Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Electric Sander

Lately, I have been sanding a lot of thrift store and garage sale finds in order to make them my own.  Last week, I sanded my new patio chairs in order to paint them and make them pretty.  Next up is the coffee table that I plan to convert into an end of the bed bench.

After sanding my patio chairs, I realized that sanding things kind of sucks.  It makes my hands all rough and is a lot of work.  As I was sanding, I imagined owning an electric sander and thought "Those are probably super expensive..."

Well, check this out:

 Isn't it so cute?!  I love the color of this sander and it's only $18.85.  Who knew?!  That really isn't expensive at all. 

And then, I saw this:
This one is even cuter and only $9.07!

Do any of you have an electric sander?  Are these too cheap?  Advice is welcome. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Much Love Monday - Mr. Finny!

Another Monday tomorrow...bleh.  One good thing about Monday is my Much Love Monday pick, which is my puppy Finn.  {Finn is actually a year and a half old, but I still refer to him as a puppy.}  He and my older dog, Gordita, are my little loves, I could feature them every week!

I took these pictures of Finn standing in front of our front door.  The metal work on the door has a heart shape and I thought these would be perfect Much Love Monday photos.  I love the way he kind of looks like a little boy heading off to his first day at school!  All he needs is a cap and a backpack.  Too cute.

{I think he's sick of the photo shoot!}

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?   My cousin is coming to town and my husband and I plan to show him the sights.

Don't you love these yellow chairs?  Makes me want to re-paint my newly painted patio chairs.....

{Photo courtesy of House Beautiful}

End of the Bed Benches

I am going to "make" a bench for the end of my bed.  This idea is one of those that just happened.  Oprah would probably call it an "aha!" moment.

As we were arranging the furniture in our new house, a lot of it didn't fit right.  We had a lot of tables, but none of them were the right size.  I kind of hated it and kind of loved the idea of needing a few new pieces of furniture. 

One thing that didn't work anywhere was an old wood coffee table.  I was about to stick it in the garage for future use when I thought about the end of the bed.  Our new bedroom is quite a bit larger (as in twice the size) than our old one, so something can actually sit at the end of the bed without blocking the walkway.

I want to re-do the table into a bench.  The shape is already there, so it just needs to be stained a lighter color and fitted with a cushion on top.

I will post the finished product whenever I get around to finishing it.   For now, some inspiration....

{Photos courtesy of Elle Decor, House to Home, and Living Etc}

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Black and White Photo Wall

{Photo courtesy of My Home Ideas}

I am going to put various black and white photos down the long hall of my house that leads from the front rooms to the bedrooms.  My idea was to hang several black and white photos of my dogs, but my husband vetoed that stating it was "crazy."

{Photo courtesy of D├ęcor Pad}

So, I guess I have to include black and whites of people and other stuff.  All I have to do is select my pictures, change them to black and white (if they aren't already), print them, and stick them into inexpensive Ikea frames.  Then hang.  I am excited to get this done - it really is a simple project, but I have been slow to get the house decorated.

{Photo courtesy of Living Etc}

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patio Chairs

My three week long search for patio furniture finally ended last Friday.  I purchased 4 chairs and a wonderful, retro table off Craigslist for $90.  Quite the bargain compared to so much of the furniture I saw online.   I bought the chairs from one person and the table from another, so they don't match, which is what I wanted.

The chairs are wrought iron and rusty.  I knew I wanted to paint them, but first I had to deal with the rust.  I spent about 5 seconds researching what to do online and went to Home Depot.  I got wire brushes, sandpaper, some rust goo (stuff that is supposed to remove rust, either it doesn't work or I didn't read the directions, I assume it doesn't work), and aqua blue spray paint.

I scrubbed at the chairs with the brushes and some of the metal started to flake off around the back of the seat.  In some spots, it was a bit jagged, so my husband said I should buy some self sticking foam that comes in strips and use it to cover the bad spots.  (I plan to make cushions that will hide the foam.)

This was actually a really good idea.  I usually just say "great idea!" while internally ignoring my husband's ideas, but this one I think I will actually take to heart.

