Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 Make-over Brainstorm

Confession: I love lists. I'm that person that will write a list just to check things off. If I did something I forgot to add to the list I'll write it at the bottom just so I can cross it off. For some reason looking at a list with lots of things checked off is so satisfying. I know I'm not the only person who does this. Admit it. You love lists too.

Lately I've been making all sorts of mental lists of all the things I want to accomplish in our new condo. I've made boards on my Pinterest page full of DIY projects I want to tackle and decor inspiration for each room of our home. Finally I decided it was time to make a real list. This past weekend I took the time to go through each room of our home and jot down things that needed changing, ideas I have brainstormed over the past few months, and projects waiting to be accomplished. I decided to type up the list so that it will hopefully keep me focused, motivated, and besides, looking at all the things crossed off at the end of the year is going to be oh-so-satisfying. You with me? 

I decided to share my list with you here complete with a couple of inspiration photos. I think sharing it openly will not only hold me accountable to the list, but I hope it will also serve as an extra kick in the butt to get myself motivated to cross things off that list! Since the baby is expected to arrive any minute now, I won't promise anything in particular like completing one item a week since that will most likely be impossible until I get rest and heal and get the little one into somewhat of a routine. But, I will say, I plan to start to use my time more wisely. I think it will be a much needed skill with an infant. This means, nap time is going to be precious. 

I guess I should head to the local craft store and home improvement store to stock up on a few supplies to last me a few projects just so I have the needed items on hand to make the best of any down time I do find between naps, feedings, and general chaos of learning to be a parent. 

So bear with me through the coming weeks and months, but here is our 2014 home improvement bucket list if you will:

1.    Entryway

Make your enter way shelfs with wooden crates. Easy and cheap!

·         Hooks for keys
·         phone charging station
·         DIY extra pegboard for entry wall
·         Wall art
·         Shoe rack
·         Large rug

2.    Kitchen

Kitchen cupboard

·         Clock
·         Wooden sign for above doorway to dining room
·         Organize under counter cabinet
·         Organize Evan’s eating supplies
·         Organize recipes
·         Wall art 
·         Spice rack
·         Decorate white canisters
·         Recycling bin solution

3.    Dining room

Kitchen Shelf D├ęcor. White, Black, Rustic, Shabby Chic, Swedish decor Idea. ***Pinned by oldattic ***.

·         Indoor herb garden
·         Install open shelving above hutch
·         Wine Rack
·         Rug
·         Re-paint table and chairs

4.    Porch

Party Globe Light String

·         Window boxes for herb garden
·         String lights on balcony
·         Outdoor rug
·         DIY wind chime

5.    Living Room

benjamin moore copely gray

·         New pillows or pillow covers
·         Clock
·         Mantel or shelf above fireplace
·         Small table for between reading chairs
·         Bench by staircase
·         Dress up bookcases
·         Replace blinds with curtains and pull-backs
·         Add wall art behind the couch and on fireplace wall

6.    Half Bathroom

flowers for the bathroom. shabby chic mason jar

·         Replace existing towel racks 
·         Ask permission to take down wallpaper and re-paint
·         Shelving for above the toilet

7.    Stairway
·         Map/wall art

8.    Full Bathroom

DIY Rustic Bathroom Shelves! Easy and inexpensive. via designdininganddiapers.com

·         Repaint pegboard
·         Wall art
·         Install shelf above toilet

9.    Office Area

·         Scrapbook supply organization system
·         Paint filing cabinet
·         Shelving for craft supplies
·        Inspiration/memo board for above desk
·         Repaint desk and chair
·         Organize desk
·         Organize home binders

10. Baby’s Room
·         Add wall art
·         White shelf 
·         DIY trashcan

11. Bedroom

love this headboard

·         Wall Art above bed
·         Repaint dresser
·         Repaint night stands
·         Under-the-bed storage solution
·         Mirror for above dresser
·         Makeover headboard

12. Garage

garage storage cart plan

·         Organize sports gear
·         Create tool area
·         DIY project station
·         Organize gardening supplies

13. Laundry Room
·         Clean and organize

14. Front Door

Zinc & Sedum

·         New door mat
·         Basket/potted flowers

Do you have a list like this for your home projects? What's one home project you have been wanting to do, but have not yet tackled? I dare you to do it!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

36 Week Update

Well here we are at 36 weeks. I. Can. Not. Believe. It.


