New Orleans Getaway

I just had the pleasure of spending a few days in New Orleans, you guys, and had the best time! Gina from the Shabby Creek Cottage and I celebrated our birthdays with a girls’ getaway weekend. And rather than staying in a hotel, we used Trip Advisor’s vacation rental property site, FlipKey, to find a beautiful home that would fit our needs.  

New Orleans rental studio apartment at diyshowoff.com

Our experience felt way more personal and special because of staying in a residential area, almost like we were one of the locals. Well, locals with cameras, no sense of direction in an unknown city, wide-eyed and excited to see the sights!

New Orleans mardi gras beads

There were so many options on Flipkey, with the ability to select the property features in any area (pretty much anywhere in the world). We found the cutest rental (here) in a beautiful historic mansion (but still close to everything) to spend our time. And wow!, were we ever happy with our decision (this location is said to be perfect for Jazz Fest!). New Orleans home

We chose a small studio apartment (beautifully decorated by the homeowner – with a few fun DIY accents too)! Take a look at how pretty and comfortable our little home away from home was – sweet decorative accents and smart ideas for small space living… New Orleans small space living LOVE pillow original photo by TG Herrington

Minimalistic small space living was a pleasant change and so motivating to make de-cluttering a part of spring cleaning this year.

eclectic entry area New Orleans studio apartment living room small space living console table mirror

The description: The flat is open, airy and just plain sexy. It features high ceilings, large windows, painted hardwood floors, central air, a queen sized bed, flat screen TV, petite couch, an Eames rocking chair and a few other things. The kitchen has all stainless steal appliances, microwave, washer/dryer and an expresso machine. It really feels like a suite in a boutique hotel, its about 500 sq ft. In addition, all linens and toiletries are provided.

New Orleans studio apartment kitchen Small? Yes. But still way roomier than a hotel room. kitchen shelves

The Mansion has some incredible history: it was built by the Storyville Madame Josie Arlington. Although it was her private residence, it was known that she entertained some of favorite client’s here. Josie’s once famed parlor is now a private flat on the west side of the estate with its own private entrance. The bathroom was small but made the best use of space.

small apartment bathroom

Modern, clean, full of charm and beautiful architectural detail. The homeowners were very genuine and friendly and even treated us with a sweet mid-morning snack. 

biscuits and jam

Knowing our obsessions with homes, the homeowners invited us to tour the main house and another rental they’re working on…that decorating and home improvement eye candy was a definite highlight for these DIY girls! Stunning! I guarantee you’ll see their home on the glossy pages of a home magazine one day in the future. And again, getting to know the property owners was way more fun and interesting than strictly polite business of hired hotel staff.

We kept the theme of our getaway schedule-free, stress-free and low key but still managed to eat amazing food, win $9 at the penny slots, walk the French Quarter,

French Market Place carriage tour Rue de Chartres

 sample beignets

hot chocolate and beignets

at Cafe du Monde,

cafe du monde

shop Magazine Street,

Magazine Street

take a cemetery tour (or two)

St. Louis Cemetery 3

and to drool over the history, beautiful trees and architecture in the Garden District, actually in the entire city to be honest. 

New Orleans Garden District New Orleans street car New Orleans historic home

If you haven’t been to NOLA, it’s definitely a spot you’ll want to add to your bucket list (if you need a travel buddy – let me know! I’m ready to go back!) and if you have visited, what was your favorite thing about the Big Easy? I’ll share a bit of what I loved most next week. 

Disclaimer: I was offered a free trial, in part, through FlipKey. As always, opinion is 100% my own.

DIY Highlights

As always (and I mean ALWAYS AND FOREVER), I’m blown away and inspired by everyone’s creativity and hard work. Thank you for sharing your links in the weekly THAT DIY PARTY. I love visiting the party links, pinning and seeing what others have been doing. It motivates me to work on projects, inspires me to think outside of the box. Here are some DIY highlights from last week that I think you’re going to want to see if you missed them:

DIY Party Highlights

INSPIRING ROOMS

It’s no secret that I love Angela’s style, furniture makeovers and beautiful home. She shared her living room tour at Number Fifty Three this week and it’s such an amazing mix of old and new. It calls me to  relax, unwind and to just be peaceful. 

number fifty three blog living room tour  

I’d spend every minute at home if this was mine: Linda’s beautiful and inspiring screened porch at It All Started with Paint.

