DIY Upholstered Bench

Today I’m excited to share the first of many DIY projects in our new home. The best news is that this project is really easy, I’m not exaggerating when I say that it took me about an hour to make this bench. Except for the batting I had all the supplies on hand. I even used the legs from a disassembled coffee table I made many moons ago for my New York City apartment. Chances are, if you’re not a borderline hoarder, like me, you may need to pick up a few items, but even for a novice, this project can be completed in an afternoon.

DIY Upholstered Bench
DIY Upholstered Bench

DIY Upholstered Bench

SUPPLIES:

Step 1: Cut your two pieces of wood to size and sand the edges.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 2: Layout the batting and cut to size of top of bench. You will only be using one piece of plywood for the next few steps.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 3: Staple down the batting.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 4: Cut the fabric to the size of bench, plus about a 3” border around the edges.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 5: Staple the fabric to the bottom of the plywood.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 6: Trim extra fabric at corners and tuck in to achieve the cleanest possible fold at the corners.

DIY Upholstered Bench
DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 7: Layer second piece of plywood on top of the upholstered piece, sandwiching the stapled fabric. Drill in about one screw in the center of each of the four sides.

DIY Upholstered Bench

Step 8. Add the legs.

DIY Upholstered Bench

And that’s it! You can even have them cut the plywood to size at your hardware store. This project is super easy, minimal mess and no staining, so no harsh odors. I just love the little touch this piece adds to our staircase wall!

DIY Upholstered Bench

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Vision Board Party Recap

This past weekend I hosted a few local friends and entrepreneurs over to create vision boards. It was a fun way to kick off the new year, with a fresh set of intentions mapped out visually. I asked each guest to bring a stack of magazines and I provided the poster board, glue sticks and scissors.

I also asked the guests to bring their favorite cheese which I served with a smorgasbord of crackers, baguettes and fixins, plus wine and sparkling beverages.

After some mingling and snacking, we combed through magazines and with little structure we created our vision for the year. Each individual had a unique strategy of content and layout. We chatted about goals and dreams for the year and at the end posed with our boards. It was a lovely night and the perfect way to transition from holiday break back to reality.

Vision Board Party
Vision Board Party
Vision Board Party
Vision Board Party
Vision Board Party

House Projects for 2019

If you guys have been following along on Instagram with the house updates, you know I am not wasting any time. I love getting these projects done, and if I have the vision and the energy and the cash (unfortunately that’s lacking at the moment), why not knock it out? My strategy is to tackle all the low budget projects right away so the home feels happy and our style while we save for the big budget projects, like a master bath overhaul, new flooring and a kitchen renovation. The five big projects I have on the docket for 2019 are all DIY, mostly painting and tiling with a couple exceptions. Without further ado, here is the list of projects I plan to tackle this year.


  1. THE POWDER BATH

If you follow my instagram stories, you know I already started this project. This past week I tore down the wallpaper and painted a pretty soft pink color and painted the trim white. I replaced the mirror and light and added a picture ledge. Phase two is on pause for a moment, but we are still planning to replace the vanity, update the flooring and tile the wall half way up. I’ll be sharing a post with my full reno plans and finishes soon.

Powder Bathroom before

2. THE STUDY

In the next month or so, we will be moving on to the study. We are planning to add trim to the walls, and paint everything, including the built ins and trim and light grey-green color. I have a cool vintage pendent to install and of course, style it out.

Study before

3. THE SCREENED IN PORCH

Thinking I want to tackle this room for the spring One Room Challenge in April. I want to paint the wood white, to bring it from rustic to modern. We will replace the track lighting with a pendent, figure out a space heating option and update the carpet to a patterned tile.

Enclosed Porch Before

4. KITCHEN REFRESH

We don’t have the budget for a renovation, but I’ve painted enough kitchen cabinets to know that a small budget can go a long way. We plan to paint the lowers and uppers shown below. We will take out the uppers on the opposite side of the kitchen, and replace with open shelving. We will replace the hardware and either paint or retile the backsplash.

Kitchen Before

5. UPSTAIRS BATH

I’m hoping that after the powder room, I will be brave enough to want to DIY this bath. She needs a complete facelift. We will replace the vanity and toilet, update the floor, pull out the tub and surround and replace with a new tub and tile.

Upstairs Bath Before

Check out my Dream Home 2.0 Pinterest board for all my inspiration and products on my short list to purchase. Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram.

My Happiness Project

I am a resolution person. Like an over the top resolution maker. Sometimes I make a checklist of things I want to do, and sometimes they are more traditional resolutions, but each December, I stop, review my year and decide how I want to be different or better the following year. Of course, 2019 is no exception. This year I have decided to do a Happiness Project. I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin. Her methods may not resonate with everyone, but I relate to her type-A tendencies and I find her advice helpful and useful in my life. I just reading Gretchen’s book “The Happiness Project,” have listened to her talk about the concept on her podcast for years, and I decided that there is no time like the present to tackle this endeavor.

What is a happiness project? It began as Gretchen’s quest to be happier, she dedicated a year to researching and implementing the practices she thought would boost her happiness. Gretchen dedicated a one month to 12 different areas she thought would contribute to her overall happiness. As she shared her progress on her blog, it turned into a movement and other’s began their own person quests. Everyone’s happiness project looks different. The difference between this and making big overarching resolutions is that you break them down into smaller, bite-size chunks that are easier to tackle and you can practice every single day for the month. The hope is that it becomes a habit and it carries forward to the next month.

Below I outline the areas I plan to tackle each month. My intention is at the beginning of each month share my wins and losses from the month prior and what I plan to tackle for the next month. I want to have a clean slate so in January I am focusing on organization.

