I finished my family room gallery wall about a week ago but I still hadn't found the perfect something to put into a frame with awkward dimensions - 5 3/4 x 11 3/4 - what is that? I contemplated getting a picture enlarged and cropping to fit the frame or framing a piece of patterned paper to compliment my color scheme.....hmmmm......Then while toodling around on Pic Monkey I decided I would make my own very simple typography print!
I knew I wanted a black type on white look so I googled 'white paper' and clicked 'Images' and saved a piece of white 'paper' to my computer. You can use any color background you would like......simply google that color and save the image to your computer.

Next, in Pic Monkey open the white paper file you saved. Here you will resize to fit the dimensions you would like. My funky dimensions in pixels was 431 x 881. If you would like to create a print to fit in an 8 x 10 frame you would want 600 x 750 in pixels. I used this handy calculator to convert my measurement from inches to pixels. Click 'Resize' and enter your dimensions. Be sure to unclick 'keep proportions' and then click 'apply.'
Now you get to enter your text! On the far left hand side click the icon that looks like a 'P', then 'Add Text.' You can play around with your font, color and sizing until you have a look you love. I didn't get into all of the fun features and effects but I did add a little asterick for kicks. You can do the same by clicking the 'Overlays' icon, again located on the far left side. I chose 'Stars' and sized my shape for my print.
Frame, hang and enjoy :)
I'll share my gallery walll later on this week but here's a little sneak-peak!
I hope you enjoy the tutorial!
Have you used Pic Monkey to create your own print? I'm always learning and would love any tips or tricks you've learned!

Nagging Tasks {Home Edition}

I've been thinking a lot lately about resolutions. I've set a few of my own that I will work on this year - big things like organizing my digital photos and eating clean. I'm also a list person......I love to check things off my list! Do you?
I have a list of my grander resolutions but it will inevitably take me days, weeks and months to accomplish those tasks. I wanted to work on something smaller. I want that check mark next to my task now! The thought came to me when reading 'The Happiness Project' that I would like to focus on small things around my home - things that can be done in a few minutes or an hour or maybe even a day at most.
 One of the authors 'resolutions' for happiness is tackling a nagging task. I loved this when I read it! I immediately (at 2:00 a.m. aka 'my creative time') jotted down a list of tasks that were nagging me......I wrote out a three page list in a matter of minutes! Things like schedule a appointment for the dermatologist, get my daughters hair cut, floss and organize my boys schoolwork.
I thought I would take this one step further and write out a list of tasks around my home that were nagging me. I literally walked around my home with a pen and paper. Here are a few that I'll share: (no judging, mkay?)

These french doors that let in beautiful natural light have looked like this pretty much since we moved into our home......4 months ago! Check.

This is the current state of my daughters closet. The clothes and shoes are clearly out of reach for a 3-year old, her dress up clothes have no home and I won't even show you the other side! Serious closet makeover. This task may take longer than 10 minutes :) Check.

Need I say more on this one?!? Check.
Hopefully this will help you to inventory your home and take pen to paper and list those tasks that are nagging you to no end. And then you get to check them off! My favorite part :)
So, what tasks are nagging you right now?

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Making Art with What You Have: Gold is Back!

So as I mentioned when putting my living room together, I am seriously purging items that I'm no longer in love with. But I could never bring myself to get rid of these frames.
I've hung onto them for over a decade now. They've graced the walls in the first three homes we lived in but then I was all, 'I'm over this gold thing!" Bring in the chunky black frames and frames made from salvaged tin and lots and lots of easels......everywhere! That was the early 2000's.
I've contemplated spray painting them dozens of times but never did it AND I'm SO glad that I didn't because now that 'gold/brass thing' that we detested in 2005 is now ever so popular and amazing in 2013!
Check it:

I adore this room!! It may be a bit too much for my lifestyle with 3 rambunctous kiddos but I do use it for reference everyday when deciding how to style my living space, namely the pops of gold and brass.
I was so happy to unpack these gold treasures that I've hung onto for so long and they will finally be displayed proud in my living room.
Because the glittery autumn colored leaves aren't working for me I decided to take the frames apart and glue a piece of patterned paper in each one. Most of these prints are from an discontinued Amy Butler collection and they are perfect since I've decided that blue and hot pink is where it's at! (at least for this room)

 Here they are all updated and pretty.

I think that three on each side of my gold mirror would finish that wall......for now!

What do you think? How do you like displaying art in your home?


Putting a Living Room Together

You've probably moved once or twice in your lives? Do you have wishlists of decor and furniture that you'll purchase for your new home and get so excited about putting your new home together exactly how you've imagined? Me too! Insert Pinterest Living Room Board!

My current fave living room inspiration:

 This is the living room of one Brooke Shields......isn't it perfect/gorgeous/lovely? Something to aspire to for sure :)
After the initial excitement of moving into, hopefully our last home, I realized that rooms weren't going to be perfectly styled {like above photo} until things like having clean clothes to wear and being able to find those clothes in the first place, unpacking toiletries and laundry detergent, finding the silverware and trash bags, etc...
To be honest, my decor wasn't even unpacked until we finished our kitchen cabinets which was a huge project that seemed to have no end but finally did end and they're perfect :)
When I reached the point where I could start styling rooms the way I'd imagined I became depressed opening boxes of decor that I wasn't really in love with anymore. What's a girl to do?!? I decided that anything that I wasn't in LOVE with or would be proud to display in my home was going. I was able to sell much of my decor thanks to some local Facebook pages and Craigslist. I might have a different take on this and this may come as a shock to some of you.........
I would rather have an empty room than a room filled with things that I don't love.
 You still here? Ok great!
Since I was 'starting over' (sorta) in some of the spaces in my home I realized that I didn't have much to work with.......but there is hope!
Back to the title of this post: putting a living room together. If you've found yourself in the same situation here is your solution:
 Paint! Paint can make an empty room look not so empty and is a pretty inexpensive way to change the look of a room. Our new living/dining room is large with 10' ceilings. I knew this room could handle a dark dramatic color and I've been wanting to use a dark gray for FOR-ever! The color we used is Gauntlet Gray by SW. LOVE how it turned out!

Neutral, neutral, neutral. It really is a blank slate. If you don't know where to start with color just go neutral. Everything in this room is white, gray, and black. I knew I wanted a white sofa (found this Ektorp Ikea sofa on Craigslist for a song:) to create a contrast with the dark walls. Long white curtain panels. The rug is gray/white, the chairs are neutral colors (I'm still planning on recovering my green chair too) Start here and then when you are comfortable (and have the funds) with your layout you can start layering in color and adding accessories that you love.

Remember function. Meaning, what will this room be used for? Since we have a good sized family room I wanted a 'pretty' room for guests and because this is the first room you see when you walk through the front door. So mainly a pretty room that will occasionally be used :)

When you have the basics covered, you can start searching for those perfect colorful accents! I believe the rule of thumb is 2-3 items of the same color is enough to be an 'accent color' and 2-3 accent colors can take a blah room to amazing!!

This room is far from done but it's the beginning to hopefully a very pretty, inviting, and comfortable living space! Probably not as perfect as Brooke Shields but I sure will try :) I'll be sure to post my progress as I find the perfect accent colors.......I'm tinkering with a cobalt blue and hot pink combo!

What do you think? What are your favorite accent colors right now? Do you have a great tip for styling your living space?



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