A Much Needed Update...

My New (& Much Improved!) Living Room Tour!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that we just bought a new sofa.  I had wanted a lighter colored sofa for so long—and it has not disappointed!  The lighter fabric and more modern, simplified design really brightens up the whole room.  It’s also SO much more comfortable!  We chose the Andes Terminal Chaise Sectional from West Elm in the fabric Twill, Stone.  We also bought a few other fun things to update this space!  I’ll be linking everything below, plus showing you all what my plans are to finally finish this room!

 Isn't she a beaut?!

Isn't she a beaut?!

We also picked up that Sconce, Navy Throw Blanket, and Table Lamp (far right) from West Elm... along with a planter that is just out of frame here.  They were having a buy more, save more sale so we decided to take full advantage!!  (Which is also why Luke has put me on a spending freeze for the rest of June haha)

There's our planter (upper right)!  I already had a stem of faux fern leaves I was going to use for hanging planters outside, but I think it looks really good here!  Also - This couch is a bit smaller than our previous one, so I think I finally feel content with the number + mix of throw pillows I have!  No new throw pillows to buy will save us thousands each year!! (kidding.. sort of)

I love this little corner now!  I'm thinking about adding some pom poms or tassels to one of these planters!

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This leather chair was passed down to me from my dad, I love how timeless and simple it is-- nothing about it will ever make it seem outdated or old.  It's also super comfortable!  The entertainment center was also a hand-me-down, but I would like to replace it with something more modern in the future.

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When I first hung the sconce, the empty wall under it made it look kind of awkward.  I knew I had to fill the space without making it look too crowded.  Luckily, I had these two prints from Vivian of The Hand Letter Shop!!  The simplicity of the prints themselves plus the white frames were exactly what this wall needed!

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The new sofa is a little wider than our old one-- a side table still fits but feels a little too crowded for me.  I decided to make a console table for behind the sofa so that we still have a spot to easily set down drinks or food (out of the reach of our son!).  We already had this piece of wood (luckily it was already the perfect size) and I bought these hairpin legs off Amazon and screwed them in!  I'll do a more detailed DIY post on it later -- I still have to add a support in the middle.
That's the whole tour -- but keep scrolling for links to most of the furniture + decor PLUS a few things we still need to get to really complete the room!

My Beachy/ Boho Tablescape

DIY Boho Inspired Tablescape
(Sponsored partly by Wayfair)

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If you saw my last post, you know that Wayfair reached out to me asking if I wanted to contribute to a post on their site about decorating with a DIY candle project.  This was such a fun and exciting opportunity for me!  They gave me complete creative control with my project along with $50 for me to use on their site! 
After contemplating a couple different ideas, I decided to go with a boho/beachy tablescape for our dining room.  I've had so much trouble with our dining table decor - nothing ever seemed to look right.  I'm so happy with how it turned out, it's definitely what the room was missing!

The unpainted vase is definitely gorgeous, but I thought that adding a little bit of white paint at the bottom would make it pop a little more, as well as tie it into the other white elements on my table.  I also painted the bottoms of a few white tapered candlesticks in varying shades of blue.  The runner is actually two macrame wall hangings that I already had, I took the dowels off and just tied them together in the middle!

I loved participating in this little challenge!  To see my part on Wayfair's site -- go to their Decor & Pillows drop down, then to Candles & Holders (under Home Accents)... scroll to the bottom until you see the image below -- Click "Read More" and you'll see one of my photos along with projects from three other bloggers!

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Thank you again, Wayfair!!

Projects on projects on projects...

What I've Been Up To...

I have been keeping myself SUPER busy the last month!! Between planning Nathan's first birthday, doing various home projects (always), becoming a brand ambassador for Full Circle Home (more on that later), opening an Etsy shop(!!), AND being asked to collaborate with Wayfair on a DIY candle decor project -- I haven't had much time to blog!
Being reached out to by a huge brand like Wayfair was super flattering!! A content writer for their blog reached out asking if I was interested in participating (along with a few other bloggers) in a post about DIY home decor using candles. My answer was of course YES! They graciously let me pick out items from their site to use for my project.  I chose this adorable glass & rattan vase and created a boho style tablescape that I LOVE!  Check back for the full DIY -- and for now, head over to Wayfair to see my contribution plus projects from the other bloggers! (Scroll down to the bottom of Wayfair's site)

FIESTA FIESTA!