Well, at this point I feel like we are at a standstill with the belly growth. My belly looks pretty much the same as it did six weeks ago...but maybe a bit lower. I have definitely noticed a change in the way my body feels in general. More tired, more hungry, more drained at the end of the day, and definitely more emotional. Frank tells me that those are signs we are close to the end and I try to remind myself that I'm going through all of these changes so that we get to meet our precious little baby sooner and sooner each day I wake up. 


Peanut butter. Everyday. Still. And just food in general. My appetite has been incredibly out of control. I am honestly always hungry and the GD diet has been tough to deal with since I have to wait certain amounts of time between meals and snacks and cannot just graze. But, only a few more weeks to go!

Nursery Progress:

To be honest things still look pretty much the same in the nursery. We are hoping to complete everything this weekend so I can post a reveal of the whole nursery next week. In the bump photo above you can see the the dresser is complete. Newborn diapers are stocked and sitting pretty in that awesome basket I snagged at HomeGoods a few weeks back. The first thing we've hung on the walls is that gorgeous name sign that a great friend hand-painted for us. Frank and I have several other decorations to put up this weekend and we are currently in the process of re-painting an old shelf we found in my parent's basement. 

The only thing we really have left to do is to get the car seat checked to make sure it is installed correctly. And maybe one more load of baby's laundry. 

We are beyond excited and I am getting impatient for the baby's arrival! I can't believe how soon it is and can't wait to meet him!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Tutorial at Pinterior Designer

Happy Monday everyone! And Happy President's Day! I hope you are all enjoying a day off from work today...unfortunately I am not.

Today I am over at Pinterior Designer blog sharing one of my favorite DIY projects yet! When Frank and I moved into our condo back in November, one of the first things I noticed was how incredibly bare and ugly our entryway was and one of the eye sores was that the back of the cabinets is one of the first things you see walking in the door. Yuck.

Frank and I created this DIY chalkboard and over at Chelsea's blog I am explaining how you can create a chalkboard in your home even if you are living in a rental! Hop on over to Pinterior Designer to check out the full post and tutorial and make sure to check out Chelsea's awesome DIY projects while you are there!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

In LOVE with Spring

Just stopping by the blog today to say.....

Frank and I are not doing much for the holiday this year. We opted to save the money and energy for prepping for the baby instead. But! I hope you all have a great day with your loved ones however you choose to celebrate. 

One thing I enjoy about this time of year is that Valentine's Day means we're half way through February...which means we're about a month away from Spring!! Don't get me wrong, I love snow. I grew up in New England and have a huge appreciation for the white stuff, but this year it's been a bit excessive and I'm ready to begin decorating and preparing for that glorious first day you can just smell Spring air and all the windows can be opened. I love that day. 

So, in the spirit of pretending there isn't 18 inches of snow outside my door and in the spirit of being half way through February...I thought I'd share a few inspirational photos with you. I've been collecting ideas for some Spring projects and decorating ideas and I'm getting so antsy to get started! 

To view the source, just click on the links below each photo. Enjoy! And have a wonderful long weekend...full of dreams of Spring and hopefully no more snow. 


seasonal changing display from whatever you can find on a walk

Spring decoration

twine egg

Spring Decor  Burlap Bow  Boxwood Wreath  Door

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

35 Week Update

35. Yup. 35. I really can't believe we are 5 weeks away from the baby's expected birth date! I figured it is about time for an update.

