Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adorable Placemat Roundup

Hello :)

I am always looking for new ideas to add to the shop or extra ways to make a party package special, and lately I have been thinking about placemats. They are such an easy and cute way to make each place setting special and personal. 

Here's a round up of a few that have caught my eye:

I just love the vintage story one (I think I could design an entire party around this one!) and the fun cat one. 

I think placemats (especially DIY or printable ones) are going to be growing in popularity. In fact, don't be surprised if you personally see one in a certain little party I'm throwing soon. Just saying :)


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY No-Knit Coffee Cozy

I am excited to share a little DIY project that I have sneaked in the past week. Total time was probably 10 minutes, and 

A couple of weeks ago, Jason and I stopped at a local Starbucks and I noticed they had a few of these puppies on display:

They are made with sturdy plastic (I tapped it first to make sure, ha!) and are reusable. You even get a 10 cent discount on coffee when you use the cup. 

Um, did I mention that they were only a $1 ?!

Yeah, we picked up a few ;)

Since they aren't actual travel mugs, they do get really hot on the outside. 
Nothing a little DIY action can't handle! I absolutely love the look of a knitted cozy, but have never even picked up knitting needle in my life. I knew that I could get the same look without the work. 

I actually already had a great, knitted sweater on hand from Goodwill with the plan to use it in a party coming up, and I knew I could spare a little piece for this project. I used one of the cardboard wrappers from Starbucks as a template to trace around:

Next, I cut out AROUND the lines (I later used the lines as my guide to show me where to sew). I did the same with a different fabric as well, because I wanted to line my sweater fabric to make it thicker. I also like the added detail it brings. 

Next up, you have two options.

If you are a no-sewer as well, you can simply take your fabric, wrap it around the cardboard wrapper and hot glue it on. Wrap it around and glue the two ends together. Done! 

I considered this option, but I really wanted mine to be washable since I knew it was a *possibility* that I might spill some coffee on it at some point :). 

1. I placed my two fabric pieces together (good sides IN) and pinned them together. I sewed around the edges, leaving one of the smaller sides open. 
2. Turn inside out. 
3. Sew the last side shut. This side will be covered up by the other side, so it doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. 

Once that part was finished, I wrapped it around my mug and pinned it closed to the desirable tightness. 
Next, I sewed the two ends together with a decorative button. (I actually stacked a smaller, heart shaped button onto a bulkier button. The heart was too small, and the brown one wasn't girly enough!)

This would be great to throw into your purse to use instead of the disposable ones you get at coffee shops as well. 

For a girl who loves her coffee, I'm pretty smitten with this project :)
I kinda even wanna try to make a more masculine version...HMMMM.

Happy Tuesday :)


Monday, January 28, 2013

One Room at a Time :: Kitchen Organization

I am excited to share some of the progress I have made on my series One Room at a Time. I mentioned last week that I would be starting on the Kitchen. 
The first thing I did was really clean it. 

{Ugh, definitely my least favorite part!!}

Next up was organization & decluttering. I tried to be really realistic about what we used/need in this space. Since I am trying to do each room with minimal cost, I tried to utilize things around the house that I could use. 

Ready for some before and afters?  

The cabinet on the left contains all our baking stuff. As you can see, it clearly wasn't working anymore :)

I decided to completely move this cabinet into another and switch them out. I then scoured the house to find boxes and baskets that were the right size for my needs. 

To make everything a little more uniformed, I wrapped up the misc boxes with some fabric I had purchase at Ikea years ago. I have to say - this is one of my favorite parts about this project - going through all the fabric I have from past projects and putting it to use. I am sure this will come in handy when it's time to tackle the office and organize all the fabric, ha! 

While I was at it, I made labels for everything:

Next up, I did the drawers. I didn't take a before picture of this hot mess, but here is an "in-progress" one, after I had already organized it a bit and added some lovely drawer liner I had picked up at Home Goods a few weeks back:

Basically everything was just thrown into the drawer at random. It was really hard to find something when you needed it - especially measuring cups/spoons. I bought the baskets above in Target's dollar isles, just to bring some calm to the chaos. 