DIY Mexican Banner (Papel Picado)

 Image via  The Glitter Guide

I’ve always loved Mexican folk art and crafts – the bright colors immediately make any place seem more fun!  I was lucky enough to have had grandparents who lived in Texas, right near the border.  As a kid, I remember we drove somewhere where we could park and walk over into a town in Mexico.  There were all kinds of stores and gift shops selling the coolest decorative accents and home décor.  I bought a pink serape blanket—now I wish I had bought about 10 more!!  Everything was so inexpensive too.  I wish I could go back just to browse through everything again!

With Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching, I’m sharing this quick and easy DIY papel picado banner!  Papel picado banners are those fun, brightly colored banners with intricate cut outs that you see hanging from ceilings during Mexican celebrations.  I actually started making these for Nathan’s first birthday party that’s in July.  Since they’re so easy, I decided to make some for Cinco de Mayo too!  All you need for this project is tissue paper, string, a glue stick, scissors, and possibly hole punchers.

I listed out the steps below the photos!

[ Step 1 ] Cut one sheet of tissue paper into 8 equal size rectangles.
[ Step 2 ] Stack the 8 rectangles and fold like a fan.
[ Step 3 ] Cut a scallop at the bottom.
[ Step 4 ] If you’re only using scissors – fold the scallop in half (length wise) and cut out a shape (diamond or circle for example).  If you’re using hole punchers – you can skip the folding part and just hole punch at the bottom.
[ Step 5 ] Unfold your paper.
[ Step 6 ] Now fold in half (vertically).
[ Step 7 ] Fold in half again (horizontally this time) but don’t overlap the shape you cut in the scallop.
[ Step 8 ] Fold again to make a cone shape.
[ Step 9 ] Cut or hole punch random patterns into the tissue paper (leaving room around the edges).
[ Step 10 ] Unfold the paper and separate each sheet.
[ Step 11 ] Once you have all the colors you want to use, fold a little bit of the top down over your piece of string and glue!
[ Step 12 ] Hang up and enjoy!

HOW TO | Edit Your Photos

How I edit my photos for Instagram

I get a lot of questions about how I edit my photos for Instagram so I decided to put together an easy step by step guide to what I do!  I'm definitely not a professional photographer or editor by any means, but I do try keep the look of my photos consistent- bright & airy feeling.  I've gotten these steps down through a lot of trial and error- which I think is the best way to find the look you want!  The main app I use is called Snapseed, and then before I post to Instagram I usually also use Instagram's edit tool to sharpen the image a little bit.  I will list out the steps and then post the photo below so it is easy to reference.

Step 1: Open the Snapseed app and open the photo I want to edit.
Step 2: Click on tools, then the "Curves" option.
Step 3: I usually click on the line more towards the top of the photo and just pull it up a little bit until I'm happy with the amount of brightness. Click the check mark in the lower right to save your changes.

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Step 4: After you press the check mark to save, you will be brought back to the home page. Click on "tools" again and then "White Balance".
Step 5: It should automatically be on the Temperature Adjust control, but you can click the middle button at the button to make sure.
Step 6: Depending on your photo's needs you may need to either make it cooler or warmer.  Slide your finger across the screen to the left will make it cooler, and the other way will make it warmer. Click the check mark when it looks the way you want it to.

Step 7: Click on tools again, and then "Tune Image". 
Step 8: In here, I usually adjust the Brightness, Contrast, Ambiance, Highlights, and Shadows. I don't really have an exact science behind what I choose -- I usually just play around until it looks right. Press the check mark once you're happy.
Step 9: In tools, select the "Brush" tool.

Step 10: You may not always need or want to do these next steps, but it's good to know it's an option. I wanted to lighten up the corner of the counters where the vase is, and I also felt like the backsplash to the left of the window had too much of a warm tone. The brush tool is great for pinpointing specific problem areas without having to apply filters to the entire photo.
Step 11: I used the Exposure brush at +0.3 to lighten up the corner just a little bit.
Step 12: Next, I used the Temperature brush at -5 to cool down the backsplash. 

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You can see below in the before and after, I was able to touch up the image to make it look more like how it looked in real life- versus what my camera captured.  I try to keep my edits as natural looking as possible, just the best & brightest version of the space!

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