{Before - they were shabby...and not in a good way}

{I like the overall design and they are surprisingly comfortable}

{The rust is mostly around the back of the seat}

{An "after" sneak peek of the color, I love it...I will show a better shot once I have the pillows made}

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Emily Henderson- Design Star Winner

Did any of you watch the latest season of Design Star?  This is the first season that I have closely followed and I liked it.  I didn't love it.  It is not my favorite HGTV show (House Hunters International is the best).  But, I loved Emily, she really made the show.  She was my favorite from the first episode and I am happy she won.  She deserved it and had the absolute best design style out of all the contestants.

Apartment Therapy did a little post about her last week and it featured pictures of her apartment and i want to live there!


{I love how she pulls together the mix of random items}

{I love how a majority of her belongings are thrift, antique, and flea market finds}

{I love the small silhouette and the large H....I am a sucker for monograms and silhouettes}

To learn more about Emily, check out her new show, Secrets from a Stylist, or read her super fun blog.

{All photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy}

Fall Fashion Trend - Purple and Gold

I love the color purple, but I don't wear a lot of it.  I tend to wear mostly neutral colors like black, gray, navy, beige, white, and so on.  I love the idea of pairing a pretty purple piece with lots of subdued neutral colors.  To me, if feels more safe and tones down the purple, while still showcasing its beauty.

{Photo courtesy of Anthropologie}

{Photo courtesy of Banana Republic}

{Photo courtesy of Lauren Conrad for Kohl‘s}

Another trend for fall is gold.  I am obsessed with gold and I am super excited by this trend. 

{Photo courtesy of J.Crew}

{Photo courtesy of ModCloth}

{Dress courtesy H and M}

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weathered Wood Furniture

Lately, I have really been drawn to weathered wood furniture....especially when it is paired with modern elements.

I bought a "new" ($7 during 50% off day at the thrift store) side table and I want to sand it down and stain it so that it looks rustic.

{Photos courtesy of Skona Hem, House to Home, and House Beautiful}

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Much Love Monday & My Guest Post

Today, I am going to focus on how much I love my business, Acute Designs.   I made these cute flower hairpins and photographed them on a sweet heart shaped milk glass dish I recently bought for $3(!) at a thrift store.

Thinking about something I love on a Monday helps with my typical Monday blues.  If you are a consistent reader of this blog, you will know how much I loathe my day job and how much I am looking forward to working for myself.

A few months ago, I discussed working through August and then finally quitting.  A few things came up so I had to push my quit-my-day-job date back a bit.  My last day will be October 29th....just two more months!

If you are interested in reading a bit more about my desire to be self-employed, please check out this guest post I wrote on Tara Gentile's business blog.  If you are a small business owner, add Tara's blog to your list.  It is full of insight and inspiration for small business owners.

What do you love today?  Pop over to Much Love Monday to learn more about this fun idea and read about what others are lovin on today.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It has been hot here in San Diego and I am excited for a fun and relaxing weekend.

What are you up to?  We are having friends for dinner on Saturday.  If you want to see what I make, check out my food blog, Taste, next week.

I also found some great {and cheap!} wrought iron chairs on Craigslist.  I think I am going to paint them a pale shade of aqua.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{Photo courtesy Country Living}

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ice Cream Trucks

Our new neighborhood has an odd phenomenon…an ice cream truck that goes up and down our street about 15 times a day. I am not kidding. After hearing “do your ears hang low” on repeat the first few days after we moved in, I figured the truck had to be selling crack – why else would it be on a few streets all day long?

While walking my dogs the other day, I saw a nice older lady driving the truck and selling ice cream to a few kids. I guess I shouldn’t be so skeptical!

I would have loved this when I was a kid, or a teenager, or even 22…but now that I am nearing 30, I cannot eat ice cream a few times a day and still be a size zero. Actually, I think I would have to stop eating to be a size zero. Oh well, that’s age!

In dedication to the ice cream trucks, here are some amazing ice cream photos I found on Etsy.


{Photo by Cassia Beck}

{Photo by Alysia Cotter}

{Photo by Stoopid Gerl}

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What are your thoughts on tweed? I have never been a huge fan, but Emerson Made’s tweed jacket has given me a new found love.

{Tweed jacket by Emerson Made}

To me, tweed is such a fall weather item and I have been seeing it popping up at my favorite retailers. Fortunately San Diego has just received some summer weather (July was the coldest July on record....craziness) so I am not in the mood to wear any tweed right now. But, I have been online window shopping.
{Tweed skirt by Anthropologie}

{Tweed clutch by Eden’s Wake on Etsy}

{Tweed storage bench by Urban Outfitters...this would be perfect in my bedroom}

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are you an optimist, a realist, or a pessimist?

