This past weekend on Long Island was absolutely gorgeous! Derek and I decided to check out an antique fair in Aquebogue.  I tend to keep an ongoing list of all the things I am on the hunt for. Naturally the list has grown since starting the renovation of our new home.  One thing that I was excited to cross off my list was some antique silverware from the 1940s.

1940's William Rogers Silverware

1940s William Rogers Silverware

My 3rd lace tablecloth of the summer…I justify this by saying that they are all different styles of lace!

Quaker Lace Tablecloth

Quaker Lace Tablecloth

After the antiques…

Of course my husband needs a bribe to spend a beautiful Saturday looking at some antiques! Food usually works pretty well, so after we left Aquebogue we headed out to Sag Harbor for the rest of the evening.  It’s a great town to walk around and grab something to eat if you have never been.

Some highlights of Sag Harbor…

Some of the most spectacular boats you'll ever see...one had a mini cooper on it!

Some of the most spectacular boats you’ll ever see (couldn’t fit them all here).  One had a mini cooper on it!

Great store for all things nautical and beachy

Great store for nautical and beachy home decor!

I think I found my office inspiration!

I think I found my office inspiration! I love the painted oars.

Can't get enough of maps...

Can’t get enough of maps…

Husband love<3

Husband love<3

Cake batter ice cream and freshly made waffle cones from Big Olaf.  These cones were amazing...next time I'm getting 5 cones and skipping the ice cream.

Cake batter ice cream and freshly made waffle cones from Big Olaf. These cones were amazing…next time I’m getting 5 cones and skipping the ice cream.

There is nothing like the look of freshly refinished hardwood floors! As long as they are maintained you will definitely receive a return on your investment when it comes to resale! We had to move into our home a little earlier than expected so unfortunately our floors were the first thing to be done (in a perfect world they would be one of the last).

Choosing the right color…

I know that most people love the look of dark floors, and believeee me I do too and maybe even plan on having them one day! However, there are a few things to keep in mind when having your floors stained if you don’t plan on living in the space forever.  First, dark floors easily show dust and any kind of scratches that you may get on your floor.  Second, if resale is something that you want to keep high on your list of priorities it is important to remember that not everyone loves dark floors.  Usually because of the reasons mentioned above.

floors

Minwax stains from left to right: Antique Brown, Early American, Provincial

These were the three options that we decided to choose from.  Keep in mind that the stain that you pick will actually be darker than how it appears as a sample because it will be more than just one coat.  We chose the middle sample (early american) but it really looks more like the stain on the right now that it is all done.  You always want to make sure that you have the samples put down on your floor and consider the natural lighting of the space before choosing.  The stains can look completely different depending on the space they are in.

My favorite thing about the stain in this lighting is the dark and light contrast.  This gives you many different options when it comes to picking a paint color.

My favorite thing about the stain in this lighting is the dark and light contrast. This gives you many different options when it comes to picking a paint color.

 

Minwax Early American Stain with a semi-gloss finish.

Minwax Early American Stain with a semi-gloss finish.

Anyone in the Long Island area looking to have their floors done feel free to contact me for the information on the company that we used.  We couldn’t have been happier with the job that was done and they were very reasonable!

Wait one last thing!!!

I mentioned earlier that we had to have our floors done before any of our other construction was done.  Even though everyone has been very careful there have been a few different scratches that I found throughout the house.  I was definitely not willing to accept scratches early on so I went on You Tube to see if I could find some remedies.  Jackpot! Believe it or not all you need is an almond for this!

Bite the almond (or cut it) in half and rub it back and forth several times until the scratch disappears!

Bite the almond (or cut it) in half and rub it back and forth several times until the scratch disappears!

 

 

If you’re getting ready to move you may want to check out zazzle.com to see their great selection of change of address/moving cards.  They’re easy to personalize and a good way to keep your contact information current!

Couldn't resist these!

Couldn’t resist these!

I can honestly say that I have had Swell Taco at least once a week for the past year!  Swell Taco is the perfect combination of amazing food and a laid back atmosphere that I usually require on a Friday night and sometimes if it’s a rough week maybe even on a Wednesday too!  If you live anywhere near the Babylon area and you haven’t been – you are missing out! The food tastes great but unlike other taco joints it won’t leave you feeling like you ate a bunch of grease. Do yourself a favor and order a margarita, nachos, and a crunch and munch. I promise you will not regret it! If you’re a homebody like me you can always order it to go!

swellTaco1

Fruit Punch Jarritos and a Modelo! Der’s favorite drink combo at Swell Taco!