Organization.jpg

photo

JANUARY - Organization

  • devise a system for keeping counters clear

  • develop a cleaning routine

  • solve the mail sorting issues

  • finish organizing office

  • purge and complete closet organization

  • sort junk drawers

  • organize and delete computer files

  • clear desk top, digital and physical

  • delete photos and apps from phone

  • sell, donate or recycle unwanted clutter

  • do a time mapping exercise to best organize my time



FEBRUARY - Finances

MARCH - Business

APRIL - Marriage

May - Attitude

JUNE - Friendship

JULY - Enjoy free time

AUGUST - Motherhood

SEPTEMBER - Putting Good things in and on my body

October - Taking care of the Earth

November - Gratitude

December - Self reflection


I am excited to share this journey with you. Follow along with me on Instagram and Instagram stories.

My Mantra for 2019: Do All Things With Love

2018 was a year of BIG change. I moved across the country and changed careers. I knew that was the plan, so at the onset I choose not a word, but a mantra for the year, “let it go.” It was tough, but I was forced to let go of so many things. This year, I decided to implement that practice again. I choose a new mantra, “do all things with love.” I made a little vision board for my year depicting not only my hopes and dreams for the year, but also how I want 2019 to feel.

2019 Vision Board

clockwise from upper left: tablescape / cafe / Do all things with love / desk / bride and groom / white shirt / pampas grass heart

I want 2019 to feel warm, inviting, friendly and fun. I want it to be filled friends, family, entertaining and amazing creative, trusting clients. I want just the right amount of things, and to say “goodbye” to the items, people and plans that don’t serve me. I want to be 100% intentional about what I let into my home, space and life. I want to “do all things with love.” If I don’t love it, I want to find a way to love it or find a way to rid it from my life.

Last year was all about pressing the reset button, but I didn’t really reboot until mid November when I started new jobs and moved into our new house. This is the year of the rebuild, starting at ground zero and I have big big dreams for 2019, including more work on the house, some amazing weddings on the docket, hopefully some travel, learning new skills and making lots of beautiful things! I cannot wait to see what 2019 has to offer!

Matt and Shannon's Brooklyn Wedding

You guys. This day. These two. Matt and Shannon are sweetest couple with the most magical families. The planning process was a dream and the day was so wonderful. And, the photos by KeLi Photography are to die for! I’ve been sitting on these photos for too long, and I am finally getting my act together and sharing the eye candy today!

I was back at my favorite Brooklyn venue, Berg’n. Where I got to deck out their private event space and court yard in greenery, wreaths and flowers all hand made by the bride and the best girl gang around, her three sisters. It looked like a secret garden, but cool, because it was topped off by a neon light.

Shannon and her sister are fellow wedding vendors, owners of the Photo Barr, a fabulous photo booth option beloved by the New York wedding and party circuit. She and Matt had a lovely vision andI was honored and lucky to help bring it to life. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your day.

MATT AND SHANNON 10.jpg
MATT AND SHANNON 9.jpg
MATT AND SHANNON 1.jpg
MATT AND SHANNON 2.jpg
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MATT AND SHANNON 7.jpg
MATT AND SHANNON 3.jpg

photos: KeLi Photography / coordination: Lauren Koster Creative / flowers: Bride and her sister, Sam / reception venue: Berg’n / church: St. Charles in Brooklyn / dress: BHLDN

2018 Gift Guide // Mom So Hard

This was supposed to go up on Friday, but sheesh I have been going a million miles a minute trying to do all the things for the house and for the holiday season. The blog has taken a back seat to life, but there is so much I am excited to share, starting with my final gift guide - Mom so hard. Because mom’s make the world go round, and they deserve some extra love for all they do, I put together a special, indulgent gift guide.

MOM-GIFT-GUIDE.jpg
  1. Ça Suffit Tee - pronounced SAH-SUE-FIE - means "That’s Enough” in French, often used as an exclamation when someone is mad or exasperated, proceeds from this tee support one of my biggest causes, Everytown for Gun Safety.

  2. Powersheet Planner - because mama’s got big goals and needs help organizing herself to accomplish them!

  3. PJ set - thinking a pretty set of PJs should be a permanent staple on my Christmas list

  4. ceramic mug - cause there is never enough coffee or enough cute mugs

  5. bike trailer - now that we live in a darling neighborhood and have places to ride a bike, I want to be prepared come spring!

  6. to-go salad container - I bring my lunch almost everyday and a high functioning container would be life changing.

  7. multi use utensils - I am obsessed with having intentional and beautiful items in my home and kitchen. I want to toss (or donate) the utensils I bought back in my collage days and trade up for well designed fresh items

  8. a facial - because I deserve it!

  9. Swedish Hasbeen clogs - I have been coveting a pair of these “mom shoes” for years, and I just love this shade of blush

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2018 Gift Guide // Home Goods

As a gal who just bought a new house, if you guessed my Christmas list was 95% home goods, you’d be correct. I’m coveting all kinds of updated pretty things to sprinkle into my assortment.

Home Goods Gift Guide
  1. Marble Chain - this accessory would take any surface to the next level

  2. Wood Candlesticks - love these minimal handmade candlesticks as fresh mantel decor

  3. Handmade napkins - moving toward zero waste will be easier with these sweet hand-printed napkins

  4. Mid-century planter - every plant needs a pretty home

  5. dish rack - starting over in a new house makes me want to have well-designed everything, even the dish rack

  6. Get It Together! - Do you follow Orlando Soria? He is hilarious! I cannot wait to dive into his undoubtedly funny book

  7. desk lamp - because my desk needs an upgrade

  8. fancy slippers - since I’m upping my game everywhere else, how about sequined fuzzy slippers too!?

  9. pottery class - I’ve been dying to take a pottery class, think it would be a great night out with a girl friend or even a solo mom’s night off