Monday, December 30, 2013

After Xmas sale at Target

I have a quick post tonight regarding all the sales going on at Target. I was able to catch up on my shopping earlier and wanted to share my deals. Currently, target has sales on all their xmas related items  (75% off) and baby items such as car seats are also on sale. I was able to grab an infant car seat for $60 on clearance (original price of $100). 

Today I spent under $10 for Xmas items and got all this: 

Bows were on clearance for $0.75c package of 30 bows. Target had a large selection of ribbons left but i'm not a big fan of fancy ribbon because it makes it hard to open the presents. I usually just wrap the presents and if they are lucky they get a bow. I always try to plan ahead and already know that xmas next year will be blue, white, and gold/silver, like my living room colors. This year decorations were all mismatched because I simply didn't want to spend the extra money on stuff that I already had. Boxes were $0.75c for a package of 3. They are sturdy and roomy enough to actually put a present in. Boxes weren't a super deal but it was convenient and they don't take much space to store. 

I also got some tags for $0.75c. They aren't a super deal but I like them because they are large and simple. I usually just get the dollar tree tags but I notice they are getting smaller and smaller every year with no room to write on. They also look like they are made of better quality too. 

Lastly, I bought lots of wrapping paper. I have my own collection of wrapping paper from previous sales but I got some more today. The colors were all blue, white, and gold/silver to match my colors for next year. The big set on the very left was $2.50 and the other two smaller sets were only $1.xx

Happy holiday shopping everyone and go out and find all the good deals. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Late Christmas house tour

Hello everyone. I'm finally back and feeling well enough to start blogging again. I won't be blogging as much as I use to but I'll be doing some simple updates in our nursery since baby girl #2 is coming. To start off, our family wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas with lots of food and presents.

We've had our house for two years and the first year we simply didn't do much decorating for Christmas because I just had Emily and she was barely three months old. Year two came around and I was able to pick up some for Christmas decorations but it was limited to Dollartree and just a simple tree. This year I gave myself a $100 budget to decorate our house. I'll be doing a few reviews on some affordable decorations that I've made.

First up, our dreaded 18 feet long mantle. I've mentioned before that its huge and extra long, making it impossible to decorate. I finally bought a gold mirror from Ross for $25 on clearance and got my dad to hang it up. I didn't include the price of the mirror on my budget because it will remain up there not just for Christmas.  I also purchased two white 2.5 feet tall christmas trees to stick up there for $8 each. This year for our family/great room I wanted light and bright. Since our colors were blue I kinda stuck with that. I got some empty boxes and wrapped them up with Dollartree wrapping paper and ribbon. I got so lazy on one of them that I didn't even wrap it up and just tied a nice ribbon on it.

Here's a closer shot of the box that I didn't even wrap. 

Overall I thought the price for two white 2.5 feet tall christmas trees were fair ($16 total). Branches were quite full and I simply just pushed all the branches to the front to give it a fuller effect.

Next came our formal living space and our Christmas tree. I scored a great deal on our artificial Christmas tree last year from Homedepot. Its 7.5 feet tall for only $40 shipped to our house. Ornaments were all from last year so I didn't buy anything new for our tree except a star with lights for $8 from Kmart. Our old star now sits on top of our china cabinet. Excuse our floors, I didn't have time to vacuum before taking pictures because the sun was coming down and its so hard to take pictures of our formal space due to all the wood shutters we have. 

Here's a closer look at our formal dining table. Nothing extra special just a spare DIY tray I had with some plain white china plates pulled out from our china cabinet. Only thing I got that was new for our table were the white snowflake hand towel, crystal bowl from Dollartree with some new ornaments, and a $4 table top tree. Total budget for table display was under $10. I also put Emily's present from auntie on the tray since it looks nice. Round candles behind the presents were also from Dollartree. 

Next to our tree is the $10 side table I bought from craigslist that I desperately need to refinish. I have all the supplies from previous projects but just haven't had the time. Its currently a light blonde color. My mother gave me a pretty tray that I put some ornaments on. I grabbed some wrapped presents and stuck them underneath. 

When you first enter our doors you will see Binh's office/junkyard to the left. No, I won't take you in there for a tour but I did decorate the shoe cabinet next to it. All I really did was put some ornaments on the crystal tray. 

Finally I was able to decorate the front of our house 3 days before christmas. Sorry I'm pregnant and I'm a little slow but its finally done. Well... its as done as it will ever get this year. I bought a new gold/silver wreath from Homegoods for $15 for our plain door. I also made another purchase from Walmart. I bought this five piece entry way set for $25. I ordered it together with the white christmas trees for free shipping. Overall I think I paid a fair price for a five piece entry set. Its not super full but the trees are a good size, came with a nice pot, and has lights. I didn't use the wreath because I like my home goods wreath better. I used the garland for my patio. The garland also lights up. My sister in law gave me some left over decorations so I added them to my decor. The red ribbons on my christmas trees were all from her. The big red bow was also made from some fabric she gave me. 

Thats it for my christmas house tour. Hopefully I'll be back soon to decorate the nursery. Emily and her sister will be sharing the room so it will be interesting to decorate. Meanwhile, happy holidays everyone and be safe. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

DIY simple birthday banner

Here's a little sneak peek of Emily's birthday banner that I made for her. It seems like a tradition for me to make her a birthday banner. Last year I made her a simple black and white cow themed banner. This year it was an owl themed banner. It currently spans about 15 feet across our huge mantle. Sorry the picture is dark and I have a cheap camera phone.  It still needs a lot of decorations but its coming along. I still need to fill the glass vases, cover the brown box white, add pictures to the frames, and finally add more pom poms on the wall.

