10.21.2014

Quick Tip Tuesday


This is a tip I learned many years ago from a neighbor who has kids older than mine.  It has been a sanity saver over the years!





If you have little ones at home, create a binder to keep their important information close by.  
As they grow you will not even believe how many times you'll pull this out!!  

There is so much paperwork that comes into a home, isn't there? - especially when you have kids in school - and it's great to have a system to keep you organized.  I also keep my fur baby's info in this binder!


What you need:
Binder
Dividers
Plastic sleeves
3 Ring hole punch

What to keep in it - for kids:
Copy* of birth certificate
Health form
Progress reports and report cards
Sports and activity schedules

 What to keep in it - for pets:
(Dog) license
Vaccination certificate

It doesn't have to be Pinterest-perfect!

The idea is to have important forms all in one convenient place.  Registration for sports and camps usually require a copy of your child's birth certificate and health form.  To me the health form is GOLD - it is a crisis if anyone's form goes missing because the doctor's office charges $25 for a signed copy.  I keep several copies of both the birth certificate and health form in plastic sleeves in the binder for quick access when needed.

I also like to keep school info in here for conference time.  It's so convenient to have standardized test reports, progress reports, etc. all in one place when a teacher conference is needed.  

Sometimes when life is busy (HAHAHA.....that would be all the time) I just chuck whatever documents I want to add to the binder in the inside pocket for 3 hole punching and organizing at a later date - at least they are in the binder when needed.

*I keep original birth certificates (along with social security cards and passports) in a locked firesafe box.

This binder and my paint fan decks - I would be lost without them!!!
 

Look at the fur baby's mug shot......taken when he was still a pup.....the photo is distorted and cracks us all up!

That's your quick tip today lovelies!  Do you have a system for keeping your family documents organized and handy?


A couple other ways you can stay organized with binders.....



10.15.2014

Autumn Chalkboard Prints



Last year Kellie at Nest of Posies generously shared these gorgeous FREE fall printables.  
(if you would like to pin these printables please do so from the original site - thank you!)

I saved them to my computer and had one printed at Staples as an engineering print (I can't recall the exact price but engineering prints are super cheap - less than $5 - and perfect for anything in black & white).
I love how the beauty outside the window is reflected in this mirror and the frame glass.

I feel so blessed to live in New England with our amazing seasons!!!

Last year I stored the print away in it's woodsy frame, and was so happy to rediscover it within my seasonal storage, all ready to go this fall.  Along with treasures from my yard and the market, it's the perfect subtle nod to this warm and cozy time of the year.

Check out Nest of Posies for tons of gorgeous and free! prints, including a chalkboard series for Christmas. Thank you Kellie for the generous sharing of your artwork!


10.14.2014

Quick Tip Tuesday:: Sheets



Particularly useful for queen or king size beds, and those of us who forget to put the freshly laundered sheets back on the bed until we are blinded by exhaustion at 11pm.  

I just made up that phrase - "one direction pattern" - but what I mean by that is a pattern that is either vertical or horizontal.  

WHY?

Because it's so much quicker to put the sheets on the bed when you are not looking for the sides vs. top/bottom.  Nothing worse than when you just want to flop into bed and you start to put the sheets on the bed only to discover that the fitted sheet is the wrong way.  
(Okay there may be a few things that are worse but why cause yourself any unnecessary aggravation in life?)

I love my all white coverlet and comforter, but I only buy sheets with a 
ONE DIRECTION PATTERN.

For example......





While we're on the subject.....a word about brands and thread count.....

My husband is low maintenance in all areas except for the sheets that he sleeps on.  
He is INSANELY PICKY about sheets,
finding fault with 99% of them - too scratchy, to slippery, too this, too that.

Suffice it to say that over the years we have tried many different brands, from "investment" hoity-toity Bloomingdales sheets to the highest rated sheets by Real Simple magazine to random brands that claim to have insanely high thread counts.

My favorite sheet brand we have landed on is Tahari, and they are commonly found at TJMaxx, Marshalls and Homegoods for around $40/set for king size.  I initially bought a Tahari sheet set as our "backup sheets" (those nights when I realize I threw the sheets in the wash at 7am and forgot all about them - that is the story of my life) and we ended up looooovvvving them way more than the much more expensive sheets we were currently using.
They are only 300 thread count and yet we love the feel and quality of them, and they are deep (the corners don't inexplicably flip off our pillow-top mattress in the middle of the night).  

We are OVER the whole high thread count thing because we don't always find that high thread count sheets equate to fine fabric, comfort or durability.  

We have had these sheets for about 2 years and they have held up great and feel sooooo nice at the end of the day.

If you're interested in reading more about what to look for when buying sheets, 
check out this HGTV guide.

Happy Quick Tip Tuesday lovelies!

10.09.2014

Garage Entry: Trimming Out The Door


Yesterday I showed you the steps in our garage that I recently repainted.  
While I was at it I thought I'd add a little detail to the door into the house.  
The door that you see below (from the day we had our house inspection) is actually a solid wood paneled door, but the previous owners had it covered with a sheet of metal to keep out the cold (something fairly common round these parts with our brutal winters).  
I appreciate the added insulation from the freezing winter temperatures.
A few years back when I painted this mudroom area, I added some color to the sheet metal because, why not?

The entry door faces another paneled door to the mudroom,
 

and just for kicks, when I was zushing up our mudroom this time, I remembered Kris' trimmed out closet doors in her daughter's room and thought I'd add the paneled look back to the entry door to give it a more finished detail.  

(So yes - it's a paneled door, covered in sheet metal, then given faux paneling. :) )

I used the placement of the paneling on the facing door to measure and draw lines on this one, then miter cut molding and attached the pieces with Liquid Nails.  
If you don't have a miter saw you can buy a miter box and use a hand saw like Kris did.  The molding is easy to cut through (but there are a lot of cuts - 24 for this door!)