Of course, the blue totally clashed with my scheme :)

So, I lined the insides with some black and white contact paper I had leftover from my pantry overhaul a few months back {I originally purchased this at the dollar store of all places!} and placed some gray shelf liner on the bottom. 

Here's a look at the difference:

I also created some storage out of a clear, plastic box I had from a purchase awhile back. 

1. Start with the box you wish to use. 
2. Cut it down to size. I placed mine into the drawer and used a marker to mark the top of the (side part) of the drawer. 
3. Since the cut ends were a bit sharp (and ugly), I used washi tape to wrap over the edge. 
4. I filled this up with our measuring spoons - these had been a real issue for us. 

The next drawer was used for our larger cooking utensils. Same problem as the last one though:

For this problem, I did look in the store for drawer organizers large enough for these. For the amount we needed, it wasn't worth the price. Plus, none could fit the super-duper large spatula we have for burgers, and you know, other fat things :)

The only box I could find in the house that was long enough to house these, was an old diaper box. 

(wondering why I have so many boxes? Once I came up with the challenge for myself, I knew boxes would be used - so I am now basically holding on to them like a hoarder LOL)

I cut a strip out to use as a divider. I organized the utensils into groups and moved the divider around until I had in a place that worked: 

I hot glued the divider to the larger box, wrapped it in (what else?- contact paper) and placed it in the center of the drawer. This created two other 'dividers' on the sides of the box as well. 

After that I moved onto the bottom cabinets. 

The biggest solution to this issue was (1) keeping some of our smaller pots/pans somewhere else (a current DIY project in the works!) and (2) moving the drying racks side ways (at least, I think that is what they are - I also bought these at the dollar store years ago). Now that they are sideways, it is easier to get to the size we need. Before, I would have to dig through them. 

The other issue was our pots/pans. I went through them and got rid of the ones that were really old (with plans to upcycle one in our fridge). I used a plastic drawer (part of a 3 piece set that I was no longer using) to hold the baking dishes like muffin pans and molds. Cookie sheets are now stored vertically making it easier to grab. Now that there are less pans on top,  there should be no issue grabbing the one we need on the top rack. 

The next issue? 
Under our sink. This area houses our dish/cleaning towels (proud to say we have been paper towel/napkin free for almost FIVE years!!) and our smaller recycling area (this is an easy to reach place for paper, etc. Once this is full, I dump it in our larger ones in the laundry room). 

I switched the sides, added another plastic drawer for the towels, a basket for the dish towels (because we don't use disposable sponges, either) and also stored some serving trays we had in another drawer previously. 

Our recycling box got a bit of a face lift with some contact paper and a label. 

Are all these solutions the prettiest??


But they sure did the trick, and most of them were absolutely FREE. 

Works for me :) 

Come back tomorrow to see a little DIY holiday action I did for some of the To-Go mugs you saw in the beginning :)

Happy Monday!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy weekend

Wow, where did the weekend go??!

I had wonderful time. We got to finally test some of the beers we brought home last weekend from our trip to Wisconsin:

Did some snuggling with cats:

Actually got a little bit of snow (this is the lake by our house that is our beach during the summertime)

Started work on an amazing (& FREE) DIY project this weekend in our kitchen:

Proof that I am actually organizing in there as well:

Had this handsome guy dress up because he wanted to look nice for my birthday...isn't he awesome?!

I even received some lovely flowers from the kids as well :)

Then I got to spend the day shopping with my loves & picked up this beauty:

...And ended it with a little cake action:

Doesn't get much better than that, right?!

I'll be back tomorrow with some peaks at the organization that has been going on around here. I am so excited with how this little project is coming along!