Here are the before/progress pictures taken during the day time. Sorry I don't know how to turn the pictures. 

I work tomorrow but more updates to come soon. I'll update progress of what I'm doing prior to the actual party date.

Family pictures

Aside from planning Emily's party we've been taking a lot of professional family pictures. I think they are so important. Unfortunately we don't have too much time to take them all the time. We took newborn pictures for Emily at 2 weeks and hung them along our wall behind our large sectional and made a photo album from adoramapix.

Recently we also took two smaller family sessions. It has been so hot and humid that we were unable to last 30 minutes. Its seriously tough to pose, try to look good, and have to tell your hyper crazy toddler what to do and what not to do in 100+ degree temperatures. Fortunately we were able to get a few very good pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

I encourage everyone to try to take as many family pictures as you can while your baby is young. They are only young once and once the time is gone, it will be gone forever. I don't ever look at our wedding pictures but I love looking at our family pictures. 

You can view more family pictures from our photog here

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Early planning for Emily's second birthday

Time feels like its flying by these days. Our Emily is almost two. I'm sad thinking about her growing up so fast. The other day my sister took pictures of Emily and when we were looking at the pictures, I realized Emily looks so grown. Emily is no longer a baby. She's a toddler and going to be a preschooler soon. Her second birthday is approaching in September so I've been looking at possible themes for her party. After attending my brothers engagement party, I'm all pumped up for our next party.

Last year we had a big party with about 150 guests. really saw three digits.. we had 150 guests for her first birthday. It was a very big party hosted at our house. The theme last year was Milkaholic. Last year we made most of the food and it was a bad choice in my opinion. Cost for making food was pretty high and we were so busy all day. This year we plan to hire a catering company. I don't want to deal with any food. I rather sit back and enjoy. I just want to work on the decorations and fun stuff.

Here are some pictures from her Milkaholic theme last year. It was basically black and white (cow) decorations while our Emily was in a blue tiffany outfit. 

Party favors for the kids. 

Table full of gifts from friends and family.

There were more decorations but I didn't have time to take pictures. This year the theme will be owls. I saw a really cute owl theme birthday party online a long time ago and knew that I wanted an owl theme for her party this year. Lucky for us this year, my brother just got engaged so we will be able to use a lot of their supplies for free.  I love free decorations. 

Here's a teaser of what I've been doing lately. All house projects have been on hold because of her upcoming party. Here's a brief summary/list of what I've been doing. 

Cute invitations sent via email and Facebook. I printed a few out just for memory and taking pictures. 
note: address and phone number has been edited for privacy. 

Isn't the owl so adorable? 

Of course we had to buy an owl piƱata. 

I've been on the look out for affordable chairs. I scored 50 black/gray chairs from craigslist for $50. Yep.. thats $1 each. It was from a local church in Ontario so they are in pretty good condition, not perfect but good enough for hosting parties. I'm proud because they were only $1 each. Renting would cost $1 each.  We already have table and table linens from my brothers engagement party.

I've done quite a few other things such as her custom birthday owl banner that spans 15 feet across our large mantle, water bottle labels, stocking up on all necessary supplies in bulk from costco, and a few other decorations. Once I'm done with her party I will try my best to do a cost breakdown and tutorial of some of the decorations I've been working on.

And lastly, we're also happy to announce that I'm expecting another little bean in my belly.  :) Since I'm expecting, I won't be doing to many house projects. I'll be decorating by purchasing but probably not DIY.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY pinch pleated drapes

Today was the first time I took a real stab at doing pinched pleated drapes. I scored some super clearance fabric at Joanns the other day. Its a white and pink damask pattern. Its not really my cup of tea for the design but I figured what the heck... its so cheap and I needed to practice making drapes. I got six yards of the fabric for only $12. Its a fairly thick outdoor/indoor canvas like fabric so I knew it was a good price. I might put it in Emily's big girl playroom.

Heres a very bad picture of my DIY curtains/drapes take 1. 

I think I did okay for a first timer. I'll be back on Monday to do a quick tutorial on how I made these without anything extra. Just fabric and a sewing machine. I am cooking up a plan to hang these with just a regular plain curtain rod.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Formal living room

Sorry no new projects today but I was able to take more pictures of our formal living room to share. Its a room that I have ignored for way too long. It doesn't get much love around here because we really never go there. Thus far I've done a mini sofa makeover, refinished two used captain chairs, and a quick coffee table makeover. The captain chairs were an impulsive purchase a while back for $20. I figured I needed extra seating and those chairs fit the budget so I picked them up at a local yard sale in upland. I refinished them to a dark espresso color to match our sofa and china cabinet. They will do while I search for a better replacement. I'm really looking for nicer armchairs but they can get pretty pricey.  Well enough gibberish and onto pictures.

Pillows were stolen from the living room. I still haven't decided on what pillows I want. 

Here's a shot of my DIY chair cover. A lot of people wonder how I can keep our chairs so white and clean.. the secret is they are removable and therefore washable. They aren't perfect but they are good enough for me. My old chairs were pretty ugly so anything is considered an upgrade.

Our formal space is a work in progress but its slowly coming along. I still need a new rug for the living space, new arm chairs, new pillows for the sofa, and refinish the side table.