Amazing nachos

Amazing nachos

 

A very easy craft that can add a lot of character to a plain glass vase or candle holder that you have laying around.

What you will need:

(all items can be found at Michael’s)

1.) Lace – feel free to use different styles although some are easier to use than others

2.) Scissors

3.) Modge Podge (same as used in the DIY Photo Canvas Post)

4.) Foam brush (same as used in the DIY Photo Canvas Post)

5.) Glass vase or candle holder

 

Steps to take:

1.) Cut the lace to fit around the object you are sticking it to.

2.) Put a thin layer of modge podge on your vase or candle holder using a foam brush.  Only put the modge podge on the area where you plan on sticking the lace.

3.) Place the lace over the modge podged area and smooth out any bumps.

4.) Once the lace is in place use the foam brush to put another thin layer of modge podge over the lace.

5.) Let it dry & enjoy!

I found that this was the easiest lace to use because it was easy to cut and easy to stick with the modge podge. As you can see I experimented with a variety of vases and candle holders.

I found that this was the easiest lace to use because it was easy to cut and easy to stick with the modge podge. As you can see I experimented with a variety of vases and candle holders.

 

These I keep on a bathroom shelf next to some apothecary jars filled with soap and other bathroom necessities.  This lace was a little harder to use because it is thicker.  That makes it harder to cut and stick to the vase.

These I keep on a bathroom shelf next to some apothecary jars filled with soap and other bathroom necessities. This lace was a little harder to use because it is thicker. That makes it harder to cut and stick to the vase.

LaceVaseFlowers

Beautiful with dried hydrangeas.

I love this DIY project because it is perfect for a year round

decoration in your home or a great accent for a bridal or baby shower!

Here you can see an Instagram photo of my DIY Christmas decorations using a mason jar, burlap, lace, and a ribbon.

Here you can see an Instagram photo of one of my DIY Christmas decorations using a mason jar, burlap, lace, and a ribbon.

This mirror is one of my favorite pieces in our apartment.  I love it so much that I plan on using all of the colors around it as inspiration when decorating our new home.

 

MirrorClear

Barnwood Mirror from Acacia unfortunately this picture does not do these colors justice!

Our driftwood gray console table from Home Goods works really well with the mirror.

Not the best lighting in our apartment, but you get the idea!

Not the best lighting in our apartment, but you get the idea!

DIY photo canvases are one of my favorite projects ever! They are much easier than they look! This post will show you how to make them in 6 easy steps! Everything you need is available at Michael’s (minus the photos obviously). Here is what the finished product will look like…

CanvasAndSign

CanvasStairs

Canvas

Here is what you will need:

Photo canvases from Michael’s

When you are making more than one canvas it is cheaper to buy them in bulk. I bought the Artist’s Loft 8×10 pack of 10 for $19.99.

Paint for the side of the canvases

I used a shade of gray from Craft Smart.  I chose gray because it is a neutral color that blends nicely with the photos that I was using. If you are using sepia photos I would recommend something more along the lines of a tan or ivory color.

Brushes

You will need foam brushes and a small regular brush or two.  The regular brushes are to paint the edge of the canvas so it shouldn’t be too big.  Don’t worry about brand here, any old brush will do for this project and they are just going to get covered in modge podge and paint anyway!

Brushes

 

Modge Podge

Meet your new best friend! I used the 8oz. matte modge podge and had great results with it.  Depending on how many photo canvases you plan on making you might want to consider the 16oz. bottle, but that is definitely for a large amount.  I would say that you can get away with making 10 photo canvases with the 8oz. bottle and still have a little left over for some other fun projects.

ModgePodge

Photos

Your choice!

Paper towels/tissues

A few sheets of whatever you have at home.

Scissors, ruler, & a pen

Whatever you have at home.

 

Steps to take:

1.)  Make sure that your photos match up to the size of the canvas.  Even if you have an 8×10 canvas and an 8×10 photo, the photo will still overlap the canvas.  Take this first step to use your pen, ruler, and scissors to try and make sure that this doesn’t happen.

