get extra kisses this year.
Today, I am sharing with you some gift wrap ideas for your Valentine’s Day presents. These are way cheaper than buying gift wrap and present bags and all the extras. Use what you have. Even if you didn’t have all the items on hand, you can get them for cheap and in larger quantities.
I used a lot of things I already had like scrapbook paper, whole punches, paint, ribbons, scraps of old gift wrap.
If you don’t have parcel paper you can find it everywhere. Craft stores, grocery stores, office supply stores, anywhere that sells packing material. It comes in large quantities and will last you for quite a while.
The only thing I bought were the gift tags. I could have made these, but they were seriously cheap. 39 cents cheap for the whole bag of them.
I really enjoy wrapping gifts. It’s just the extra touch that shows the care and love that goes into gift-giving.
I wrapped the gifts for the boys and Dave today. Each one is a little different, but I was using what I had so I think it helped make them special.
Get creative with it and have fun! Draw with Sharpie markers on the parcel paper. If you don’t want to use parcel paper, flip your left over holiday gift wrap to the white side and use it. It’s a blank canvas that you can create on.
Use ribbons and strings in different ways. Ribbons wrapped in a criss-cross pattern around a package are all the adornment you need sometimes.
I used a heart punch to cut out my scrapbook paper and just glued the hearts right on the paper. This would be really cute with a circle punch too and you could do polka dots.
Someone’s little hands were awfully curious what I was up to taking photos of presents…
I have a feeling I am going to be asked about those presents every day now until Valentine’s Day!
Tomorrow we are talking lighting and I will be offering a giveaway for you guys.
Linking to: The Inspiration Gallery
One thing is clear to me when I observe my little environment I’ve curated over time– I don’t spend a lot of money. Most of the objects that fill our tables, walls, and shelves are things we’ve made, that have been handed down, or finds from thrift stores and flea markets. Case in point, my entry way. This is a prime example of how you can turn old furniture into something unique and special. Everything on the wall and table are budget finds.
Your entry way is the first thing people see when cross the threshold of your home. It’s an opportunity to show your style and what you love. I love when people come to my home for the first time and are happily surprised by what they find on the inside.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
We’ll start with the building blocks — the furniture.
The desk is a 12-year-old computer desk. It is nothing special as far as furniture is concerned! When you look at pieces to refinish for your home, look at the style, the size, and the quality. The desk is in good shape for being a cheap computer desk. It has clean lines. It is small enough to serve as an entry table. By simply painting it, adding some interesting detail, and replacing the hardware it becomes a table to highlight. I also added the glass top for a little extra something.
The ottomans under the table are actually old storage cubes we purchased from Target to hold toys. Super cheap, like $10 each. The fabric on them had been treated pretty rough over the years. With just a couple of yards of new fabric and a staple gun, they are given a whole new look. The white trim pulls the look together with the desk. Simple details can take your designs to the next level. I was lucky to snag those Nate Berkus pillows on clearance at Target for only $9 and some change.
You’d be amazed at what you can find on Craigslist. A hotel in our area was giving away their old wall lamps for free. I could see the potential in them despite the nasty shades. I cleaned them up, and added new smaller shades so they play as sconces. I also had a couple napkin rings that I added to them for a little something extra. The lights help anchor this space and give some nice accent lighting at night.
I painted a simple stripe on this wall to create a new space. This is just the wall that you see when you walk in and it leads into the living room or hallway. By giving it a design it sets it apart. The framed photos are one of my favorite things. I love framing photos of my kids that I’ve taken. It makes some of the best art and it’s free. The frames were found at a discount store for only a few bucks each.
On the table.
Everything on this table top is thrifted. Yes! I collect blue and white jars and vases. I wanted to display my collection somewhere I knew I could enjoy it. All these ginger jars and vases were found in places like Goodwill and local flea markets, and other thrift stores on trips. Going to the local thrift scene is one of my favorite things to do when we travel. It’s amazing what you can score for cheap if you are willing to hunt for it. The horse head was found in a flea market too. Even that Ralph Lauren umbrella was found at an antique mall for $7 and it was on sale so I got it for $5. I also love a fresh touch. I like to bring some life into my home and orchids are so beautiful. Adding in something natural is such a great way to add some vibrancy to your spaces.
Set the tone for your home.
Your entry way sets the tone for the rest of your home. It’s like a little tease of things to come. Define your style and bring in things that will flow nicely with the adjoining spaces. I have a lot of black and white going on in these adjoining rooms. The entry way has that and then some. I brought some warmth in with the earthy toned wall color and rug.
