31 Mar

English Garden Inspired Tablescape

Easter is this coming Sunday and while I am not hosting it I thought it would be nice to share a tablescape design that can be used as inspiration for Easter or any get together.

For my fake Easter celebration I will be hosting a brunch. I love brunch food and it’s easier to host because a lot of food prep can be done before hand and a good amount of it can be ready made. Hosting is hard enough so making the food a bit easier is great.

My inspiration point was this beautiful floral chintz I found during one of my fabric shopping trips.

english garden tablescape

Out came the blue ginger jars, blue and white ticking and kraft paper!

english garden tablescape

I kept the floral centerpiece simple and got big blue hydrangeas. They work perfectly with my garden theme and I only needed 6 stems to fill my ginger jar.

english garden tablescape

Instead of a tablecloth I used kraft wrapping paper to cover the table instead. Namecards? Not needed I just took a white paint pen and wrote the names right on the kraft paper.

english garden tablescape

I made carrot inspired napkins for the tablescape with solid orange napkins I picked up at TJ Maxx.*Did you know you can shop their site now? I had no idea! (DIY steps coming this week)
english garden tablescape

To help make things come together even more I also picked up a blue and white ticking table runner. You could easily do the same thing with fabric if you couldn’t find a runner.

english garden tablescape

Breakfast treats got placed on white dishes.

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I make some adorable flower pot cupcakes that were super easy to make. (DIY steps coming this week)

english garden tablescape

On the opposite side of the room I made a beverage station.

english garden tablescape

A section for iced tea complete with mason jars and paper straws.

english garden tablescape

Loved using my favorite DIY monogrammed cutting board to catch any spills from the tea.

english garden tablescape

The opposite side was a tea station which is a must for an English garden inspired tablescape.

english garden tablescape

So, are you coming over for brunch?

english garden tablescape

If you are interested in some more Easter/Spring tablescape inspiration make sure you check out this postwith my favorite DIY fabric chandelier.

Posted in DIY, effortless style, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
30 Mar

Scenes from my weekend…

April is almost upon us and we woke up to snow flurries on Saturday morning. Snow flurries that continued for the entire day and left us with an inch of snow. Not a lot, but still enough to make everyone go, “Ugh! Enough already”. I don’t mind snow and typically think it’s actually really pretty, but I’m ready to say good bye to it!

Saturday we had our usual soccer outing and then spent the day prepping for our Easter tablescape post. I will be sharing it tomorrow, but here is a little sneak peek:

easter sneak peek

Part of my set up included a little action with rub on transfer letters.I’ve never used them before, but now I’m obsessed!

rubontransfers

I also did a little baking with Hudson. We made a cake and decorated it with some rainbow cookies. Not sure if rainbow cookies are popular everywhere, but around N.Y. they are a super popular treat that Hudson adores.

rainbowcookiecake

We finished off our day by seeing HOME! I think I was more excited than Hudson. He loved it and behaved the entire time, which was much nicer than the typical chasing him around the theater scenario.

On Sunday I ran out to pick up some flowers for the photo shoot and spied this pretty lemonade at Fairway.

lemonade

I also baked some croissants for the Easter tablescape photo shoot. My little secret? Buying the packaged mini’s from Trader Joes. They are so yummy and easy to make. You just need to leave them in the refrigerator overnight and then pop them in the oven for 15-20 mins at 350. Easy!

traderjoescrossiants

In the afternoon we ran some errands around town and then wrapped up our weekend at home where I got to play around with some new fabric samples. I’m in love with this new ikat pattern.

The purple/greige colorway looks great in my living room:

purpleikatfabric

The blue/green colorway looks great with my vintage sofa in my bedroom:

blueandgreenikat

I also admired the pretty pink leopard shirt I picked up during one of my errands.

pinkleopard

All in all a lovely weekend filled with work, fun and family.

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27 Mar

Friday Finds…

jessicaalbarentalhome

This week I decided…

-That a trip to LA is in order so I can stay in Jessica Alba’s guest house. Isn’t that striped sofa to die for!

-Have a complete girl crush on photographer, Rima Brindamour.I fell in love with Rima’s work on Matchbook Magazine and this past weekend I was luckily enough to work with her on two photo shoots and she is just so cool and talented! Love this portrait shoot she did. With the last season of Mad Men about to start it really got me into the mood for it.