32 Weeks


As I shared a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes around 30 weeks and it was not an easy transition. I'm not a huge fan of needles (I'm not sure anyone is...) and not being able to eat the foods I've been craving has been challenging at best. However, 5 weeks later, I can say that I am definitely getting used to the routine and tracking my glucose levels. I've got a pretty good system down which helps and it's definitely not as a bad as I expected it to be.

As far as other symptoms, I'm doing pretty good! It's becoming more and more challenging to put on socks and shoes and to move around in general. I've also started to become super clumsy which is honestly comical at times--dropping stuff all over the place. Overall though, I honestly can't complain much. I feel like I can say that I have had a fairly mild pregnancy and I am just working on being relaxed, calm and preparing myself for birth.


Peanut butter. And of course all the carbs I cannot have like pasta, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, and FRUIT. But peanut butter? Yeah, I've gone through 2 massive jars of creamy delicious peanut butter in the past 5 weeks. Not kidding. And there's another jumbo jar of it waiting in my pantry. With the gestational diabetes I'm supposed to balance each carb with a protein. So obviously that means I slather on the peanut butter pretty much every time I can. Having some rice cakes for breakfast? With a pound of peanut butter. Having a fiber one low carb brownie? With a huge glop of peanut butter. Apple slices? dipped in an excessive amount of peanut butter. Hungry? Grab a spoon of peanut butter. Yep. Just straight peanut butter. Yummmmmmy.

Nursery Progress:

Have you seen some of my latest posts? I finally finished the mobile and made super easy window treatments with fabric garlands. We also were able to wash and put away all the bedding and blankets, towels and washcloths and all the baby clothes we know we will use. We've unpacked all the gifts we received from the shower I had a couple of weeks ago and Frank and I started assembling things. We also purchased a cover for the rocking chair my mom is lending us for the nursery. I am so excited to sit in it!

We also installed the car seat this week and starting packing our bags for the hospital. All this prep work is both exciting and also really making it feel like our little boy is going to be here so so soon!

I'll also leave you with a few pictures from the beautiful shower that my Mom, Mother-in-Law and a few wonderful friends planned for me! It was so much fun and was great to celebrate the coming arrival of our little baby boy. Of course the theme was elephants...

My beautiful Mom, the mastermind of all the shower planning and decorating!

I have not taken any more belly photos since the shower, but I promise to have an updated one next time for the 36 week update. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and hey, if you missed yesterdays post, head on over to check out the Blogger Challenge post about using Pattern. Seven other fabulous bloggers posted about their projects as well so be sure to click on the links to their blogs at the bottom of my post! Happy Wednesday!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blogger Pattern Challenge: DIY Fabric Garland Window Treatment

Hello everyone! Today I am participating in a Blogger Challenge to use Pattern in a project! If you are visiting La Vita DiBella for the first time, welcome! Chelsea from Pinterior Designer challenged myself and 7 other bloggers to come up with a project using pattern. Following the post you can check out everyone's great patterned projects by clicking on the links provided!

I have to admit, I'm not the best at using pattern. I usually gravitate towards soft and neutral colors and honestly have a phobia when it comes to mixing patterns. It's something I really need to learn to do better, so this challenge couldn't have come at a better time!

Since my husband Frank and I have been busy preparing for the upcoming birth of our son (in less than 5 weeks!), we have been doing lots of projects in the nursery. The theme is elephants and the nursery colors are grey, tan, white and mint. In order to carry the color theme throughout the room I made these Yarn Wrapped Letters and a DIY Elephant Mobile.

We looked at purchasing window treatments for the nursery and decided we did not want to spend the money on them since we will likely only have them for a few years before our son will want something a bit more grown up. So, instead, I created a very easy Fabric Garland to add some interest to the windows.

The whole project took me a total of 2.5 hours. If you don't have some of the quilting supplies on hand it will probably take a bit longer to cut all the strips of fabric, but luckily my mom is a quilter and helped me with her quilting tools to make the cutting process super quick and easy.