It All Started with Paint screened porch makeover

Molly’s eclectic style reeled me in. Love her DIY salvaged industrial and colorful entryway at the Poor Sophisticate! Fun!

bohemianindustrialentryway at the poor sophisticate

AWESOME ACCENTS

Susan took and old pallet and created this super fun pallet chalkboard message center at Rustic Rediscovered. Pallet, chalkboard, chicken wire – love it!

pallet message center at rustic rediscovered  

FUN DIY

You know I love painted floors (here and here). I know it’s not an option for everyone but if it’s something you’d really love to try too, how about trying it in a closet? That’s what Katie did. I love her painted closet floor at Creatively Living Blog

Closet-Floor-Design at Creatively Living Blog

I’ve never seen this done before and thought it was pretty clever and a great idea for all of those left over fabric scraps. Susan shares how to make fabric tape at Sugar Beans. (Susan – I tried to leave you a comment to let you know…I tried three different commenting options but kept being told to try again later.)

diy fabric tape at sugar beans

FAB FURNITURE

Allison shares an old washstand turned bar makeover at Fab Rehab Creations. How clever! Function and beauty!

washstand bar at Fab Rehab Creations

OUTDOOR PROJECTS

I am in loooove with Tammy’s DIY gutter planter outdoor window shade project at One More Time Events. I need this, don’t I? 

gutter planter window shade at One More Time Events

 

Thanks for sharing your inspiring DIY projects and creativity, ladies!

That DIY Party Highlights 24

Got something to ‘show off’? Head over to THAT DIY PARTY to share! A large percentage of DIY party links are pinned each week in an effort to ‘show off’ your hard work and creativity even more! A job well done deserves some recognition!  

That DIY Party

Todd & Lindsey

Dear DIY readers…I’d like you to meet Lindsey: talented crafter, baker and DIY’er at the blog Todd & Lindsey.

Last month, I hosted a Christmas Tree Contest. When I went to make the announcement in the last DIY Holiday Highlights party, I must have gotten sidetracked and dropped the ball. I’m so sorry! Way to go, right? {hanging my head in shame}

Thankfully, the winner is super sweet and patient. I’m excited to share that the Christmas tree with the most likes is…

Todd&Lindsey and their budget Christmas tree:

budget chrismtas tree

beautifully decorated with some DIY ornaments including:

With her mix of beautiful handmade ornaments, it’s no wonder she’s a winner. Congratulations, Lindsey!

christmas ornaments ToddLindsey

Her inspiring Christmas tree led me to another post, which prompted more looking around…little does she know, I didn’t just visit one post, I invited myself to take a look around and fell in love. So much goodness to see. Here is just a peek of the DIY (and more) goodness you’ll find at Todd & Lindsey…

Conversational Heart Garland Wreath – super cute for Valentine’s Day!

conversation heart wreath

 

 

DIY light bulb pears…adorable!

diy light bulb pears

a lovely home tour

Todd & Lindsey home tour beautiful muslin rosette wreath tutorial

DIY muslin rosette wreath

and look at this LOW CARB pizza…yum!

low carb pizza

I spy so much inspiration. See more DIY, tons of delicious recipes and more at…

toddlindsey

Miss Mustard Seed – “Inspired You”, inspired me {review and giveaway}

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winners will be contacted via email. 

Inspired You winners

Congratulations to Jessica and Gena!

winner 1 - Inspired You

Inspired You - winner 2

If you’re a blog reader, love pretty decorative accents or painting furniture, it’s likely that you “know” Marian from Miss Mustard Seed. I’ve “known” Marian for years and her amazing story and inspiring talent are a reflection of the kind heart behind the Miss Mustard Seed blog.

Miss Mustard Seed blog

From the moment I returned from the Haven 2012 conference, my entire summer was spent renovating a small apartment and oh, joy! It was a blast. Nearly everyday warm (my favorite time of the year) and spent doing something I love to do…DIY and decorating. And as the renovation came near to completion (there are still a few things left to do including taking “after” photos), we enjoyed a much needed vacation. No DIY, no work. All relaxation and spending time with family. And you’d think one would return all well rested and ready to jump back into routine. But when I returned to a home that had been neglected all summer with the fast approaching holidays, shorter days, colder temps, gray skies and an empty nest, I suddenly felt overwhelmed and stressed and had no idea where to even start in my cluttered unfinished surroundings.

