October 21, 2014

Outdoor Halloween Decor


Fall is definitely - finally - in the air around these parts. SF had a heat wave come through, but over the last week it's been colder in the afternoon, evening and morning. When the temps drop, it begins to feel like the season is here. This is one of my favorite seasons and it's such a shame this time of year passes so quickly. I mean, look at football, for example. We're like halfway through the season already.

I'm crying right now just saying that out loud.

There's also excitement in the air with the World Series beginning tonight. Go Giants!

And halloween is fast approaching.

I've had the indoor and outdoor halloween decor set-up for a while. My plan was to share my little tour when the gates were up and decorative lights were lining the driveway. But guess what? Sadly, there won't be halloween decor up the driveway this year. Next year for sure! We had yet another hiccup with the gate (I'll explain later) and that held up the electrical being finished. It will definitely be ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas though….so look out - Sam's going overboard with driveway decor this Christmas to make up for the loss of halloween.

Today I wanted to share the little bit of halloween fun we have going on outside. First of all, I had to freak out the people walking along the regional trail. The front of the house faces the trail and these furry little guys with beady red eyes have been a big hit…





My plan was to hang a few more on the gate. But again *sniff sniff* next year. ;-)

Some friendly faces along the path to the front door…


And they look adorable at night…

They are from Target by the way - have owned them for a long time...

When you arrive at the front door...

I hung a pretty garland (from Michael's) and added white lights.

Oh and this little guy...

Mailbox isn't done yet as well (boo!) or he would have been out there on the street. Remember him from the Arkansas house?..

Next year. Next year.



I picked up a new friend from Costco. Kids named him Skelly. He's a Giants fan, if you didn't notice…

For fun, thought I would share my post from Halloween 2013. You know, back when we were surrounded by dirt and had no outdoor lighting? My, how much a home can change in a year's time. The old front path is gone…

And then there's Halloween 2012, in the Arkansas house. I miss that house so much…

I'll share the interior halloween decor later this week. Have a great day and GO GIANTS!


October 16, 2014

Simple Solution: Brighten Your Desktop with Gift Wrap


Ahhhhhh, my home office. The room where the magic happens. Blog magic, that is. Oh, and homework magic. And paying bills magic. And a lot of other magic things that are escaping me at the moment because it's Thursday night and it's been a long week.

;-)

Other than the kitchen, this is the room where I spend most of my time. I have big dreams for this space but it's going to cost me a pretty penny. While I'm saving up the money (this could take a while!), I've been making small improvements to fix the little irritations.

Ok, so I know some of you might be thinking "What's wrong with the space to begin with? It looks great!". Yes, my friends. I agree. I've made this space work pretty hard and it was a miracle that my desk from the Arkansas house happened to fit perfectly right here in this corner...

I've tweaked the space and shelving a few times while living here over the last year. However, while the big desk and shelving haven't been moved, I suppose the issue I struggle with is the color of the desk / shelving. I want a bright, uplifting space to work in and think a light-colored desk will completely transform the space. The floors are on the darker side. The desk and chairs are black. And my 2 wall shelves on the wall opposite the desk are dark too…

Until I'm able to pay for create the custom built-in office of my dreams, I tweaked the office yet again today by adding gift wrap under the plexiglass. It was an easy update and I'm super thrilled with the outcome!

You can see here how the top of the desk is dark...

Oh, and you can also see the handprints of 3 little people that "work" upstairs with me...

I almost hated cleaning this desktop during the project. Yes, it's germy, but I sorta love seeing these prints on the desk. On my walls? No. Desk? Kinda cute because it's a hidden away space that visitors don't walk through…

Back to the project though.

You can see above how dark the desktop is. Sometimes when I'm photographing something for the blog, I use my desktop. So not only would brightening the desk lighten the overall mood in here for me while I work, but it would help with my backdrops for items I'm snapping pics of.

Today I ended up with 15 free minutes and walked right past a Paper Source store in our area. And noooooow I know the reason I resisted walking through their doors before. I knew I would fall in love. I knew they would have awesome papers and crafting items I'd want to buy. And I knew their prices would be ridiculously high.

I was correct. In all of the above.

But, I treated myself today buying just 6 sheets of their fancy paper...

There were too many choices and it was hard to choose one design. But I reminded myself, the beauty in this solution is that it isn't a permanent detail. I can change the paper anytime I wish! So I grabbed a paper that made me feel happy...

It's a cream colored background with a beautiful shiny gold design…quatrefoil? Is this the fancy word for this design?...

I removed the plexiglass pieces, secured the gift wrap with command adhesive (some areas needed trimming or adding - especially the corner unit of the desk where my computer sits), cleaned the glass and added it back on top. Easy...


Done!...


The gift wrap brightened my desktop...

While also adding something pretty…


Love this design!

It's made me happy today to look down as I work on the computer. Each time I look at the paper I smile...

It also helped the little details on top of the desk pop a bit more. Like this cute hand-painted / decorated rock my daughter made for me. I use it as a paper-weight…

My frames look pretty on top of the desk and even my little office supplies look a bit nicer!

If you have the ability to add gift wrap to your desktop, do this! It's inexpensive and easy…and will make you happy! What's better than being happy while you work?

Have a great day!




October 15, 2014

From Ordinary to….How You Doin'!?


Being the organizer that I am, I love to plan and know things in advance. So I am loving on our 2nd and 4th grade teacher's this year. Every Friday a homework packet for the following week comes home with the boys. We keep the packet until the following Friday when their work is turned in. If you're a busy mom like me and have weeknight obligations or the kids have after school activities, it's a great option to get started on homework over the weekend.

The boys do homework with me upstairs in my home office and previously I've shared my hanging wall organizer where their schoolwork and school papers go. But it wasn't looking too hot lately…

It was literally overflowing…

My goal is to keep each of their homework packets, along with additional school papers that come home during the week, clipped together and easy to grab. So I turned to an open spot here in the corner of my office…

The white board has been underutilized...

Time to get to work and start pulling your weight around here Mr. White Board.

To tackle this minor organization issue, I added 2 command adhesive hooks…

And grabbed my old, unattractive collection of binder clips…

Is it just me or is it ridiculous to pay $4.99 for 6 pretty, patterned binder clips?…

Good, I was hoping my age wasn't catching up with me and I was turning into a grumpy old lady that complains about the cost of everything.

I'm sure many of you have those *officey* looking binder clips around your house. But there's no reason they have to continue looking buttoned-up and business-like. Oh no. Why not grab a can of spray paint and give them a makeover. You choose the color and it's all "how you doin'?" from there.

I laid out my collection on a drop cloth…

I even included the small tin they had been living in. They weren't going to be in the tin anymore, but I figured why not...

A few light coats of spray paint on one side...


Then when it's dry (we're talking minutes here!) simply flip them over to spray the other side...

When the other side was dry, I opened the clip hooks to make sure the inside had a good coating too...

Done.


Looking pretty glam now...

And it was so easy. I'm storing them away right here…


And the homework packets? New happy place…


Think of the fabulous color options you can come up with to spray your own binder clips. You can even add a little washi tape and a label to make them even prettier. Endless options that won't cost you $4.99 for 6.

Go spray paint something and have a great day!