Sunday, January 26, 2014

Valentine's Day Decorating at the BDH!

Hello barbies! I hope you're managing to stay warm this winter. It sure has been an unusually cold one in NC. We got snow last week - and temperatures have stayed so low that it still hasn't melted 5 days later! I used to be okay with the cold, but after 3 years of living in Texas for law school, my tolerance for it has dropped significantly. On a positive note, we did manage to snap some fab photos of the BDH in all of it's snowy glory.

Here at the BDH we're now all decorated for Valentine's Day. Can you believe it's already less than 3 weeks away?! We usually do a Valentine's Day tree, using a 7 ft pink Christmas tree we have and covering it in red hearts and garland. This year we packed up the Christmas trees without thinking about Valentine's Day (whoops) and by the time I realized I needed the pink tree, I was pretty sick of making trips with trees back and forth to storage. We did do wreaths and garden flags outside, chandelier hearts and garland, and a very glittery Valentine's table scape though. Here are some pictures of the BDH's first Valentine's Day decorations (with a peak at our new entertainment center and media room too!):




Thanks for reading barbies & happy Valentine's Day decorating! xoxo!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Outdoor Living Areas Inspiration

Hello barbie dolls!

Hubby and I have been thinking hard about what to do with our big empty back yard lately. We've been thinking critically about a pool -- which we would both kill for -- but have hesitations with the cost and its reliability as an investment (ps - being an adult sucks because you have to think about these things!).

We've also been thinking about adding a hot tub, an outdoor fireplace or pit (I'm leaning toward a fireplace, of course, since it's more expensive), a patio, outdoor dining (preferably a very long table a la Khloe Kardashian's) and/or an outdoor kitchen as more cost friendly and DIY friendly options. We love pavers for the patio and the stone look on virtually everything else. Below are some pictures we've been drawing inspiration from. Aren't these some beautiful spaces?!

Thanks for reading! xox barbies!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

DIY Painted Chevron Picture Frame with Burlap Bow Tutorial!

Hello dolls!

Last week, we were featured on the fabulous A Glimpse Inside Blog with a tutorial on how I made a chevron picture frame with it's own burlap bow for under $5! It was easy, cute and super inexpensive, so check out my tutorial below if you're interested in making your own!
The Supplies: 
A wood frame from Michaels ($1 - 2, depending on size, mine was $1) 
Paint in your choice of color(s) (you'll need 2 if you plan on doing the chevron pattern) 
A piece of paper/card stock and a pencil (if you want to trace the chevron pattern onto the frame) 
A medium sized paint brush Burlap ribbon (less than one yard)(available at Michaels, Walmart and Hobby Lobby) 
A flat Christmas ornament (optional) 
A hot glue gun with glue stick 
The Steps: 
1. Paint the frame the color of your choice. If you want to keep the frame all one color, you can skip step 
2 and go straight to step 3. 
2. Using the paper or card stock, trace the chevron pattern with a pencil. The paper helps to ensure you're using straight lines. After tracing, paint along the lines carefully with your second paint color to complete the chevron pattern. If you're anything like me, you won't be able to trace the lines perfectly, but the pattern will still be discernible! 
3. After letting the paint dry and plugging in your trusty glue gun to let it heat up, make a bow out of the burlap. I also used a small scrap of burlap ribbon to tie around the center of the bow to make it extra secure. 
4. Glue the back, center portion of the bow to the frame in the top center, top left, bottom center, or anywhere else you think looks cute! I chose the top center of the frame because my bow was so big. Press it down firmly for a couple seconds to ensure it stays in place. You might also spot on a little glue within the bow to make sure it doesn't come undone. 
5. If you also have a flat ornament you would like to add (now is a great time to get them for 50-75% off) hot glue that wherever you think is appropriate. I got this one in a two pack from Garden Ridge for $1 (50% off)! I love using the fleur de lis and glitter is always welcome in our house. 
6. Don't forget to insert a special photo to make it your own, and voila! You not now have a chevron and burlap picture frame that you can tell everyone you made yourself - and on the cheap! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year, New Goals and Home Improvement Projects!

