Jun 19, 2012

What I've been up to

So, so, so sorry I've been MIA! Has it really been three weeks since my last post? Eek! I hope you can all forgive me. Life has gotten a little busy lately. Want to see what I've been up to?

Well, when we last left off, I was headed for a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend. The weather was lovely and we had a ton of fun!

Our campsite...

We did some hiking and some kayaking with great friends. It was so fun and relaxing! I love being outside.

The next weekend, we went to my college five-year reunion. I was worried it would be awkward, but it was a blast! I got to hang out with my two college roommates and other great friends. It was almost like old times -- except I realized I'm too old to stay up dancing the night away. :)

The weather was pretty terrible -- it was rainy and overcast all weekend -- but I still liked walking around campus. Maybe I'm biased, but isn't it pretty?

And here's the big reason I haven't been around much:

Meet Colby, the newest member of the Heart Maine Home family! He's named after my alma mater pictured above -- that's why he's got a leash with his name on it. We bought the leash at the campus bookstore at reunion weekend before we even got him, since we were planning on getting a dog later this summer. But we found this little guy at petfinder.com and just fell in love with him, so we had to bring him home. He's a rescue pup who was born a stray, so we're happy to give him a nice home.

He's a boxer/hound/who-knows-what mix and is four months old. He's super duper lovable -- he loves to sit on your lap and cuddle with just about anyone who will let him. And he's really mellow and easygoing too, and loves to be outside. He's just a sweet, happy, lovable little guy!

We took this photo on the hubs' and my two-year anniversary. It only took 20 8 tries to get Colby looking at the camera and not licking our faces.

So, we've been busy playing with him, training him and just all around spending time with him. I knew having a puppy would be a lot of work, but phew, does he keep me running around! I haven't touched a craft project in three weeks! I'm definitely missing it, and hope to get back to it really soon, once I know I can trust this little guy to hang out in the house without chewing on the furniture or having an accident. :) For now, I feel like I have to keep a steady eye on him.

What have you all been up to? I'm so sorry for checking out for a bit! Hope you all understand and can't wait to see what you've been working on. :)

May 25, 2012

Enjoy your Memorial Day!

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been around much lately...things have just been crazy busy! I hope you all forgive me. I hope to be back and posting like normal really soon!

But for now, I'm off to a weekend in the woods -- yep, we're going camping! No phone, no electricity, no running water...but we get to see views like this:

I'll take it!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

May 21, 2012

Privet House for Shops at Target

Hello all! Happy Monday. I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I got outside, spent some time near the ocean and some time in a kayak -- it couldn't have been better!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know that I love Target. Like, love love it. Like, if they had a support group for Target loving, I would probably go because my husband would make me. 

So, of course when they unveiled their Shops at Target collections, I had to take a look. Apparently, they're selling the goods of local shops from around the country. The shop they're featuring in the home section is called Privet House, and the stuff is really cute! 

Of course I had to sneak a few peeks at their collection -- and take some photos so I could share it with you all! I included links to Target's website when I could find the item online (though a lot of stuff is sold out online) -- click the photos to get there.

I love these chevron outdoor rugs, especially the white one.


This basket has a whitewashed look that gives it an antique feel.

I love the industrial look of this lantern! I think I'd put it on my deck for hanging out after-hours on warm summer nights.


Not gonna lie -- I wasn't really sure what this wire house was for. The tag says it's a centerpiece "perfect for candles and plants." Wouldn't a little ivy plant climbing up to the roof look so cute?

They had lots of decor items in such fun patterns, like these votives and pillars...

And these napkins...

And these plates and bowls...

And this serving tray...

And, last, these glasses. I think these are my favorite!

You can check out the rest of the collection here.

What's your favorite? I totally want two of those glasses!

P.S. Target in no way endorsed or compelled me to write this post. These are just my own personal opinions as a self-confessed Targetophile.

May 15, 2012

Containers of flowers

Hi, everyone! A belated happy Mother's day to all you moms out there. Seriously don't know how you all do it!