-After cleaning up my closet I realized I have way too many striped items, but stripes are a classic, right? I say yes! So, of course that means I totally need this dress. I’m completely smitten with it.

-Like all other 16 year olds around the world I was eagerly watching the season finale of Pretty Little Liarsto find out who A was. Guess what? It’s Charles. Guess what? That’s not really spoiler, because no one has any idea who Charles is and now the internet is flooded with different theories. It’s driving me nuts. Clearly I need to stop watching shows made for teens, because my 33 year old heart can’t take it. I did find this teaser for next season and I’m still hooked and need to see what happens to my PLL’s.

-Why have I never thought about an ice cream sandwich made out of doughnuts? Mind blown. I need to make some.

-Of course if I ever want to fit into this jaw dropping polka dot bikini I should probably lay off the doughnut ice cream sandwiches and get back on WW. Ah why can’t we have our doughnuts and eat them too.

-

Posted in friday finds, Uncategorized | 6 Comments
26 Mar

DIY Lucite Tray from Home Depot

diylucitetray

I have loved taking part in numerous Home Depot style challenges. In the past I tackled giving my front door a life and decorated my dining room for Christmas. This time around I took part in a DIY challenge where all of the bloggers participating needed to use piping in their project. I know piping is huge right now in interior design and while I love the industrial look I don’t really love it for my own home. It just doesn’t fit in with my home. So, I needed to think of a way to glam it up. What’s better than a little lucite and a little bit of copper piping! The perfect over-sized tray that works perfectly in my living room. Check out the easy to follow steps over on The Apron Blog by Home Depot.

Posted in DIY | 4 Comments
25 Mar

Before & After: Master Closet

I have a little bit of a secret to share with you. In life I tend to be quite organized, very type A and sometimes a bit picky when it comes to how things should be. That is except for the state of my closet. For some reason I always try to keep things nice and organized in there, but before I know it looks and stays like this:

closetdoorbefore

beforeshot

beforeclosetfloo

beforesideview

When I had to brainstorm a project for the True Value DIY Squad, I knew that I needed to take control of the closet and get it clean and organized once and for all.

The first step was to remove everything. My initial thought was to repaint the closet, but the idea of having to deal with paint fumes and getting my clothes smelly didn’t really appeal to me. Once everything was out of closet I tested out a magic eraser and was happy to find that it got rid of all of the black scuff marks and made the existing paint job look brand new.

magiceraser

Since the closet is on the small side I knew that my best bet in getting the most storage was using vertical space. There had been 2 shelves on left side of the closet which I knew could be revamped to work better for my needs. Out went the existing 70’s contact paper covered shelves and in went new melamine shelves. I picked up three pieces and cut them to size with a circular saw.

Now you can hang your shelves with brackets, but the closet already had side supports that the shelving could lay on. It’s so easy to recreate yourself. Simply use some spare wood and cut them into pieces 2″ tall by 3/4″ (customize the depth to however deep your shelves are) . Screw them to sides of your wall where your shelf will be and then you can simply lay your shelves on top of them. So easy and you don’t lose any space like you would with brackets.

BEFORE SIDE SHELVING:

beforeshelves

AFTER: 3 NEW SHELVES

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For the closet rod my first impression was to swap it out with a shiny new one, but it was built into the wall and there was not an easy way to remove it. It stayed in place, but my eclectic collection of hangers went out the window and in went new slim fit hangers to squeeze in a little more space.

CLOSEUPOFHANGERS

The space above the hanger rod has always been a horrible mess. The ceiling curves in that part of my closet so there is not a lot of width and the piles of clothes start falling apart the second I pull a sweater out. Storage bins to the rescue. They added a dose of pretty and helped organize my mess. I filled them with out-of-season clothes and stacked my heavier sweaters in the middle. It was a perfect fix.

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On the right side of my closet I used smaller storage baskets to store winter scarves, gloves and belts. I picked up hooks at True Value and was able to hang them on the walls and utilize more vertical space.

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I also sprinkled hooks throughout the higher wall space and hung some of my favorite handbags and hats. The rest of my handbags were stored away in a storage container with wheels. Now I can easily wheel it out when I want to switch bags.