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired You

This past week, my copy of “Inspired You” {Inspired You: Letting God Breathe New Life Into Your Heart and Home} arrived and because I’ve been moving from one little thing to the next {although with little motivation and accomplishing next to nothing}, it sat on the dust covered coffee table for a few days. Then giving into my lazy mood one day {well, honestly, most days}, I took a moment for myself and brewed a cup of tea, propped up my feet and opened my book. I.could.not.put.it.down.

Inspired You review

So truth be told, a moment turned into a couple of hours (it’s 200+ pages) but it’s not all tutorial style. It’s Marian’s stories, her ideas and thoughts sprinkled with a few tutorials to refer back to and beautiful photos of her adorable home and inspiring vintage, thrifted, hand-made decorating style. I found myself looking up and around my home, pondering what works best for our family, what we do like, what we don’t, what’s not working, sometimes clarity, a spark of motivation. Marian’s thoughts are similar to my own but seeing them through her eyes, the gentle reminder of what is important, well, it gave me a fresh new perspective and several times, I set the book aside and walked around my home from room to room. I was inspired to grab my notebook, write down a few comments or a to-do list for a certain area, goals. And I was inspired to look at one task rather than the entire huge overwhelming picture which helps me realize that if our house is comfortable enough to mess up, we’re happy.

making things new

Basically, when I agreed to review our friend’s new book (because not only am I a Miss Mustard Seed fan, I love promoting my blog friends and share their excitement in fun opportunities and success of hard work)…I had no idea that her book would do just what the cover says. It helped me let God breathe new life into my heart and into my home. My house is not perfect. It never is perfect. It never will be and at this moment when my house is far far away from perfect, I finally found peace and motivation to start somewhere, anywhere to work towards my goal.

Miss Mustard Seed - Inspired You

So, if you’re looking for a ‘decor’ book for your holiday wish list, collect home decor books like me or need a talented friend to hold your hand and encourage you to make what you already have something you love…this book is for you. It’s not one you’re going to pick up, only flip through pretty pictures or refer to for a furniture painting tutorial. It’s one that you won’t be able to put down and it will inspire you to start an enjoyable satisfying journey to making your house a haven for your family.

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired You

And the happy ending to this story: I walked away truly inspired. And motivated. And thankful. With a fresh perspective, I got my butt up off the couch and dove headfirst into “letting God breath new life into my heart and my home”.

“Inspired You” GIVEAWAY

And I have the opportunity to share “Inspired You” with two {2} lucky DIY Show Off readers in a lovely giveaway this week! How to enter:

  1. Leave 1 comment about what you would most like to change about your home.
  2. Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, etc. and leave a comment about each share. {Thank you!}

Giveaway starts today and ends Saturday November 17th at midnight EST. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after. Open to US and Canadian residents only. Marian and Roeshel

 

 

Marian, Miss Mustard Seed with me at Haven 2012…at the end of a LONG crazy day. Seeing blog friends’ dreams come true is so exciting! You can visit Marian at her inspiring blog, Miss Mustard Seed.

Meet DIY blog friend, Stacy from Not Just a Housewife…

Good morning, DIY friends! This past summer at the Haven conference, I had the opportunity to meet one of my inspiring DIY blog friends face to face. She’s sweet, she’s funny {unfortunately she wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t get to spend much time with her} but she’s feeling better and while I’m away on vacation, I invited Stacy to introduce herself…

My name is Stacy and I blog over at Not JUST A Housewife. I live in a small 1938 cottage style home and I blog all about fixing it up and decorating. I have 4 little boys so with 6 of us in such a tiny area, I have to be creative in how I do things to maximize the space.

One of my favorite projects I have done this year was building floating shelves for my office. But these are not ordinary shelves….. Not only are they made out of old fence pickets (I love to repurpose!) But they have a secret :)

They have hidden drawers! They are only a few inches deep but it is perfect for papers. My office has always suffered from piles of papers everywhere. So this was perfect :)

Here are the basic steps it took to build them. I have a more detailed tutorial on my blog.

I started by cutting the fence pickets down to size and using a miter saw I cut the ends at 45 degree angles.

Then I nailed them together after applying some wood glue.