I hope the weather is nicer where you are...it's quite rainy and dreary here today, like it was yesterday, and practically all of last week. *sigh* I'm getting sick of this weather!

At least the weekend was warm and sunny -- truly perfect, weather-wise! I got outside and finally did some serious gardening. And by gardening, I mean I put some flowers in pots. :) We do have a couple gardens that the previous owner planted with lovely perennials I don't really know how to take care of, so mostly all I do is weed those and cross my fingers. So far, so good!

I might be intimidated by my perennial gardens, but I love doing container gardening to liven up our porch, deck and other areas. I thought I'd give you all a peek at what I potted over the weekend.

I mostly stuck with hues of pink, purple and orange -- they just seemed so summery and fun to me.

Remember last year when I added window boxes to our shed? I'm still totally in love with them...especially when the boxes are full of dahlias. They are one of my favorite flowers -- they just make me so happy to look at it.

The metal bucket I got last year from the restaurant that was renovating downstairs is holding some petunias -- another favorite of mine, because they are easy and pretty and always blooming.

Two big pots our neighbors gave us are filled with petunias, calibrachoa and snapdragons. They flank the stairs up to the deck. They don't look very impressive right now, but I'm hoping they fill out nicely.

I was dumb and watered them before taking the pictures, so that's why the flowers look a little droopy.

I filled two big pots with flowers to flank our garage doors. The greenery is sweet potato vine, the purple flowers are calibrachoa, I think, and the orange ones are pansies. The tag for the fuchsia flowers just said "stock," so who knows. :)


We call this our front porch, although technically we have two front porches. This might really be a side entrance, but it's the one everyone uses and opens to our entryway -- and it actually has a porch, instead of just steps like our front door. (Did you know that practically no one in Maine uses their front door? True story).

The tag didn't say what this hanging basket is, but I love it. Not only are the flowers just to-die-for, but the basket is pretty cute too!

I also put some shade-loving impatiens in the house number pots I made last year.

The steps are flanked with two pots of torenia.

Our porch is a little lackluster right now -- all my attention has been focused on the inside, with accessorizing the newly painted living room, finishing the office and filling our new sitting room. So I hope you'll forgive me for this somewhat boring porch I've got goin' on.

I had some flowers left over, so I potted them and put them on the front stairs. The left pot has snapdragons and a dahlia, while the right has some torenia and flowers I actually planted last year that somehow survived the winter (even though I left them potted in the yard). I found them growing! I decided to keep them and see if they live.

My garden owl watches over everything.

So those are my flowers! Let's see if I can keep them all alive. I've got to watch the forecast to make sure we don't get any late frosts overnight.

What have you planted this year?

May 11, 2012

Rope planter {DIY}

I've got a thing for rope lately. You might have guessed from my DIY rope knot bookend. I guess I'm just loving its texture and versatility.

You know how when you buy a plant at Home Depot and it comes in one of those little plastic pots, like this one?

Well, with just a little time and a lot of hot glue, I turned mine into this!

This is just some sisal rope I got at the hardware store, I think. There's really no tutorial needed here -- just wrap the rope around the pot and secure with hot glue until you get to the top. Then re-pot your plant. Easy peasy!

I thought this little ivy would add some color and texture to the office bookcase. I took these photos a couple weeks ago, but I can't show you what it looks like now, because I kind of forgot it was there and kind of forgot to water it. Keeping plants alive is not my forte, so at least the pot will be cute even if it's empty :)

Linking up!

The Shabby Nest
Somewhat Simple
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

May 8, 2012

More on our living room makeover

Hey all! Thank you SO MUCH for all your nice comments about our new living room paint job! I really appreciate it.

I'm back again today with some more about our living room. In case you forgot, here's what it's looking like:

One thing that's always bugged me about our house is that we have white trim, but the outlets and switches are off-white -- they just ended up looking dirty next to the white trim. So, while the furniture was out of the room and the outlet covers already off, we decided to take the opportunity to switch them out to white ones.

Yes, this is the living room wall. Isn't it crazy how much that blue color changes in different lights?