{Print by Roll and Tumble Press on Etsy}

I used to work for an internet startup company. It was a good job while it lasted – I made decent money, learned a lot, and was given crazy roles and tasks that forced me outside of my comfort zone and helped me to grow. All of these experiences were invaluable. The thing that lacked value was the management’s blind optimism.

In my interview I was asked if I was an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist. I answered that I was a realist and was told “realists are just pessimists who don’t realize that they’re pessimists.”

I thought their definition of realists was crazy and argued my point that being a realist is actually better than being an optimist.

{Print by Susannah Tucker on Etsy}

Realistically, everything is going to work out. Time will march on no matter what we do or don’t do. Everything that sucks today will feel better in time and everything that feels amazing today will fade in time. Realistically, there is no sense in freaking out over the small details when they won’t really matter tomorrow, next week, or next year. This is why I am a realist.

Now, do not mistake my realist personality for unmotivated. I am not saying you can do nothing and everything will just happen the way it is supposed to happen. A lot of effort and planning needs to go into your success and needs to be executed to the best of your ability. All of this is a part of being realistic. Costs need to be looked at with a realistic eye as do risks and advantages of various business decisions. And, when the little things (or big things) go astray (as they inevitably will) remember that realistically, things will work out. Just fix the problem and move on.

{Print by dear colleen on Etsy}

We all know that being a pessimist has its major disadvantages, but most would not consider optimism to be a disadvantage. After my year and a half at a now debunked startup, I know that extreme optimism can be a thorn in your side. Many optimists think “do whatever! Spend all the money! It will all happen because we believe.” That’s a great way to think, but not a great way to run a business.

{Print by Virginia Kraljevic on Etsy}

The basic day to day happenings of a business must be looked at with a realistic mindset. Blind optimism will cause you to be just that – blind. It will cause you to overlook what actually might be hurting you. It will cause you to make rash decisions without calculating the risks. It will cause you to think that your belief in your company is the sole reason it will succeed. Believe in your dream with your whole heart, but be realistic in the fact that optimism isn’t enough. A strong dash of realism is necessary.

{Print by Katan Designs on Etsy}

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Much Love Monday - Gordita

I recently discovered the blog Much Love and I love it.   Every Monday the blogger, Anna, hosts "Much Love Monday" which is a post where readers can link up a post from their blog about something they love.  The post should include a picture with a heart in it. 

Since this is the first time I am linking up on Much Love Monday, I had no time to prepare and had to pull a picture from my archives.  I picked one of my fav old pictures of me and {the love of my life} Gordita.  We both look so young!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Weekend!

As usual, I am thrilled that the weekend is here!  I am still working on organizing and decorating my new house.  I hope to get all of that done {at least 50% of it} this weekend.

I also have some new items to photograph and list in my shop and I need to get to work on some making my fall designs.

So busy!  Hopefully I will find some time for a little extra sleep...I feel so rundown.

What do you have planned?

Friday the 13th

Are you superstitious? I have always been pretty superstitious. Troll dolls, lucky rabbit’s feet, etc. were a big part of my childhood.

My husband is Irish and strangely superstitious. {I don’t like to generalize, but I think the Irish in general are superstitious.}

For example, I am not supposed to say “good luck” when I am wishing him luck before his band goes on stage because that is unlucky. Instead, I am supposed to say “break a leg!”

{My favorite leprechaun - my 7 year old pup, Gordita}

He doesn’t think people should have baby showers, find out the sex, or pick a name for a baby until it is born. He says it is “bad luck.” I am starting to agree with him. Plus, an after the baby shower a la Bethenny Frankel would be pretty fun. Expecting moms should start doing that. {No one really likes traditional baby showers…or is that just me?}

What are some superstitions that you really take to heart? Or do you think the whole thing is just nonsense?

Despite being quite the realist, I get pretty wrapped up in superstitions and I plan to be extra cautious all day today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Want - New Toms

A while ago I blogged about Toms shoes and how I was obsessed.  Shortly after that post I bought my first pair {the classic in ash} and have worn them a.lot.   I just love them.

They have introduced some new wedges and some corduroy versions to their line and I am in love!  I definitely want need another pair....{specifically the cords in plum and the wedges in midnight blue or black}.

Designed by Jackie Ayr