2.)  Paint the edges of the canvas using one of your small brushes.  Don’t worry about staying in the lines! I recommend that you paint not only the sides but continue to paint along the edges on the front of the canvas.  This is so you don’t see the white of the canvas if you cut your photo unevenly or too small.

3.)  Once the paint on your canvas is dry you are going to use your foam brush to spread an even layer of modge podge on your canvas.

4.)  Place the photo on the canvas and use your paper towel or tissue to smooth out any bumps that may be under the photo.  Make sure that there isn’t any dust particles on the front of the photo as well.

5.)  Use your foam brush to spread a layer of modge podge on the front of the picture.  Make sure that your brush strokes are even because when the modge podge dries you will still be able to see the brush strokes when you look at the canvas from different angles.

6.)  Let it dry, hang it up, and enjoy!!!

Two years ago when we were married my brother bought us this beautiful vase.

vaseedited

 

That was when I first heard of Museware Pottery.  If you are looking to give someone a different gift for their wedding or any special event this company has a variety of gifts to choose from. This vase is neutral and casual enough to keep out all year round.  In the fall I love using sunflowers because they pull out all of the golden hues that are in my fall decor.  The rest of the year I usually use baby’s breath because it is delicate and low maintenance.

 

On our first anniversary my mom bought us this decorative plate, also from Museware Pottery.

Plate

plate2

 

In this photo you can see the details that really set this company apart from others.  Their products are more like a piece of art than anything else.

You can see our names on the top of the R and the year we were married on the bottom of it.

You can see our names on the top of the R and the year we were married on the bottom of it.

Experts: Say So Long To Mortgage Rates in the 3’s For Now

If you are looking for a home you may find the title of the article above discouraging.  When Derek and I started going through the process a few months ago the mortgage rates were  about 3.5%.  Needless to say they have gone up since then and we were disappointed that we would not be able to take advantage of these historically low rates. However, if you speak to someone that bought a home during the late 70s and 80s you will learn that mortgage rates rarely dropped below 10%.  In fact, in October of 1981 rates reached 18.63%.  Looking at these numbers really makes today’s national average of 4.27% look a little bit better!

Derek and I took a trip to Paris in April of 2010.  Needless we say we created some amazing memories while we were there.  I do love photo albums, but sometimes I think that there are things that need to be out in the open rather than hidden under a coffee table.  Two years ago I decided to take some of the items from our trip and use them as inspiration for our bedroom.

Our Parisian Bedroom:

Our tall dresser. We bought the painting on the wall from a street vendor in Paris. The mini eiffel tower was also bought in Paris and is now used as my jewelry holder.  On either side of our favorite picture ever are candle holders that I made out of lace and modge podge.

We bought the painting on the wall from a street vendor in Paris. The mini eiffel tower was also bought in Paris and is now used as my jewelry holder. On either side of our favorite picture ever are candle holders that I made out of lace and modge podge.

Custom sign over the TV is from http://www.etsy.com/shop/dressingroom5 and candle holders are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/AtticJoys1

Custom sign over the TV is from http://www.etsy.com/shop/dressingroom5 and the wall sconces are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/AtticJoys1

Love at first sight with these two-tone nightstands from  http://www.etsy.com/shop/meredithmbrooks

Love at first sight with these two-tone nightstands from
http://www.etsy.com/shop/meredithmbrooks

The photos over the bed are photos that we took on our trip. I took two different shots, left them in color and then also had them printed in black and white. I wanted to pull out the different colors and shades from the painting that was bought from the street vendor (over the tall dresser). Our Paris throw pillow is from http://www.etsy.com/shop/parismarketplace

The photos over the bed are photos that we took on our trip. I took two different shots, left them in color and then also had them printed in black and white. I wanted to pull out the different colors and shades from the painting that was bought from the street vendor (over the tall dresser). Our Paris throw pillow is from http://www.etsy.com/shop/parismarketplace

Here is a shot of the four photos that we have hanging over the bed but without the glare that is in the above picture.

Here is a shot of the four photos that we have hanging over the bed but without the glare that is in the above picture.

What I love most about this room is the memories that resurface every single time that I walk inside of it! Here are some of the highlights from our trip.

Paris1

Love this picture more and more each day!

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Sneaky Eiffel Tour

Sneaky Eiffel Tour

Took a nap in the park on a gorgeous spring day<3

Took a nap in the park on a gorgeous spring day<3