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My closet door still houses my scarves, but it’s now much more organized. I feel like I have a little boutique in my closet now. I can easily see all of the different scarves now, and it makes picking out one on daily basis so much easier. DIY steps on my hanging system coming up tomorrow.

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In order make my closet have more of a boutique feel I also added a small 2’x3′ rug. It adds some texture and pattern to the space and helps make my little walk in closet feel a bit  grander.

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It’s so nice now that everything has it’s place and the floor is actually clutter free. You can actually walk into the closet! I spent a lot of time in the closet just admiring how pretty it came out that first weekend and now my closet door can actually stay open and not give me anxiety. Hudson is loving it too. It has become his new favorite hiding spot during  hide and seek.

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

 

 

 

Posted in before and after, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
24 Mar

Classic Cane

*Sorry for the radio silence yesterday. Our weekend was jam packed with work, work and more work. Then Sunday night as I was putting Hudson’s PJ’s on I realized his body was covered in little bumps! At first we thought it was dried skin, but we went to the Doctor’s early Monday and he has strep! Apparently rashes can be part of strep. Hence craziness and no time for blogging.*

In my book a cane pattern will always be a classic. I was happily surprise to see an array of caned products during my weekly trip to Target.

Yellow Cane Storage Bench for $99 that was topped with a caned tray.
canedottoman

I have always wanted to try making a DIY caned lampshade and now I don’t need to, because I can pick one up for $30..
CANED LAMPSHADE

Caned vases (not available online at the moment)
caned vase

Caned ceramic accent stool for $59:
caned garden stool

Caned pillow in yellow,mintand coral.
caned pillow

Use code MADNESS for an extra 10% off all of the items I found!

 

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20 Mar

Friday Finds…

kelly green ikea pillow

This week I …

-Picked up two of these pillows from Ikea. I have been meaning to get some kelly green pillows made for the living room and at $3.99 these where an easy purchase to make and test out how I like the color before splurging on more expensive fabric.

-How amazing is the lacquer job on this sideboard from Naomi’s latest project? Swoon. A high gloss finish is always a must in my book.

-Isn’t this chocolate bark stunning? Too pretty to eat! Well almost I would still totally eat it. I want to tackle this project for Easter.

-I will never tire of campaign style furniture and my latest obsession is the Gemma collection from Pottery Barn Kids. From the crib to the nightstands and everything in between I want it all!

-In love with this navy floral shift dress. Has anyone seen it in person? Toying with picking it up. Only $30 and currently you can use the code THANKYOU for an extra 30% off!

Happy Friday!

Posted in friday finds | 1 Comment
19 Mar

Treat Yo Self: Floral Plates

Whenever I head to my favorite fabric outlet I always pop into the near by Christmas Tree Shop.I love popping in to see what treasures I can find. Let’s be honest a lot of times it’s full of (dare I say it) tacky items, but I always find some gems mixed in. This recent trip proved successful when I spied these pretty floral melamine plates.

floral plates

I got a set of melamine plates for my birthday last year and what started out as simply outdoor plates have now become everyday plates due to a little toddler who wants to help with everything. Melamine now works perfectly with our lifestyle and I was looking to pick up a new patterned set.

floral plates

How pretty is the new collection they have in store!

The floral design reminded me of the beautiful flowers Lulie Wallace paints that I adore. I picked up a set of 8 dinner plates for $1.69 each, a large serving bowl for $3.99 and a massive round platter for $4.99!

floral plate

I already feel like I should have gotten more and may make me another trip out to pick up an additional round platter. Run out to your local Christmas Tree Shop to pick some out!

Posted in treat yo self | 4 Comments
18 Mar

Renovate your jewels!

Ah young sweet love. When Jon and I were dating every occasion was celebrated from a 6 month anniversary to traditional Valentine’s day and sometimes a just because. The best part of celebrating was of course gift giving and during our relationship I have amassed quite a jewelry collection. Not an Elizabeth Taylor sort of collection, but I do have a couple special pieces that have meaning to me and I can’t part with. The problem now is that once I got my engagement ring and wedding band I pretty much stopped wearing every other ring Jon gave me. For years they have sat in my vanity collecting dusk.

petiteplatesjewelrysetup

Recently I was contacted by my friends at Gemvara and they let me know about a new service they are offering called Stone Reset by Gemvara. With stone reset you can mail them your old jewelry in an insured pre-paid mailer that they send you and once they receive it a jeweler will look over your goodies and tell you what jewelry from their collection you can use your stones with. If you like an option you can finish it designing it and pick out the type of gold you would like in the setting.

