Monday, July 29, 2013

Guest post at Double The Fun

Hi friends! Today I'm guest posting for my friend Aliya over at Double The Fun!

I'm sharing a yummy and healthy toddler muffin recipe that I think you will love! Go check it out and try it for your little ones...and while you're over there, go "meet" Aliya and her adorable little boy and girl!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Playing dress up

My mom didn't save a lot of my childhood clothes, but I do have a few special ones that she kept for me. This outfit is one of them. It's pretty sentimental because my grandmother bought it for me when I was about Audrey's age. The print is the Nova Scotia Tartan. I spent most of my childhood in Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Island), and my dad's family still lives there. They're actually all gathering for a family reunion and 60th wedding anniversary celebration for my grandparents this weekend. We couldn't make the trip this year, which I'm very sad about, but I thought these pictures were so fitting to share with you today.

I had been waiting for an evening cool enough to put Audrey in this outfit and get some pictures, and last night was just right for that. The pictures didn't turn out as great as I had hoped. I couldn't really find a spot in our community where there were no homes or cars in the background, but I also didn't really have time to drive somewhere else. And, as you can tell from the photos, I'm still learning to use my new camera. As for Audrey...well...she just loves to run free, so there are very few shots of her facing the camera! Maybe I'll try again when I can bring my assistant (aka Josh) along!

Here's the only picture I could find of me in the outfit! Unfortunately, someone cut it up at some point in time!

Hope these made you smile! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Under-the-Sofa Toy Blocker

If you're a parent, a nanny, a grandparent...or maybe even a pet "parent", you can benefit from this!

Ever since we've had toys in the house, we've had the problem of them getting lost deep underneath the sofa. I would have to near break my back to reach them and it was happening constantly! It seemed even worse at our last place where we had wood flooring. They just had a tendency to roll so far back!

I decided I had to come up with a solution. Clearly, taking the toys out of the room was not an option, so I started thinking of ways I could block them from getting underneath the sofa. At first, I thought I could sew a long tube of fabric and fill it with rice (kind of like a door-stopper), but I felt like there must be an easier way.

Then, a pool noodle came to mind. But, they're solid foam (may be hard to cut or manuevre), and more difficult to find in various sizes...and I think the most obvious problem is that they are bright colors, which would not camouflage well for this purpose.

Then, my many visits to Home Depot popped into my head, and I thought I remembered them having something there that would work. Sure enough, they did!

It's foam pipe insulation (from the plumbing section) and it's the perfect dark gray color that won't show underneath your sofa! Here's the one I bought. I believe it was 6 feet long which was just about the right length for my longest sofa.

Measure the length of your sofa, as well as the distance between the sofa and the floor, so you know what size foam to buy before you go to the store. If the foam offered is too long, you can easily cut it to size with a pair of scissors, so don't worry about that.

A sweet employee at Home Depot asked if he could help me find what I was looking for, and when I told him I had found it, but was just deciding on the size I needed, he asked me what I was using it for. I just laughed and said "not it's intended purpose!". 

It comes in a few different sizes, and these were $1.28 each. I ended up needing 4 total. Two for the sofa and two for the love seat. One on its own was just a little too skinny to wedge perfectly underneath, so I put one inside the other to make it a little thicker. You can just pop open the pre-cut line and put one tube inside the other.

This created the perfect thickness to wedge underneath my sofa. I just pushed it under a couple of inches so it wasn't sticking out in an obvious way.

You can't even tell it's there, thanks to the dark color!

I'm seriously so excited about this solution! I hope you will try it too if you have the same problem of toys hiding under your sofa!

I'm linking up with Sew Many Ways, Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rental home tour: Master bedroom

I've been meaning to share some pictures of our rental now that we're mostly settled in. I haven't really decorated at all, aside from hanging a couple mirrors and pictures in the living room. I didn't want to have too much to re-pack, but at the same time, we wanted to feel "at home" as much as possible, even though we're only here for a few months.

First up, I'm going to share the master bedroom because it's the easiest room to tidy up for pictures! HA! Just keeping it real! It's harder when it comes to the living room and kitchen because they're small and open to each the living room is overtaken with toys most of the time!

Anyway, the rest of the rooms in the house will come over the next month or so. As for the master here, we are really in love with it. Plenty of natural light, much bigger than our last bedroom and we even have our own separate walk in closets!

Yes, there's still a box in the corner. The little table and lamp next to the mirror had nowhere else in the house to go, so I just put them here for now!

