Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas House Tour

Decorating our home for the holidays has been one of my favorite things of 2015. I really did try to be frugal and not spend every last penny on decor, but there's something about Target that sucks me in like no other store. I managed to not spend every last penny on Christmas items and made it home with just a few pops of red to brighten our home for December. 

Here are a few pictures of around the house. I'm already missing all the joyous red and green, but now that it's a new year, I have some fun new plans to bring color into our home. 

Of course, Lou's stocking is hung front and center. He even managed to get quite a few Christmas gifts this year. He must have been a pretty good dog. 

I've loved changing out the filler in these apothecary jars for every season. It's such a fun way to bring in a little extra color into the kitchen. 

What fun it's been celebrating our first Christmas together in the house! We're excited for many more to come. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Our First Thanksgiving

We've spent a lot of time looking forward to this time of year. When we first started the process of building a home a little over a year ago, we dreamed of what the holidays would be like. It's crazy how fast time flies, and I can't believe that time is now! We kicked off the holiday season by hosting Thanksgiving in our home for the first time. 

With 21 hungry guests, we had our hands full getting the house ready for such a crowd. Of course, I had the most fun decorating. 

I got the cute "Give Thanks" banner on Etsy.  It was the perfect finishing touch to the mantel. 

We opted for paper plates to make the clean-up easier. I was SO glad for this when it was time to do the dishes. I found these cute pumpkin plates at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. 

These apothecary jars ended up being my favorite part of all our fall decor. They were all purchased at Hobby Lobby and filed with split peas, corn, and black beans. It was such a fun, simple centerpiece that I can use again and again. I'll be filling them up with red ornaments for a fun Christmas pop of color. 

We were so fortunate to receive this large, beautiful table from Brandon's grandfather as a wedding gift. With both leaves (leafs?) in and some folding chairs borrowed from my sister, the table comfortably sat 10 people. 

We counted the day a success with a TON of food, drinks, and laughter. I even took some video, so that we could always remember the day. 

Brandon, with the help of a friendly neighbor and his dad, was able to get the house lit up for Christmas. We decided on a white and red alternating pattern, and we just love how it turned out. 

Of course, now we can't wait for Christmas! What kind of traditions do you have in your home? We're anxious to start some of our own as we celebrate our first Christmas as a married couple. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Wishing you Christmas blessings from our family to yours!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to Make Your Couch Look Like New : A Tutorial

When we moved into our new house, I spent a lot of time contemplating our couch. It's the first couch that I bought after college, and while it's served us well and is incredibly comfy, it looked like this:

 No amount of fluffing or beating the cushions seemed to make a difference. I thought that surely we'd just have to buy a new couch. In a last-ditch effort, I googled "tricks to make your couch like new", and I came across some tricks that actually work! 

They took my couch from this: 

To this:

From this saggy mess: 

To straight-from-the-delivery-truck:

 Seriously, it's like new again. I did this in preparation for our housewarming party in July. I had friends and family asking me if the couch was a new buy. Two months later, now, the couch is holding up exceptionally well, still looking like new. 

Here is how I did it. 

I stripped down all of the seat cushions to just the inserts. The covers went straight into the wash on a low-heat setting (Don't skip this step- It makes a big difference!). 

This is what the cushions looked like without the covers, a thick foam covered in a batting and an interfacing material on top. 

Over time, the cushion start to lose their fluff. This is what causes the couch to look saggy and old. The insert has been sat on over and over again and been sandwiched into oblivion. 

All they need is a little more "fluff" to restore them to their former glory. Using the thickest quilt batting I had on hand, I wrapped each seat cushion like a present. 

I used just a little of this to help the batting stay in place. 

Then I put the interfacing material back around the cushion. 

Once the covers were dry, I slipped the cushions back in and moved on to the back cushions.

The back cushions are built a little differently. They are really just pillow inserts within the cushion cover. 

I found some extra pillow inserts I had on hand so that I could use the poly-filling inside. You could also just buy a bag of poly-filling at a craft store (or Amazon). 

Using the filling from my extra pillow insert, I unzipped the back cushion and stuffed it with some additional filling. I think I ended up using the filling from a 16" x 16" pillow insert for each back cushion. I just kind of kept going until the cushion felt full. 

Finally, I gave the whole couch a vacuuming, and I was done! 


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