Hello barbies and happy 2014!  Hubby and I rang in the new year in Lake Charles, Louisiana while driving back from a trip to Texas to visit hubby's family. Unfortunately, NYE wasn't much of a party for us because we were amidst an 18 hour drive - with dogs - and Ross had come down with a case of the particularly bad 2014 Texas flu bug. I've never seen him so sick. I'm pleased to report that he's now feeling 100% and my young, Italian Bob Villa is on his feet again!
Instead of picking one big resolution this year, I made a list of some lifestyle changes that I want to make that had been on my mind a lot lately. As we begin thinking about having kids some time in the next few years, I really wanted to make sure we're getting the most out of our free time as young, professional, child-free adults, because from my mommy friends it has become very clear to me that personal time and your own extra curriculars become endangered species when your little bundle of joy comes along. With our jobs and social media, I also find that hubby and I are both constantly glued to our phones, which is sad and I really want to change. They say your chances of keeping up your resolutions are significantly higher if you write them down, so here are a few of my top big picture goals for 2014:
  • Be more present in the moment
  • Put the iphone and ipad down
  • Swim more (I've already put some work in on this one in 2014!)
  • Learn to play the piano (hubby got me a beautiful antique piano for Christmas!)
  • Spend more time outdoors (traditionally not my thing, but I see its value)
  • Eat fewer processed foods
  • Spend more time volunteering (I already do a good bit with the swim team, but I want to get into some more traditional charities too)
  • Make getting to Europe in 2014 a financial priority
  • Use our Hasentree amenities more (since we pay generously for them every month and hardly ever take advantage of them)
  • Be less focused on material things
  • Spend more time with the ones who count <3
Here's a photo of the new piano. Didn't he do a great job? It's a Betsy Ross Spinet. Major thanks to the Fenlon boys for coming over to help get it inside (it's HEAVY)!

 Out with my girlfriend Sarah for her birthday. Happy birthday Sarah!

We also identified a list of home improvement projects we'd like to complete at the BDH this year, many of which we've already started working on!
  • Build wine cellar shelving (obviously this is a Ross thing, not a Whitney thing, so I'm at the mercy of his schedule)
  • Finish the only room in our house that is still undone, our media room (in progress - photos coming next week - I'm so excited!)
  • Build or buy built-in shelving for around our TV in the family room (done!)
  • Build or buy wall of book cases and rolling ladder for the library (this will need to happen soon because we're overflowing with books now! #lawyerproblems)
  • Finish the dining room curtains
  • Install a backyard fence for the dogs
  • Print enlarged canvas prints of our travel photos (already working on this one!) and hang them
  • Ross plans on building a rotating TV mount, so our bedroom TV can rotate between our master bed room and master sitting room
  • Paint or wallpaper our first floor powder room - I would love a gold damask paper in there!
  • Do wainscoting for a couple rooms that currently don't have it
  • Improve our landscaping
  • Improve our outdoor living spaces
  • Improve our Christmas decor storage situation (done!)
What are your resolutions and plans for 2014, dolls?
Stay tuned for a tutorial from Ross on how to build from scratch a weather treated outdoor bench! He built one for my parents for Christmas to replace one they had that broke and it turned out beautiful! Also, we'll be sharing before and after pictures of our media room next week and a VERY handy media room-related tutorial from hubby that saved us hundreds on our space! Lastly, be sure to check out A Glimpse Inside Blog, a fun site where I guest posted earlier this week. I gave a tutorial on how to make this chevron, burlap bow picture frame for under $5!

Thanks for reading barbies!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 Barbies!

Happy New Year dolls! Wishing you all a prosperous, lovely, lucky and incredibly blissful 2014!  Be sure to eat your black eyed peas and collared greens today for luck and money in the new year, respectively. If you're not from the South you probably don't know what I'm talking about, just know that my Mema and all of the other good Southern Memas swear by it. Mine even throws in some deep fried cornbread for good measure (and bad cholesterol). 

Happy New Year!!

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