Hope you liked the little tour! Hopefully I'll have more rooms ready to share with you soon! 

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our sofa decision

This whole sofa-choosing process was a little more stressful than I thought it would be! Which is saying a lot, because we knew pretty much exactly what we wanted: a super comfy, good quality, light neutral colored, slip-covered sofa. While we found 2 pretty much right away, the final decision was a little more difficult.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we narrowed it down to 2 sofas:

The Belgian Slope Arm Slipcovered Sofa from Restoration Hardware

The Emory Grand Slipcovered Sofa from Arhaus

We decided on.....

The Emory sofa from Arhaus! But....we didn't buy it from Arhaus. We actually found it at a local furniture store the next day for $800 less! It is literally the exact sofa, made by the same manufacturer....the exact sofa! Not just a knock-off, cheaper version of it. I couldn't believe it...I was so thrilled! 

But, let me rewind for a minute. Josh and I were kind of in love with the Restoration Hardware sofa in terms of looks right from the start, but I had some concerns about the quality. I noticed in the showroom that the cushion was sunken in, and that made me wonder how well it would hold up over time. 

So, I turned to my trusted friend, Google for answers. Reviews on either of theses sofas were pretty difficult to find. But after some deep searching, I found that many customers were saying the same thing over and over about the Restoration sofa....the cushions and back pillows go flat and look terrible in about 2 years. I also found out that in recent years, the company has shifted most of their manufacturing to China, and the quality of their furniture overall has gone downhill (yet the prices have remained high). Don't get me wrong, we buy a fair amount of things made in China, but my problem is that most people were saying the furniture just wasn't the quality you think you're paying for at those prices.  

We were kind of sad to find that out, but also relieved that we hadn't invested thousands of dollars in furniture that wouldn't last. At that point, we knew we wanted the Arhaus sofa, but decided to just check in at a local place to see if they had anything. I honestly wasn't hopeful at all. But all it's slipcovered glory...there it was!

At our local place, they call this The Cloud Grand Slipcovered Sofa. We were pretty much instantly sold. The price was $800 lower than Arhaus, it was the exact same sofa, and it's made in North Carolina (known for quality furniture). Yes. We were definitely sold!

I'm not joking when I say Audrey loved it too!

She was cuddling with the fabric swatches (sorry, furniture store!), and even had me cover her up in one like a blanket! back to the actual furniture. In my last post, I had mentioned I was a little unsure of the arm style on this sofa, but I ended up deciding that I liked it in the end. To me, it's not too traditional or too contemporary, so I feel like in the event that my tastes change, I'm not stuck with a sofa that only fits one particular style. (Although I doubt I'll ever be a lover of contemporary). 

In addition to the sofa, we purchased 2 chairs. They're actually chairs-and-a-half, so they can accommodate 2 people each. These are just as comfy and amazing as the sofa! 

The fabric color we ended up going with was the one pictured on the right of the arm:

It's a cotton and linen blend and the color is called "Linen". It's very light, but I think it will hide every day wear and tear better than a pure white. It's machine washable (a must) which I'm so excited about. I just don't think it would be realistic to take all of these slipcovers to a dry cleaner on a regular basis!

I'm really relieved that this decision is over, and I'm so happy with the outcome!

Now, we just have to wait 8-12 weeks before we can enjoy sitting on it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I wore: recent outfits

I wanted to share some recent outfits with you guys! Please bear with me...the pics were taken with my phone, so not great quality....and in our bedroom...sometimes messy....try to ignore! Lately I just don't have time or energy to set up my tripod and take "real" pics, but I figured some were more fun than none!

I wore this on a day we ran some errands. It was unusually cool...and by cool I mean like 75. For me, that means it's time to break out the long sleeves!

Top: Forever21, similarsimilar in mintsimilar in cream
Shorts: Ann Taylor Loft
Shoes: DSW
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft, similar

I was honestly a little unsure if I really liked this outfit. If you follow along on Instagram, you'll know that I tried about 800 different combinations! Still not sure how I like to style these shorts!

Outfit for a day of sofa shopping!

Dress: Target
Necklace: Express, similar 
Shoes: DSW 

Dinner date with my girlfriend, Rebekah (a rare occasion!)

Necklace: Forever21, similar
Bracelets: Forever21, similar
Clutch: Etsy shop (bridesmaid gift...thanks Ann!)
Shoes: JCrew Factory, similar

Just a normal day in mom world!

Dress: Target

Today I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

pleated poppy

Stay tuned for a post about the sofa we chose! So relieved that decision is over! 
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