Happy Weekend :)


All pictures were taken from my Instagram. Follow along @Nestling_Designs

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Room at a Time :: Kitchen

I shared with you a few weeks back some of the projects that I wanted to work on around the house. 

The problem is, there is actually about a gazillion projects that we have. Some were started on (but weren't finished). Some were "finished" but needed tweaking. And most of them weren't started at all. 

We moved into our house last year and even though we unpacked a long time ago, we are not really "settled in". Aside from the Family Room and Dining Room, our house basically looks like we just moved in. We have art still waiting to be hung and random objects in need of a home. 

{It's kinda a deep, dark secret}

I think the problem is we are trying to make all the things that worked in our last house, work in this one. 
And they don't. 

When packing up to move here, I sold or donated a lot of items that I felt like we didn't really like anymore. Great idea in theory, but now our house just looks undesigned and naked. We have been waiting to decorate our home until we can really do it the way we want, but at this rate I feel like I just cant wait.

To top it all off (womp womp), I keep rearranging things and moving things (trying to make it all work, people!) that everything is just an insane amount of unorganized. 

I originally got into interior design because I saw the power that our environments have on us. I honestly believe the state of our lives are reflected in the way we live. 

And right now I am feeling like one hot mess.  

During our trip to Wisconsin I really contemplated this whole situation. Jason and I had both agreed a few months back that we wanted to travel more; nothing big - just small weekend trips once a month. (And aside from December we've done awesome at that resolution!). As more of our "extra" money is going towards that, less is being put into this house - a space I am living in all day every day. I knew that something had to give with the house. 

I started thinking of projects I could do, one room at a time, to fix things up and organize them. 
We have boxes of random things (like frames, curtains, etc) from our last home that didn't have a spot here, but I just couldn't part with. I think with a little bit of work I can really pull this ol' space of ours together!

Here's the deal: 
I am giving myself  1-2 weeks to finish one room in our house. This is big for me since I tend to bounce from project to project. I must stick with the one room until it's finished. 

I reeeeally have to utilize things we already own. Some thrifting is fine (duh!) as well as a few small purchases. No major purchases {yet - we are in talks on buying a new television}. 

Each room has to first get a deep clean {think curtain washing, fan dusting - things I don't do ever regularly}

A main objective of mine is organize & DECLUTTER. Once upon a time we were organized. I swear it. 

I'm kinda super excited about this. It really is getting me to think outside of the box and get crafty and creative. The end result should be an organized, clean, pretty cute & pulled together home. Not our dream space, but a good foundation to live in until we can start really fixing up our house. 

So are you ready for some ugly? I mean, pictures of the first space I'm conquering : the hub of the house, the kitchen:

So, not entirely offensive, right? Just really, really boring. (the cabinets, etc will just have to wait until we buy the house)

Here are the things I plan on doing or fixing up for the space:

*Paint the tops of the flour & oatmeal jars (right now they are worn wood)- with paint we already have
*Get a stand to hold all the dish soaps
*Paint the tray I plan on bringing into the space (it's one I already own that currently needs a home)
*Paint the cart (not shown, but you can see it here)
*Add curtains using fabric I already have (I hope). 
*Add more modern/clean elements. Sub them out with some of the more rustic ones. Maybe art?
*Add a backing inside the cabinets
*organize the drawers that hold our cooking utensils - build drawer dividers?

So yeah, I have my work cut out for the next week or two :) 

First things first, I needed a little inspiration to put this plan in action, so I bought a few new pretties to get it all started (of course - I mean some habits are hard to break!):

If you follow me on instagram, you saw me post this:

(the jar holding the dishwasher powder was originally unused in our laundry room, and the tray was a Goodwill purchase a few weeks back for a couple of dollars)

Tomorrow, I'll show you how I have conquered our drawer troubles and other cluttered areas so far with some DIY drawer organizers, but for now here is a little sneak peak of a project in progress:

I hope to post every week with a bit of an update. 
Have you ever decided to go through your house room by room? Did you stick with it?