A Recap {Our Trip to Italy}

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is already 2017?!? I am sure I have already made mistakes and written 2016 on things. It always takes a while. We took a big family trip over the holidays and went to Italy! My in laws live there and it’s been a few years since we have made the trip. It went by in a flash, as all fun vacations do. It’s always so great to reconnect and spend time together. The amazing pizza, gelato and pasta didn’t disappoint, either! Here are some of the highlights from the trip…

Venice

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We have been to Venice a few times, but never took the plunge and went on a gondola ride… until now! It was as dreamy as I had imagined it would be! I have always wondered about this profession, so I asked our gondala driver. It turns out, steering gondalas is a profession passed down through the family. His father was a gondala driver before he started. He said he was never nervous with standing and steering… he grew up being on the water, so it was like second nature to him. What made him nervous at first, was figuring out the best time to navigate and turn the long boat when going through the narrow canals. Watching him and the driver in front of us, maneuver through the canals was so cool. They would push off the brick walls with their feet and also hold on to the window’s sills to get the turns just right. It was all so interesting!

Verona

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Verona is one of my favorite cities. It is so picturesque and rich with history. The arena is amazing and awe inspiring! To think of what went on there centuries ago is incredible. It is still used to this day, for operas and concerts. The picture of the ice skating rink was taken from the top of the arena. And I just love this carousel, right in the middle of the town center. We took an evening ride before heading home, which made it all the more magical.

Bolzano

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Bolzano is in norther Italy and is on the border with Switzerland and Austria. The city is surrounded by the gorgeous mountains! You will notice in the pictures above, that some words are translated more in German than Italian. They have a beautiful Christmas market and you can see the stunning sites in a cable car ride. We took a ride in one and the picture directly above, was taken from inside the cable car. {That was very nerve wracking, by the way! The kids loved it, though!!} I highly recommend it if you make a trip to this pretty city.

Pandoro

We would end some nights with this regional dessert. This sweet bread is typical around the holidays, especially New Years. It is shaped like a star, so it looks so pretty served on the plate. You slice it thin and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top, for extra sweetness.

 

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We are now over our jet lag and back to routines! If you have any questions about visiting these cities, please leave them in the comments!

 

E- Design Board Reveals {Recent Design Projects}

I have been busy plugging away at design boards, both e-design and local, and I love it! The recent designs have all been so different… from a finished basement family room that is eclectic and bohemian, to a chic and high glamour living room for a stylish girl right out of college. Let’s get right to the finished boards, shall we??

An Eclectic, Fun Basement Family Room



The Fun, Asymmetrical Gallery Wall in their Media Zone



We Packed a lot of Fun Into their Floor Plan



Onto my next client, who was looking for a space with glamour, a mix of modern with traditional and pops of pink, green, black and white.

High Glamour Living Space


Every young woman needs a bit of Audrey in their lives! And I had to include a photo of Pam’s recent stenciling project. We will be using that same stencil in a different colorway and I can’t wait to see the results!

The Chic Gallery Wall Around the TV



A Floor Plan for Guests and to Invite Conversation



So there you have it… some recent projects that were so much fun to create! 

Just as Cool as Waterlogue

You may have heard all the buzz about the new Waterlogue app. It is truly amazing and can turn any image into the most amazing watercolor. It makes a plain picture look like a painting! But, for those of us that don’t have iphones and ipads, it’s not available yet. I am patiently waiting for this app to turn up for android users. So for now, I can try FotoFlexer! I first heard about this web site through my blog friend Emily and I love it! It is an advanced on line image editor that gives special effects to regular pictures. I had to try it out for myself…

My regular photo…



Edited with FotoFlexer…


Another effect…


Pretty cool, right??? This will keep me busy until Waterlogue finds its way to other smart phones!

How about you… do you like to add special effects to your photos??

And the Winner Is…

The winner of the Color Glide Pro kit is……….

Elizabeth of the little black door! Congrats, Elizabeth! I will be in touch and get the kit out in the mail to you.

I can’t wait to see how she uses the product! And if you’re interested in picking up your own kit at Wal Mart, vote HERE to get the product on the shelf. Or, just order on line HERE. Happy Shopping!!

Giveaway: Your Own Color Glide Pro Kit!

In yesterday’s post, I debuted by newest art piece that I created for our living room, using the Color Glide Pro. Thank you all for your positive feedback on my blog and on instagram! You’re the best. :) It was such an easy tool to use and can also work great for touch up painting in small areas, doors and trim work. You could even stencil with this product! I am so excited to be giving away a Color Glide Pro kit that includes: 4 medium reusable applicator tubes and 2 paint transfer pumps to one lucky reader!!

This kit gives you endless opportunities to reuse your paint while keeping it fresh and ready to go. It’s a kit worth $26.00 and I promise you will love it! To remind you, I decided to use mine in a creative way with a new canvas art piece for our living room…

Since I am also painting all of our interior doors with the same dark color, I know I will reuse the applicator tube for paint touch ups! It’s super simple to enter the giveaway:

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling me how you plan to use the Color Glide Pro Kit.
2. Help this product grace the shelves at Wal Mart by voting to put it on the shelves HERE.
3. Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect or by e-mail.