I used some fabric that my mom had left over and purchased a few 1/4 yard cuts of patterned fabric in the colors I wanted. I tried to mix and match patterns that were the same color. The patterns make the fabric interesting and I learned that mixing patterns is not an issue when you combine the correct colors!

First, my mom and I used the rotary and rotary cutting board to cut 1" strips of fabric from each 1/4 yard piece. I used 2 1/4 yard pieces per color.

Once the strips were cut, I lined up the strips by color. For my garlands I grouped together 6 strips of fabric in like colors and alternated colors.

Then, all you have to do is tie knots with the fabric strips along whatever type of yarn or rope you choose. For my garland I used twine since it matched the tan in my color scheme and since it is strong, but you can use any type of strong yarn or rope.

Don't you love how the different patterns all look great together? I think I may have overcome my fear of mixing patterns! ...maybe.

Then, all I did was have my husband Frank hang the garlands from the windows in the nursery and voila! Super fast, super cute and laid back window treatments! You could also use the garland to decorate the crib, drape below a shelf or above a bookcase.

Here's a peek of the rest of the nursery with the mobile hanging above the crib. We still have some more decorating and organizing to do, but we are getting closer to having things finished every day.

Thanks for stopping by La Vita DiBella today! If you're visiting, I'd love for you to stick around to browse the site and hope you'll come back to visit sometime soon!

I'd love to know:  What creative ways have you used pattern?

And, don't forget to check out the creative ways these lovely bloggers have used pattern in their projects:

To check out these awesome projects please click on the images above or the links below:

Again, thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, February 10, 2014

DIY Elephant Mobile

I am so excited about today's post! This project has been my favorite thing I have worked on for the baby's nursery so far--it just took me way too long to finally hang it up in his room and get the post on the blog!

To make your own mobile you'll need the following:

1. First I found the design for the elephant I wanted to create. I drew out my elephant on some scrap paper in the size that I wanted them and traced them onto my grey felt pieces. You'll need to make a front and a back so double up on the number of elephants you want to create (or any other animal you choose). I also chose to do a separate piece for the ears so that they would look a bit more 3D.

2. Then, I made my pom-poms. There are many tutorials online on how to make these. Just wrap your yarn around 2-4 fingers (depending on how large you want your poms to be). Then, carefully slip the wrapped yarn off  your fingers being sure to keep its shape. Use a small piece of yarn (of the same color) to tie around the middle and knot a few times. Then, just snip the ends. Voila! A yarn pom-pom. You can trim around the edges to make sure that the ends are even. I made mine in varying colors and sizes.

3. Then, I stitched my elephants together and gave them eyes with the tan yarn. You can choose to put a bit of stuffing in your animals too if you want them to look more plump. Then, glue any other pieces you need onto the elephants. I chose to glue the ears on.

4. Once your animals and pom-poms are complete, it's time to string everything together! You'll need a large sewing needle for this part. First, tie your yarn around one of the pom-poms and knot it tightly at the bottom to start, then string the yarn through the remaining  pom-poms and elephant in whatever order you wish.

5. Once your strands are completed, tie them tightly onto your embroidery hoop. I chose to wrap my hoop in yarn as well to match my yarn pom-poms.

6. To hang, purchase a ceiling hook and tie yarn from the top of the hoop to hang from the hook. Make sure the ends are all even so the hoop hangs horizontally and make sure all parts of the mobile are completely secure so pieces don't fall into the baby's crib.

So that's it! It was super easy and since it was custom made it matches the exact style and feel I was looking for in the nursery and the exact colors I wanted to use. And, I spent less than $25 on this whole project. 

Did you catch the picture of the other addition to the nursery? Come back tomorrow for another complete DIY tutorial on how I used pattern in the nursery...along with links to several other blogger's posts on how they creatively  used pattern in a DIY project of their own.

Thanks for stopping by! See you tomorrow! And don't forget to subscribe to the blog on the right hand column or follow La Vita DiBella on Bloglovin for updates on new posts!

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