On Saturday, we picked up a couple boxes of tamper-resistant outlets and unbreakable nylon covers to replace the outlets, as well as some light switches and covers. The hubs did some research and managed to do the work himself (with the power turned off, always). He's so handy!

We went from this...

To this.

It was such a simple change, but it really makes a big difference. It makes the room look a lot more polished.

Before we moved the sectional back in, we also needed to hang the curtain rods. The curtain rods we had in there were left for us by the previous owner. Since I joined the home design blogosphere, I quickly learned the curtain "high and wide" mantra. Haven't heard of it? Here's the gist:

It took a while to get the hubs on board with this, but once I did, we quickly realized the curtain rods we inherited were not long enough to go as wide as we wanted. Determined to get this living room whipped back into shape, we made our second trip of the day to Home Depot for a few of these:

I wish we could say we used lots of scientific measurements to figure out the best high-and-wide placement, but we really just eyeballed it. They ended up being about eight inches from the top of the window frame and nine inches out on each side. The rods we bought were 48"-88" long.

To make placing the brackets easier, we borrowed an idea from Miss Mustard Seed and made a template. We used an old piece of cardboard, cut off a corner so it would tuck around the window frame and measured where the screws should go.

Ignore the red lines

Then the hubs put the template against the wall and marked the holes.

This seemed like such a genius idea and worked great in the living room. Then we installed the brackets in the sitting room and ended up with this:

Hmm...how come they weren't even? It didn't take long to realize the problem was that our window frames weren't level. Bummer. We haven't decided how we're going to fix this one. So, if you go with a template, make sure your windows are level before you drill, and if they're not, adjust accordingly.

Anyways...hanging the curtains high and wide made SUCH a big difference! It makes the room look taller and opens up the windows to let in more light. I never disliked our old rods, but I'm really liking these ones a ton. They're thicker, so they're more substantial and give the windows a more polished look, if I do say so myself.

Curtains hung just above the window:

See what I mean?

High and wide, people! I'm a believer :)

And yes, those are the same curtains (they're from Target). I'm not sure about keeping them. Initially, I thought I'd get rid of them, but then we hung them up and, well, I'm not hating it. What do you all think? Is the blue and green combo a little too funky? Should I do with something with a pattern or more color? Or maybe just a plain white to keep things light and airy? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

One other little thing about the curtains. The problem with going high and wide can mean your curtains aren't long enough. These ones are only 84 inches long, so raising up the rods meant the curtains no longer hit the floor. But lucky for us, they're all hidden behind the furniture! (You can just barely see the bottom edge of the curtain on the left in that photo above.) So, we don't need to buy longer curtains. And it's better this way since the curtains no longer hang over the baseboards, meaning the heat should be more evenly distributed in the room.

We still have a few things to switch out in here. The coffee table is not staying -- it's too big for this space, and it was a hand-me-down, so we're not too sad to lose it. I'm not sure what we'll get instead. I've been thinking about one or two of these ottomans. I like the texture, that you can put things inside and that you could use them for extra seating or even move them out of the way easily.

And that floor lamp you see is from my old dorm room -- clearly, it's got to go! I can't wait to toss it and get something else. I've pondered getting one of these arc lamps and putting it in the corner behind the sectional, but I can't decide if it will just hang in your face and shine right in your eyes. But they are so cool-looking! This one's from Target.

Source: cb2.com via Mindy on Pinterest

And then there's art. I'm not sure about everything that will go on the wall, but I do know I'll find a place for my new sunburst mirror...

...and this painting I got at HomeGoods...

Oh, I also have to show you my new side table. I got it for $70 from a local antique store. I just think it's so adorable. I wish I knew why it's shaped this way, if there's a reason for the cut-out in the front. Maybe it's just for aesthetics.

Anyways, I love the warm wood tones and I think the curves offset the boxy shape of the sectional. The detailing on the legs really gets me.

Okay, okay, just a couple more photos... :)

Now that this room is painted, maybe I can get back to that office redo I've been working on forever... :)