After letting the Liquid Nails dry, I used wood fill in any gaps at the corners, gave those spots a little sand, primed the unfinished wood, then painted.


It made a WORLD of difference and now our garage entry door feels like a nicer part of our house.  
I am no longer horrified if a guest uses this entrance into our house.  

Now there is just the matter of the hardware.....some nickel, some brass, some brass that has been spray painted nickel......details, details.  
(And just to be honest here those details will probably NEVER be attended to.......I mean come on......my attention span to one project is not that long!)
I love the pop of green in our family room when the door is open too.  

Did you see Kris' doors at Driven By Design last spring?  They were part of her last One Room Challenge.  A little molding completely transformed her daughter's flat, hollow closet doors into a stylish and chic part of the room. Don't you love the design?  Check out Kris' post for details!
{photo shamelessly stolen from Driven By Decor}

Next up in my mudroom refreshing is the hideous ceiling that has insulation and wires hanging out.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting; I hope you are having a great day!!

10.08.2014

UNwelcome Entry - Our Painted Stairs




Remember that weird little mudroom built into our garage? 
It was one of my favorite parts of this house when we bought it - despite it's unattractiveness.

The stairs and mudroom are truly the hardest working areas of our home.  This is the main entrance for our family, and 90% of the time guests enter this way too.  Why have a part of our home that we use on a daily basis be blah and un-pretty? 

Paint made a world of difference back then...
{how I painted the "Welcome" stairs here}

{the first mudroom makeover here}

...but after three years and a whole lot of muck and mud and snow and cleats and running up and down and in and out, the floors needed freshening up, which prompted a big mudroom clean out and reorganizing, and a little zushing too.  

The last version of our painted stairs was a hit - it still remains one of my highest pinned projects, and visitors always comment on it, but truth be told I was tired of it, so what's a girl to do but break out a fresh new paint color.  
I used Sherwin Williams Porch & Floor Enamel in "Cilantro", and then I gave the steps a coat of polyurethane.

Mind you - it's still a garage that stores endless STUFF for our family -
{hanging skate and ski storage here, hanging Razor scooter and Ripstick storage here}

- but there is seriously nothing like a fresh coat of paint in a happy color to renew a space.

This past summer I mused about creating some kind of new design on our steps after being inspired by these functional works of art, but I ended up really liking the solid green.
However - the painting over of the word WELCOME did not bide well with some of my kids' friends who said straight up - 
"Mrs. Scibilia, whyyyyyyyyyyy did you paint over the WELCOME?  I like the old version better!!"

Apparently the steps were not feeling so welcoming anymore....

so this is for them :)

For other guests, I need to get this :)

Tomorrow I'll show you what I did to this door.....

and then there's the ceiling to contend with.....

Can you say Snowball Effect???

Have a wonderful day my lovelies.

10.06.2014

Paint Color Crush



Hello friends and welcome to a brand new week.  I hope you had a great weekend!!!

Paint.  
I love it.  

I love how a very subtle color difference can completely change the feel of a room.  I love the variations of whites with all their undertones.  I love deep moody charcoals, Caribbean-water blues, happy cheerful cotton candy pinks.  I adore opening the paint can of a color I have never used before.

Through the years I have tried many colors in our own houses and for clients.  Sometimes a color once on the wall is not at all what I envisioned, or it's - meh, fine - but sometimes........
 it is DELICIOUS
and I fall in love.

This is what happened when I finally landed on this color for our master:
Gentleman's Gray
Benjamin Moore 2062-20


After painting our room a blah beige (it looked gorgeous in the Pottery Barn catalog, not so gorgeous on my walls), and then sampling a bunch of different colors, Jenny at Evolution of Style told me about Gentleman's Grey and I knew as soon as i put the first swatch on the wall that it was perfection.

AND SO.......
I thought it would be fun to share with you on a semi-regular basis colors I have used over the years that are winners.
Today is a two-fer.
The aforementioned and oddly named Gentleman's Grey, which has not even a hint of GRAY, 
is actually a gorgeous rich navy with hints of teal.  

And while we're talking about navy, today's paint color crush.....

Newburyport Blue
Benjamin Moore HC-155



{Pottery Barn}

Traditional Kids by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers William T Baker


I love this color with brown leather and lots of white, or orange, hot pink, or coral.
Isn't it delicious?!

Newburyport Blue is a contender in an office I am working on.  
Samples go on the wall tomorrow, can't wait to open those cans!

I'm linking this post up to The Pink Pagoda's Blue & White Bash, come check it out!!

This is not a Benjamin Moore sponsored post, 
just sharing with you paint colors that I have found to be winners through the years.

10.03.2014

BEST OF BOTN//September


Did you catch all the great projects linked up to Best of the Nest last week?  There were so many goodies!
Here are a few that caught my eye.
Please pin from the original source, thank you!





Last but not least, there were some fun Instagram link-ups this month!
(#bestofthenestparty)

Check out this amazing kitchen from Instagrammer @restlessarrow, 
who also blogs at Restless Arrow:


I love seeing the array of projects, big and small, thrift store makeovers to kitchen renovations, tips and tricks to full on tutorials.  So much fun and creative inspiration!

For more BOTN features, check out 

And if you've been featured please feel free to post a button on your blog or on Instagram.
Shine Your Light



You have the whole month of October until the next Best of the Nest party (on Halloween!) - 
what are you going to share?  Can't wait to see what you've been up to this month.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend -
I hope it is filled with sunshine, hot coffee, good food, 
ticking some things off your to-do list and a whole lot of relaxing too!
Thanks for visiting!