Since I loved my first experience with Gemvara I was excited to try out this new service they offer.

Off went this collection of old jewelry:

oldjewelry

I sent them:

– 3 stone diamond promise ring, which I loved Jon for giving me, but I never loved the setting. The white gold setting pinched in on the sides of the diamonds and it always bothered me.

– 1 stone diamond ring, which again I loved and it had tons of meaning to me, but I never wore it once I had my engagement ring.

– Sapphire ring flanked with mini diamonds on the sides. I loved this ring and wore it for years and years, but again since my engagement ring was emerald cut diamonds and the same shape of the sapphire I just never wore it anymore.

– Smoky quartz necklace with diamonds. This necklace was never my style, but a friend gave it to me years ago so I always felt bad getting rid of it.

I packaged them off in an insured pre-paid mailer that I requested here and in a couple of days I had an email full of new jewelry options my old pieces could be used for.

resetgemvaraIt was fun to see all of the options and then play around with Gemvara’s program and change up the gold and accent stones and decide what my new pieces should look like.

The top image is the option they sent me. The bottom image is a new mock up I made with the help of their program.

 

resetbygemvara

 

I was able to get 3 new pieces with the jewelry I sent in. Once I picked what I wanted
I put in my order to the jeweler and now I need to wait just two short weeks for my new pieces!

Stay tuned for a follow up!

*This post is part of a collaboration with Gemvara. All opinions are my own. Gemvara is a company I truly love and use. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Effortless Style possible.

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16 Mar

DIY Bubble Burlap Wreath

The snow is finally 95% gone and it was warm enough yesterday to go out without a jacket and slip on ballet flats without any sort of sock! Amazing, right? Spring is finally upon us and in order to get into the spirit I decided to tackle a little floral wreath project.

Here is what you’ll need:

diy bubble burlap wreath

Supplies:

18″ wire wreath frame
3 yards of burlap fabric
Burlap letter (Target Dollar Spot)
Faux flowers
Scissors
Wire Cutter

Step 1: Cutting your strips. Typically these wreaths are made with ribbon, but when I was shopping I found the most beautiful coral burlap fabric so decided to go with fabric instead of ribbon. I purchased three yards and cut the fabric into 6″ wide sections.

diy bubble burlap wreath2

Step 2: Looping. I took one end of the burlap and looped up and over the outer most wire on the wreath. I did this so that the loop wouldn’t slip off on my starting point. Some tutorials recommend stitching it together, but I found this technique to work just as well and take less time/effort.

diy bubble burlap wreath3

Step 3: Once your piece is looped through the first wire you weave the burlap through the remaining wires for your bubbles.

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Step 4: Scrunch the burlap section you just looped.

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Step 5: Flip the wreath over and twist the burlap section where your remaining burlap is and then start weaving again. So, if you started at the outer most ring when you flip your wreath over you will be twisting by the inner most ring and then weaving from inner to outer ring.

diybubbleburlapwreath

Step 6: Time to decorate!

diyburlapbubblewreath6

If your faux flowers have wire stems make sure you have  wire cutter to clip your flowers. All you have to do now is clip them to the length you want and loop them through the wire where you want to place them. Due to the wire you can twist them on the wire wreath to secure them.

diyburlapbubblewreath7

How many flowers you use, what style and placement are all up to you! The burlap letter I bought already had a loop through it so I used that to tie it onto the center of my wreath.

Step 7: Hanging. I don’t have a wreath hanger so I simply used a piece of raffia ribbon and tied it into a circle and looped it through the top of my wreath. Then I place that up and over my door and loop it to a command hook I have on the back side of the door. So easy!

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The project took around an hour and cost about $20.

Here it is on display!

diyburlapbubblewreath

It really helps brighten up my already bright door and I can spy it a block away!
diyburlapbubblewreath

Are you ready to tackle a bubble burlap wreath? My mom already wants me to make one for her door. Not feeling burlap? Try this grosgrain Kate Spade inspired wreathinstead.

 

Posted in DIY | 3 Comments