Extra Entries:

(+1) mention this giveaway on facebook, with a link back to this post.
(+1) mention this giveaway on twitter, with a link back to this post.
(+1) mention this giveaway on your blog, with a link back to this post.

That’s 4 chances to win!! Best of luck! The giveaway will close at 11:59 pm EST Thursday, August 15th. The winner will be chosen on Friday morning, August 16th.

Good Luck!!

Loving the Vintage Style at Shabby Apple

I usually keep this blog interior design focused, but every now and then, I like to talk some fashion… especially since interior and fashion designs are interconnected! I usually gravitate towards clothing styles and colors that I also like in my rooms. I wear a lot of browns, blacks and grays with some color sprinkled into the mix. That’s also how I like to decorate my home. With clothing, I also love that vintage, worn look. And you know I try to include that collected over time style in our home, as well. So I thought it would be fun to start the week off with a great site that makes the vintage look oh so stylish! Shabby Apple does the vintage look very well. Their site is fun, has a huge selection and flatters any figure. Here are some of my favorites…

I love the color blocking style of the above dress, which is a look that is very popular in interiors right now. 
The lace alone reminds me of an era gone by. I love the cap sleeve and grosgrain ribbon waist.
Every woman needs a classic dress they can wear anywhere. This one is perfect for fall and I love how they paired it with an aqua necklace! I have to show you the back, because it took me by surprise…
Love it! The brass button detail suits interior design very well, as brass is all the rage right now!
Have you ever shopped at Shabby Apple? If you have, I’d love to hear what you thought! I think a shopping visit is in order very soon.

And the Winner Is…

Thank you so much to all who entered the Novica $50 Gift Card Giveaway! Today is the day the winner is announced! After selecting a winner through random.org, the lucky person is…………..

Samorjj! Congratulations! I will be in touch later today.  :)
To Samorjj and anyone else that shops at Novica, enjoy the fun experience!

{Giveaway} $50 Novica Gift Card!!

I am so excited to be a part of this giveaway! In my last post, I wrote about the on line site, Novica and the amazing way they created a site that brings together unique artisans from around the globe straight to the consumer. Their handmade, well crafted pieces are all on one site and feature items such as: home decor, jewelry, clothes, handbags, etc. When a Novica representative contacted me, I was able to choose a favorite piece from the site and this is what I chose:

This beaded rattan basket is even more stunning in person. It can be found on the site HERE. And after much deliberation, here is where it currently resides in our home…

I love it on the mantel! It brings great texture to the room. So here is where the fun giveaway comes in for you!! Novica is kind enough to also give one of my readers a $50 gift card code towards any item(s) on their site! To get your mind spinning around what they have, here are some of my favorite pieces from their site:

I have this throw and LOVE it! Super soft!
Are you ready to shop now?? I know you will have a blast looking for a unique piece. The trouble will be narrowing it down! Here is how to enter to win the $50 gift card code:
How To Enter… 
– Visit the site HERE and leave a comment at the end of this post, telling me what you would buy with the gift card.
– If you are not on a blog, please leave your e-mail address in your comment, so I can get a hold of you, if you’ve won!
That’s all there is to it! If you would like more chances to win, here goes…
(+1) if you become a follower on Google Friend Connect, on my blog’s sidebar. If you already follow, please let me know, and you will still get the bonus point!
(+1) if you mention this giveaway on facebook, with a link back to this post.
(+1) if you mention this giveaway on twitter, with a link back to this post.
(+1) if you mention this giveaway on your blog, with a link back to this post.
That’s a total of 5 chances to win! I will announce the winner on Wednesday, July 17th– so you have until Tuesday night, 11:59pm EST to enter!
Good Luck !!

Guest Feature Over at Emily A. Clark’s!

I am so excited to be a part of Emily A. Clark’s blog post today! She has been featuring projects where readers are working with what they’ve got! For me, it was painting my ceramic tile backsplash in the kitchen. I was so unsure of this project, having no idea if it would work. I am so glad I did it and it has saved me a few years until we install a new backsplash!

I love Emily’s blog and have been following her since I started my own. Her projects are amazing and her ideas are always so creative! My most recent favorite is her striped hallway

Amazing! It is an honor to be on her blog today! Stop by and check out the post here.


Mood Board Link Up!

I am excited to be a part of Beth’s first link up party! Beth writes the blog, Design Your Dwelling, and every Tuesday, she will host a mood board link up party where designers and design enthusiasts can show their work, share ideas and find new blogs that inspire them. Today, I will be sharing a design board that I came up with that adds texture and fun pattern to a living room.

{click on board to make larger}

This is one of my favorite projects because it shows that you can mix high end items with great deals to create a layered, eclectic look. Good design doesn’t have to cost a fortune! I love to go to etsy for one of a kind accessories and pillows. On etsy, I can find a well made, designer fabric pillow cover for a fraction of the cost. Make sure to link up HERE or click on the button below!