Dining Room Transformation and a Picnic-Themed Shower...

These past few weeks have been pretty busy and eventful, per usual. We went to the beach for the last week in June, celebrated the 4th down in Chesapeake Beach, had an immediate family get-together on July 6 for Layla 3rd and my nephew Tyler's 4th birthdays (actually the same day a year apart... and they are total besties), partied for Layla's actual birthday on July 7, had my whole family over on July 8 for my dad's dinner, and then I hosted my best friend's bridal shower at my house on July 13. Next up: Matt has a softball tournament this entire weekend, I'm hosting an 89th birthday party for my grandma at my house on July 27, throwing a bachelorette party the weekend of August 2-4, we are going to a wedding on August 10, then I am hosting another best friend's baby shower at my house the very next day. Exhausted does not quite explain it... but it is all fun things that are important to me, and I refuse to not put my all into everything. I'm going to do July 4th, Layla's birthday, and the beach in a separate post, but here is one dedicated to decor and showers and cuteness. 

So I have always had a really hard time with decorating and creativity. Both of my sisters are home decorating queens as well as amazing artist/creativity freaks. I just have never been like that. I have always wanted to, but I just have never felt confident in any of those areas. When I moved into this big house, I was semi/amazingly overwhelmed with the thought of decorating everything myself. I am terrible at making decisions like this, but I feel like my style has evolved a lot and I wanted to make it my own. In the beginning when I went back and forth between a million little things a million different times, one of my sisters said to me, "If you love it, then do it. You are the one who is living here. No one else matters." That completely changed my view on decorating. I no longer think of it as a stressful burden that I am going to screw up. I look at it as... okay if I really love it then I am going to enjoy looking at it and being around it in my home. Get over your insecurities. Get what you love. So that is what I am doing. I stopped the constant questioning of, "Is this weird or cute?" I just went with it. It is definitely a work in progress but I am really figuring myself out in the meantime. I always say that I'm not creative but my friend corrected me the other day. I have decided that I AM creative. But I am NOT artistic. There. 

Dining Room Transformation

Now if you remember a while back,  I posted a picture of my dining room in progress... I decided to randomly paint stripes on one of the walls one night, which turned out into a significantly larger project than I was anticipating. I thought, "Oh I just want two stripes, no big deal." Obvi I was WAY wrong. 

First I measured the space between my ceiling and molding (is it called sideboard?? See this is how home-decorating-illiterate I actually am) and divided by five (to keep the original paint color next to the trim and only make me have to paint two stripes). I borrowed a laser level from a neighbor and measured/taped away.

Mistake- apparently there is something called Froggy Tape that is the best for these kinds of situations. I used normal painter's tape. Bad idea. 

The little bits of tape were to remind me that I was NOT painting those areas (because that is something I would so do). 

I then took the leftover paint of the color that was already on the wall (and is in all of the other open areas of my house-- Techno grey. Duron. Love), and mixed it with some white I had on hand until it was a big enough difference between the current color and what I wanted my stripes to be. Major thing if you are doing this... you MUST make enough paint, because you will never be able to match what color you created ever again. Thankfully this was not a mistake I made. WHEW. So for whatever reason it took me THREE coats to make it even enough to my liking. Annoying. I then waited a while and started to take the tape off... along with chunks of the wall... in two different major places... 

My irritation could not be described, because I just wanted to FINISH a project. But no. So I sanded it down and repainted the areas. 

I also took a TEENY brush and touched up the lines because they did bleed a little (froggy tape, I'm telling you, use froggy tape) and I knew it would drive me insane. 

Finally done and you could barely tell where I patched it: 

I realized that the room is completely square, so when deciding on furniture I decided to go with a round table (it has a leaf as well) and fabric chairs. I ordered my furniture (wayfair.com, great deal). 

And then I agonized over my colors... and agonized... and agonized some more. I have a very distinct fabric on my kitchen bench that I was planning on going with the robin's egg blue in it, but I couldn't find anything that really went or that I loved. I ended up finding a new fabric that I am going to re-cover my kitchen bench in that has yellow, navy, turquoise and lime. So my big decision for the dining room colors were: navy with pops of lime. If you have been to my house, you may notice that I am awkwardly obsessed with all things printed, moroccan, etc. I found a perfect 7' square rug (again, ridiculously hard to find) originally on rugsusa.com but ordered it from amazon.com for under $200. I got a knock-off Pottery Barn chandelier from Lowes for under $200, a few random accessories from Home Goods and.... 

At night, the crystals on the chandelier make a pattern all over the walls and it creates such a cozy gorgeousness, I loveeee it. 

I still need to find the perfect curtains, but I have something in my head and I am not going to stop until it is exactly what I want. I am just super happy with the results so far... and it is exciting to not have a totally empty room anymore. YAY. 

Picnic-Themed Bridal Shower

So one of my best friends (Liz) is getting married in September, and yours truly is the matron of honor. I wanted to go with "upscale picnic" shower theme... and here are some pictures from the event (no offense, I cut out all of the personal info from the invitation). 

Bevs: Drunken Palmer (Sweet Tea Vodka and Lemonade) in mason jars, white wine, lemonade, water. 

I am awkwardly obsessed with having specific glassware for events... I ordered these mason jars with handles from webstaurantstore.com. (For her engagement party I previously sprayed the bottom part of ikea wine glasses with chalkboard paint--you can see them in the top bevs pic to the right--to have stemware everyone can write their names on and not lose constantly. Gotta love pinterest. I'll do a post on it). I am accumulating quite the collection of party glassware and I LOVE it. 

Food: cucumber sandwiches, orzo/feta salad, veggies in individual hummus cups, mini chicken salads in pastry cups, fruit skewers, deviled eggs (all food courtesy of Caitlin, the future sister-in-law). Deeeelish.  

Desserts: Key Lime Pie, Cherry Pie, Triple Berry Tart, Apple Pie, Peach Tart (all pies courtesy of MY sister-in-law Karli). Seriously melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. 

Decor: Karli did all the flowers (most of which were from her own yard. Out of control). We did hydrangeas, sunflowers, daisies, red checkered tableclothes, white tablecloths with burlap runners, twine. I also found (courtesy of my childhood of hoarding) two vintage wooden boxes (one coke and and one pepsi) in my basement that I flipped over on the food table. 

Favors: The groom's mom got different flavored jams and wrapped them up with little tags. So cute. 

 It was an awesome event for an amazing friend. Here is a pic of me and the bride-to-be (her hair looks amazeballs and I am a soggy, frizzy, sweaty mess... but I still love her): 

Can't wait for September!!! 

Happy Wednesday!! 

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