Our entry way is something I love to see from my sofa in the living room. I love that it is all done on a budget and reflects my personal style. It’s also great to focus on when my house has been torn apart by a little 4-year-old. Don’t look at the mess on the floor, just look straight ahead!
It speaks to who I am. I am someone who treasures my family. I am someone who loves to collect. I am someone who will dig for treasure. I am someone who can see beyond the ordinary to make something extraordinary. I am someone who appreciates beauty. I am someone who loves to look at objects and have an instant memory of a special time.
I am someone who believes that a beautiful home can enhance your life and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, hardly anything at all.
Playing around with my decor after taking down the Christmas decorations inspired me to write this post. In my humble opinion, I don’t think it looks inexpensive or dodgy at all.
Today I will be playing in my studio making some more goodies for Valentine’s Day!! YAY! I will be sharing it with you tomorrow.
Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! We had a lot of snow again and it is rumored more is on the way!
Today I am sharing our monthly recap. I like to share all our projects and happenings from the past month. If you are new to B @ H this is a great chance to catch those posts you may not have seen. This is also a great chance to get the details on that post you saw but want to see again. I just want to thank all of you for your support and some great things are ahead for February!
DIY + Crafts
I shared my first Valentine’s day craft last week. These DIY Heart Arrows are super cute and fun to make.
DIY Heart Arrows
I also shared the easiest way to remove wallpaper and reviewed my first Home Right product of the month. I will be selecting the winner of the giveaway tomorrow!! You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Mahchine here. Every month I will be sharing a new Home Right product with you guys and offering a giveaway!!
Home Right Steam Machine and Removing Wallpaper
Around the House.
Last month I got to some projects that I have been wanting to do for a while! We started makeovers on the boys’ rooms. Our oldest got a brand new rug for his room and we centered a design board around it.
New Mohawk Rug and Big Boy Bedroom Design
We also shared our plans for our little guy’s new room complete with a teepee.
Little Guy’s Bedroom Design Plans
Our living room got a fresh coat of paint to give more flow to the rest of the house.
Living Room Refresh
My temporary workspace got some much needed organization and some office pretties. I am excited to share the befores of my new office space with you guys soon! Some good things are cookin’!!
My Temporary Workspace and Office Pretties
I also shared our bathroom design plans. We will be getting our tile soon and are going to get to work!
Bathroom Design Plans
I feel like January was a lot of planning and laying out timelines for our bigger home projects. The beginning of the year just makes a planner out of me, what can I say?
February is going to be a fun month around here. We have some more Valentine’s Day projects to share, more givewaways, and we are going to start on some more projects, like our bathroom tile!! I will also be working behind the scenes on my super top top secret project! Okay, you guys know what schmoffice means, but let’s just pretend you don’t. Good? Good!
Two weeks until Valentine’s Day!! Here’s my Lust List Valentine’s Day edition for this week. My favorite finds from around the web. If you feel like getting your craft on, check out my DIY Heart Arrows. I shared the full tutorial yesterday.
|| one || These Love Me Knot Stud Earrings from CWonder come in a great color palette. I love knot earrings. They are a fun way to mix up your regular studs. || two || I love Michelle Dwight Designs shop, especially the pillows! Add the XO pillow in gold to bring a little fun to your decor. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and great anytime of the year. || three || A romantic Valentine’s Day would be complete with a festive drink to share with your loved one. I love this clear wine rack from Target. || four || You guys know I love gold prints and this new love print from Made by Girl is super cute! || five || One thing I would love is a set of these Threshold Tufted Ottomans in pink and gold for my office makeover. They come in other colors too, but these pink ones would work so well in my space. I would totally use these in place of a coffee table.
Have a fantastic weekend friends! I will be working on some more Valentine’s Day projects to ready for our big dinner.
You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine!! Enter here.
Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away! I love it! I know there are some V-day haters out there, but I say a day to celebrate the ones you love and do special stuff is alright by me!
Every year, my little family and I do a very special Valentine’s Day dinner. We decorate the table and make one of our favorite dishes full of carbs, my Vodka Cream Pasta Recipe. I love holidays, don’t you? An excuse to mindlessly consume carbs and fattening foods with zero guilt! Gotta have something to live for, am I right? All joking aside, I do look forward to the occasional indulgent meal. I am on the auto-immune paleo plan and it is pretty much rabbit food and meat. I will be ready to have something sinful by then.
In preparation for the feast, I made an easy Valentine’s Day craft. These heart arrows– or if we want to get all lovey-dovey– these ‘Cupid’s arrows’ are going to be used on our table and I will share how a little later. For today, I am going to show you how I made these little babies!
For this craft you can get everything you need from the craft store. I went to Michaels. They had a great selection of papers to choose from. They also had the heart punch that you see pictured below. I used kebab skewers for mine. If you are really nice and smile really big, the employees at your grocery store’s meat counter will give you some for free. I’m all about smiling and not spending money when I don’t have to!