Once the shelf was put together (It really is a box-y tube at this point) I atttached a board to the wall and then slipped the shelf on the board. I screwed the shelf into the board to hold it.

And then I built a basic drawer that fits into the opening of the shelf. For more detailed instructions and pictures visit the tutorial on my blog.

Some of my other recent projects:

My son’s bed has drawers so he couldn’t have a traditional side table or it would block the drawers from opening. So I built him a floating side table.

Like I said, I LOVE to repurpose items into something new. I used old door knobs (original to our home) as towel hooks. I also cut out a new frame for our medicine cabinet for our vintage inspired bathroom.

I don’t just work indoors. I love to garden as well. I recently finished my very own secret garden!

Thanks for sharing your hard work and awesome DIY, Stacy! 

Where I find decorating inspiration.

I’m guest posting over at Heartland Homes blog today! 

DIY Show Off guest blog post

When it comes to decorating our home, “where do I begin?” Here are a few things that give me idea and jump start my decorating motivation:

My INSPIRATION
  • YOU! Blog friends, DIY Home Improvement and Decorating blogs. I love all of the ideas linked up to the DIY Project Parade each week. And that leads to
  • Pinterest. Addicted? Yea, me too!
  • Catalogs.
  • Magazines.
My reading nook is filled with my magazine collection…
  • Decor Books.

  • Lifestyle: Can you tell something I might like to do by the picture below? 

  • Inspiration piece -
ORGANIZING THOUGHTS/PLANS:
Ways to organize favorite ideas and inspiration:
  • Scrapbook: a collection of ideas and images, paint and fabric swatches.
  • Design board for online favorites using Powerpoint or a Word document or an online source like Olioboard or create a real board using physical items as you would a scrapbook.
  • Utilize Pinterest.
  • Keep a notebook on hand.
We spend more time than anyone else in the world in our home. Our motto is “do what you love”. Surrounding myself with an environment that works with our lifestyle and personality makes us happy and comfortable.
Visit Heartland Homes blog for more thoughts on how I gather inspiration for decorating my home.
DIY Show Off guest blog post

Operation Family Room

Happy Friday!

You’ve seen a sneak peek of the French doors.

Benjamin Moore Peacock - French Doors

Chunky baseboards have been installed.

DAP Dyna Flex baseboard caulking tutorial

A slipcover gives an ugly sofa a clean neutral look.

beach cottage living room, slip cover, terrarium lantern

Pretty new pillows from Drop Cloth Designs.

drop cloth pillow

Thrift store treasures on stand by.

DIY chandelier coffee tablewooden candlesticks

Fabric for curtains ordered.

family room design

A thrifty chandelier replaces the extra gold brassy flush mount.

Still a work in progress. Thank goodness for weekends! What are you working on?

Ps. Here are some beautiful eclectic family rooms…

 (no orginal source link)

Source: Pinterest

(no original source link)

Source: goodgirlgoneglad.com via Roeshel on Pinterest

Source: ethanallen.com via Roeshel on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Roeshel on Pinterest

I still LOVE this beach cottage family room:

Coastal Cottage by thediyshowoff.blogspot.com and remodelaholic.com

Source: decorpad.com via Melissa on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Amanda on Pinterest

 

Enjoy the weekend!

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Thrifty Treasures – TRUNKS

Check out what I bought yesterday…

steamer trunks

A lot of 9 steamer trunks. I couldn’t resist. Mr. DIY may consider an intervention. But you guys! The price was just too good to pass by and it was an all or nothing type deal. And you know I’ll find somewhere for a few of them. So will Bri. Ali will probably want one too. How about you? ;)

I love imperfectly perfect!

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Family room under construction

I’m working on the family room and still so undecided on a few things so I wanted to make a list of some things I’m loving, things that are inspiring me:

BHG family room inspiration

Love the bold patterned curtains!

{BHG}

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Keep

After recently popping over to the Lettered Cottage and reading about Layla’s inspiring word of the year resolution {I’ve seen several other of my favorite blog friends joining in too and it’s so motivational}, I started thinking about what my word for the year would be. It required a little more thought that I anticipated. I kept thinking of phrases instead of words. But after much pondering and  making a mental list of the things that mean the most to me, things I plan to do and goals I’ve set, I kept hearing the same word pop up: “keep”. 

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