Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tie Back Tutorial

Have you heard that McDonald's commercial on the radio lately? The one where the girl is really indecisive? The wide array of McDonald's menu options must really get to her... picking out a big mac shouldn't be that hard. But I had a moment just like her the other day. Ryan and I have been doing our best in decorating the house with neutral colored big-ticket items. This way we don't have to switch out the sofa or the bed, but just the accessories that go with them. Our master bedroom has mocha walls with a dark cherry bed, so we decided to accent with white, tan and various blue tones.

Buying accessories hasn't been a tough task at all...a blue vase here, a tan pillow there, but the massive expanse of white curtain was getting to me. Gorgeous as our Ikea curtains are, we needed to add something to them. But what? At first I grabbed some blue ribbon we had stashed in our wrapping department (i.e. the unfinished storage area in the basement), but it was just too bright and awful looking. I then used some burlap scraps leftover from another unsuccessful project and it was ok at first, but looked too much like we were having a farmer's market in our bedroom. So I let it sit for a few weeks.

And then something magical happened...a trip to Hobby Lobby. Ok, so the trip wasn't too magical, I really just needed to get some glue sticks, but wandered into the sewing and fabric area. After passing through the wall of buttons and knitting supplies, a stream of light came down from the heavens onto the bargain fabric bin. (so maybe it didn't happen exactly like that, but I can dream). The perfect fabric was teetering just above a scrap of dinosaur fleece for only $4.99! It was exactly the right amount I needed and the colors were gorgeous. I took my bargain bin fabric home and made some wonderful tiebacks for our white curtains. No sewing required! Seriously...I used some hem tape and my trustyiron and 30 minutes later was happy with the final result. What do you think?

This is how the project started: iron, fabric, tape and random other things

I didn't use all of the tape...but I sure don't have much left.

The beautiful result!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Thomas Get Together

I had been waiting for this weekend for a while now. A weekend where my parents come to visit me and my husband in our home. A weekend where we areable to host mom and dad and let them enjoy themselves without having to cook, clean, pick up or plan anyaspect of the weekend! At least for the first few visits. ; ) The weekend started off with an extended Thomas family get together in Fremont, NE. I had forgotten to break out my camera while we were there, so I was hoping a few of my cousins would post their picture so I could share..alas no pictures have been posted. But I do have a few from the rest of the weekend.

After heading out from Fremont, my mom, dad and brother delighted us in spending the evening at our home. It was so nice to spread out and let them each have their own space, and I absolutely loved cooking meals for more than 2 people! My Dad and Ryan successfully put the tiki torches up in the backyard and we enjoyed a few adult beverages by the fire. It was such a gorgeous evening, we even had to bring out the blankets. How's that for a summer night in Nebraska? Sunday morning we ate waffles and drank coffee until our hearts were content and headed out for the day. In summary, the boys picked up a ping pong table, mom and I went shopping and to the pet store and we were worn out by afternoon. It was such a nice, relaxing weekend with no exact plans! Thanks for visiting Mom, Dad and Jared! Come back soon!

Mom and Dad

Tiki Torch Success!

The Boys Enjoying Some Golf

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fabulous Flowers

I saw a picture online of an adorable little girl wearing a chiffon flower in her hair a week ago. After studying the picture carefully, I hopped in my car and over to Hobby Lobby. A few layers of chiffon, many beads and trial flowers later, this is what I came up with! :) My great idea is to sell them on Etsy since the flower headband, bobby pin thing is all the rage now. But I might need to start with a few trial if you have a daughter 10 years or younger and are a friend of mine, you just might be getting one of these little guys in the mail soon! You'll have to tell me how your little lady likes it.

A pretty white flower with green and blue beads.

Blue flower with green and blue beads.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dance Party

No....really, it's a Dance Party! This past Saturday I was able to host a party for my varsity dancers before they went back to school this week. Ryan was able to conveniently plan a tee time for 15 minutes before the girls would arrive. Smart thinking on his part. So it was just me, the girls and our other spirit squad coach, a house full of ladies! We had a great time and I think the girls bonded as well. After having dinner, and playing a 3 things guessing game, we decided it would be a fun craft project to make tie blankets. The girls did a great job with their blankets, and were able to use them at their sleepover after the party! All in all it was a really great time!!

They all fit on our couch!

Making Blankets

The finished product.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Ikea Experience

During our trip to Minneapolis, Ryan and I were able to take a trip to Ikea. As you already know, the Austad's are quite good to sticking to a budget and using thrifty ideas to spruce up their home- Ikea was bound to be the place for us. We were more than excited to make a trip to Ikea to find anything and everything we needed for our house. Our inaugural glimpse was intense and confusing, not to mention crazy with Saturday shoppers. Our 1st mistake was taking the escalator all the way to the top floor to the showroom. I think we were expecting more of a target vibe where you walk around and grab what you need. But we were herded like cattle around the twists and turns of each kitchen, bedroom and living space imaginable.

After dodging strollers and looking for exit signs, we noticed there was a floor below us that looked quite different than the showroom. The Marketplace! That's exactly what we were looking for all along! Aisles of goodies lined the display room and Ryan knew that he was in for it as we made our way into the first space. After a good 30 minutes of browsing through items, we were ready to make our purchases. Knowing that we couldn't cram the Elantra too full with stuff for our 6 hour drive home, we were good about getting things that were space friendly. Except for one lovely picture. Ryan had spotted a black and white New York skyline picture that would look perfect with our basement decor. As we scanned the picture and took our bag of goodies out to the car, we were jumping up and down with excitement. ....until the picture didn't fit into the car. Note to self- next time we visit Ikea, bring a bigger vehicle.

After returning the picture (a very sad moment for us) we reminded ourselves that we had still purchased some really great items. Linen curtains for our master bedroom, glass votive candle holders, an assorted pack of yummy votive candles to go in the holders, and a much needed kitchen drawer organizer. After finding the marketplace, I have a feeling we'll be back to Ikea very soon.

Look how happy he is with his picture.

Our Ikea Haul

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Video Tribute to our Minnesota Trip

"There's no time like the present." "You are only young once." "Just do it." "Carpe Diem." Present cliches included, my meeting last week with the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis gave Amberly and I the perfect excuse to take a much needed elongated weekend in the twin cities. As per our previous post showcasing our new toy (an IMAC), I've decided to chronicle our trip with a video. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


We've been in Minneapolis since Thursday, July 29th...we'll be back late tonight, but we can't wait to share with you all of the excitement from our "Minne. Vacay." Get it? Minne. like mini, but also like Minne...apolis. :) Yes, I definitely went there.