2 3/8 inch extra-large heart punch || one 12×12 sheet of fun cardstock || kebab skewers || Liquid Leaf or paint of your choice || small paint brush || super glue || scissors for trimming (only if needed)
The first thing I did was paint my kebabs. I set up a little paint drying station with a couple of the kebabs underneath the ones I painted.
While your kebabs dry, you can use your heart punch. I punched 5 hearts for each arrow. You can do a total of four arrows from one 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock.
Take 3 hearts and fold each one in half. Then you are going to glue the sides together to form the end of the arrow.
When all 3 hearts are glued together you can attach them to the end of your kebab. I used the pointed end and applied glue to it and slid it in the center of my hearts.
All you need to do for the point of the arrow is glue 2 hearts together and slide the other end of the kebab in the center of them. From trial and error, I learned it is easier to glue the bottom of the hearts first– then add your kebab. You glue the top after the kebab is in place.
That’s it! You could totally make this a kid-friendly craft and use non-toxic paints and glues so little hands can help you.
I will be sharing our Valentine’s Day table the week of the day of love and kisses!
Linking to: Design It Friday, The Inspiration Gallery
Just a reminder you can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine! That thing is amazing!!
I’ve been crushin’ so hard on some finds this week. Here’s my favorite finds from around the web and in-stores.
|| one || These Antler Melody Knobs from Anthropologie caught my eye for a furniture makeover I have up my sleeve. They come in an array of colors. || two || I love love love these Mid-century Printed Bowls from West Elm. They would be so cute on a desk. || three || OK, so like I really need another lamp! I am trying to justify a reason to get this awesome Nate Berkus Table Lamp and NB Lampshade with Gold Foil Lining. I saw it in person at Target and it is pur-ty! || four || This Greek Key Handle Tray with Bamboo Stand from CWonder got me weak in the knees. So, so gorgeous…maybe I’ll splurge on that soon or a possible Valentines’ Day present?? I’m going to be dropping some not so subtle hints about this one! || five || And, yes! I am a stationery glutton. I love the classic simplicity of this Kate Spade Monogram Card Set. There is just something so wonderful about gold, black, and cream together. So decadent!
To my friends on the east coast, I hope you are surviving the great freeze! It’s cold here too, but it sounds like you guys are getting hit hard! Stay bundled and drink lots-o-cocoa!! That’s my advice! I’ll be doing the same except it will be tea since I am on this AI Paleo plan.
You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine!! Enter here.
I’ve been a little design happy lately. I’ve put boards and layouts together for so many spaces in the past couple weeks. Today, I am sharing our bathroom design plans with you guys.
The oak-y-ness, mismatched toilet, bath, and sink, bad flooring, and all is on its way out the door! Some things I have already sourced and we have on hand, but there are still items I need to make a decision on.
Here’s my inspiration board:
The tile has been selected and ordered for the shower stall and floor. I have found a vanity I really like. The window treatment I may DIY, but I want it to look like the one above. I also have to source lighting, an étagère, and a garden stool. I am trying to decide if I want to keep a shower curtain or have some glass cut to fit with a door.
We have a lot to do!
Remove old baseboard and trim
Remove old floor, shower tile, and vanity, and cupboard
Source new mirror
Install new floor, tile, and vanity & mirror
Source and install new shower fixtures
Source and install new lighting
Install new baseboard and trim
Install window treatment
Source étagère, garden stool
Add finishing touches
That list seems a little daunting at first glance, but it is a small space so hopefully it won’t take that long. Our first big project will be the tile.
You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine!! Enter here.
Don’t hate me, but I’ve been holding out on you guys! I’ve been working on something behind the scenes. I’m going to be revealing this project in 2 phases. Let’s just say it rhymes with “schmoffice”. If you are over the age of 2 and can crack that code– yes, I’m working on my home office. It’s in a part of the house I’ve never shown you guys before and I am really, really excited about the design.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve had to make some decisions and source some items. Today, I wanted to share some of the stylish office chairs I’ve come across.
All of the chairs are at different price points so I am going to feature them Low $$$ to High $$$.
Ghost Chair bizchair.com
Acrylic Rumor Chair Target.com
Knot Chair in Black Home Decorators
Hi-back Office Chair in White Zyder Stores
Stratum Office Chair CB2
Eames Style DSX Fiberglass Chair Modernica.net
Saddle Office Chair West Elm
Viceroy Chair Ballard Designs
I will be keeping you up to date on some progress on this space…but I am saving those big reveals!
You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine click here.