Gladly Welcoming 2012

Oh Little Bloggy, how I've missed you. If only I had hours to do projects and energy to write. Thanks to this winter break, I've come to miss you dearly. I have returned, to focus and inspire. 
                                                                                              Yours Truly,
                                                                                                   Cali Lou

Now that I got that (guilt) out of the way I want to say welcome back! I hope you and yours had a fabulous holiday and that you have been able to relax and enjoy the slower moments this week. Boy, have I! 

Have you reached the point in which you are reflecting on your past year or maybe you're like me and have started thinking intensely on the upcoming year. There are a few things in the coming months that get me ridiculously giddy inside...
  • Paying off some major college debt. Adios Nelnet and Sallie Mae! (Update to come. Warning...it may be a Dave-Ramsey-type post!)
  • Buying a house! Yes, I think it's THE year!
  • Babies...you just never know. :)
  • Start my own business... just kidding...call me crazy but this is my dream every year.
  • The Mr. turns a whopping three o!
Can you tell I'm excited for 2012?! This blog might get a bit juicier!


DIY Requires Some Failure

Sometimes Do It Yourself isn't so easy.

We (meaning you and I) get brilliant ideas to try out a project we see on Pinterest or something we come across in a store. Sometimes daily, weekly, or for the craziest of us, hourly. 

I dive head in. Most often, I seem to realize half way through the project that I may be in trouble or should have processed it more before I started. (The Mr. is good at reminding me of this.) Because I'm stubborn, I press forward and eventually feel a sense of accomplishment and ownership of the process. But DIY requires some failure.

I found this project I truely believed to be "cool" for my bedroom.

After assuring myself of this anthropologie inspired project, I knew it had to be rad. (Yes, I just said that.)

Well I thought I had a picture but I must have thought it wasn't even worth it.

My friends who saw my project probably thought I had officially lost it. I laughed at myself when I saw this on Pinterest with the caption, "To use at the monster party". Ha, my beautiful little flower was considered for a monster party. Head hanging, at least I'm a teacher and can take it to school for my kids to somewhat enjoy.

Although, THIS blog seemed to make the project cool.

And take this coaster idea....

 Then I tried turning into something better...

Whomp, whomp.

And the one I was so jazzed about...
Mercury glass look-a-like.



Decided to give it another try.
It will work.

Those of you who think I'm a crafty little DIYer... sorry to dissapoint. 

I totally get those of you who would rather pay for something to be done. Sometimes it's important to weigh your choices. Something I have yet to get a grasp on.

Anyone out there with DIY failures like mine?!


Hanging Curtains

I left my camera in the car therefore you're not getting the post I had anticipated. Sorry friends.

But this might interest you. Remember when I wrote about hanging curtains? If not you can check it out here. This picture is a quite perfect illustration for you.

Wow, talk about making a room look bigger!


Banquet Seating

Have you ever seen a picture of a certain decor idea or style and said, "NO thanks!"? 

I hope I'm not the only one. 

When this happens, it takes a little time for me to warm up to it. Sometimes I transition to thinking I like it. Then I move into thinking that I actually like it. Very occasionally do I do it.

Recently, I have gotten a stronger eye for small eating nooks with banquet seating. At first glance, I thought... uncomfortable. But they're growing on me. I'm still in the process of deciding if I could pull it off.

  • Everyone would rather sit at a booth rather than a table.
  • Pull the table away and there's seating for more.
  • Less chairs= less $$$.
  • Table height would have to be just right.
  • Different backrest. 
  • Cleaning banquet pads.
  • Have to scooch on in.
Here are some of the pictures that are winning me over.



Still on the fence...What do you think?

My former co-worker, Mary Lou Gennett, shared this perspective. I love it. Take a look...
We have banquette seating. Many pros, as you listed. You mentioned the con of cleaning the pads. You can have covers made that are removable for deep cleaning, dry cleaning. Haven't had to do that yet. We have family side and guest side, living with family side most of the time. And as a guest becomes more familiar with us, I tell them we aren't turning the pads over for their visit any more. :) Additionally, one tip. As the host/hostess - never be the first one to sit down there. You will have to scooch on it, and then be trapped. We love the seating. It seats many more people that would be allowed with a standard table/chairs. AND, ours are also used for storage. Lift up the lids and you will find the rarely used kitchen items: turkey roaster, extra burners for the range, etc.


Royal Blue

Royal blue. 
Majestic, huh?! 

Recently, it has suckered me in on more than one occasion.

It's not the color you see everywhere like everyone's best friends' Gray and Yellow.

The boldness of royal blue strikes me as it sits next to a crisp white. It could MAKE a focal point.

Will me next sofa pillows be royal blue? My next bedroom accents? My someday-nursery? Or just maybe, my tufted headboard? 

If I had to buy today...

West Elm Striped Sheets- $60

World Market Cloth Napkins- $15.96

This post inspiration came when I saw two gorgeous ottomans that were royal blue velvet AND tufted at HomeGoods. I fell in love. If only I had a place for them.

Royal blue...not the easiest to find but I'm crushin' on it for sure!


Finding Contrast

Contrast is everywhere, at least it seems.

Dark on light or light on dark. Lately, I've seen plenty of really dark wood floors combined with a bright white room. If you don't believe me, check these out...

And whala! There's another...
Simply beautiful!

Why is it appealing to the eye? Maybe because it scream at you a little bit louder than other rooms. Yeah, it's dramatic with a capital D.

Want more than eye candy? Check out this blog post on how to use contrasting colors in your decorating.

Who's up for it?!

Me! Me!


Why Waiting is Hard

We're still waiting for our opportunity to buy a home. Our hopes are for May. It will be here quick but here's what makes the waiting hard....

We see this.....
for a bang-up deal, in a very nice area and think about 

Turning this... 
Into this...

and this...
into this...

or even this...

This kitchen has potential...

Out with the old...

In with the new...


Old and dated...
Fresh and clean... 

Would love this sun room...
because we could turn it into...

Well, The Mr. and I made a special trip to drive by it. The first thing I saw...


 Sad day. 

Were gaining vision by the day!

All house sale photos from http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/420-W-63rd-St-Indianapolis-IN-46260/1267717_zpid/#{scid=hdp-site-map-bubble-photos}.


Party Styling Wannabe

I've discovered my other dream job. Cha-ching!

Party planning. 

Thanks to Pinterest, unlimited inspiration is thrown at me daily. Such beautiful things! Remember this post and this post from my Pinterest inspired wine party? So fun!

Here is a toast to some smashing pictures. (Yes, I just said smashing!)

Whatever the occasion...Celebrate!
Who's ready for a party?!?!?!

My favorite party blogs....
Found this website listing other great party blogs...Oh wait, the correct terminology is party styling blogs.

Go plan a party, if you're too lazy, ask me!