Tag Archives: Organization

Ashley & Nathan’s DIY wedding

Today, I am beyond honored to share the lovely DIY wedding of our good friends Nathan and Ashley. Now, if ever there was a soulmate couple to our own little twosome, this is “the one.” Made up of one part manly musician and outdoor enthusiast, and another part girly crafting extraordinaire, the newlywed Hilbish’s are the yin to our yang. I could sit and chat for hours with Ashley about this and that for the home. Her exceptional taste (no surprise, she works as an interior decorator for Curtains, Blinds and Bath locally) is one that I have come to rely on for bouncing ideas off of. And nothing showcases that taste better than her and her hubby’s wedding day.

Shot by the talented Colling Photography, this oh-so-special May event is just saturated in style and elegance. What I thought a lot of you would appreciate is that, while the wedding ceremony and reception look filled to the brim with exuberance, a large portion of it was created at the hands of Ashley and her family and friends.

Throughout the photos shown below, you’ll find thoughts and memories spoken straight from the bride herself. If you’re planning your own wedding this season, Ashley shares tons of valuable (and practical) advice for tackling the sometimes stressful planning stages. A full list of local event vendors is also included along with links at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!

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I never thought it would be so daunting to recollect a day that was literally just a month ago! Trying to remember your wedding day is like trying to remember your 5th birthday – You know it happened and lots of amazing people were there to share the experience with you, (and yes you have way better pictures from your wedding than your 5th birthday, unless your parents are photographers) but that’s about it! I’ve never been a “focus on me” type of girl, or so I think, so I was all about the details. I had so much fun planning my wedding with my maid-of-honor/sister and mother, it was like I wasn’t even doing it. Also, props to Pinterest because without it I would have been lost.

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I really started planning everything like um … a month or two before! I’m a low to no stress type of person so I didn’t worry about stuff (but seriously, take Pilates it will help). I knew the wedding would happen no matter what and that it would be awesome because everyone I surrounded myself with was awesome. So what if I verified flowers a week before, or my caterer had something terribly tragic happen and we had to switch to someone brand new four weeks before. Just wait until you see the food. Yeah, it was awesome. You can be “that girl” who stresses over everything, but what’s the point? You make your vendors miserable AND yourself, along with everyone around you who wishes you were just eloping.

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Nathan and I didn’t have any type of ideas to plan; well, frankly he didn’t care. We started out one way but as events fall into place, you can get a sense of direction on your true style. Don’t force it if it’s not meant to be, otherwise you’ll look back and you won’t even be reflected in it. Ours I think was relaxed, vintage-y, fun and personal. We had little details, from Nathan’s squirrel tie (yes, he loves squirrels and I thought why the heck not) and a group dance to break the ice prior to going down the aisle, to really cute things about us on the program to keep people entertained while they waited! It was fun to have fun doing everything, and I think it made it that much more special to the people involved because it made them know you really appreciated them as individuals. If you know your wedding party isn’t filled with “tux-loving” guys, don’t try to put them in one – They will just look super awkward in the pictures. Yes, my girls are girly in 3” designer heels and dresses from who knows where, and the guys were “the guys” with rolled up sleeves and Vans – It just worked together because we were all comfortable.

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The best advice I received that every bride should remember is that it’s your wedding! People are going to ooh and ahh over things they find, and  they will bring you magazine clippings from 1999 that make no sense to your scheme, and email you 1,000 photos of dresses you hate with hints on what they “wish” you’d do (but that you actually want to gag over), or tell you how they did it at their wedding; but what you actually decide to do is a different story. I learned to breathe deep, smile, tell them how great their ideas were, and thank them for thinking of me. I only had one huge meltdown before truly embracing that advice, and then it was all groovy! Have fun with it, it’s your day and your adventure, so surround yourself with people you love and who like to have fun, because in the end it’s so great to stand back and still have all of those people around you laughing at how ridiculous you look in a group jumping picture. 

Photography: Colling Photography
Venue: Afton Mountain Vineyards
Flowers: Doyle’s Forist (Bloom)
Dress: Celebration Bridal
Hair: Bliss Salon
Catering: Cater This!
Cake: Willie Payne (former owner of Magnolia Foods)
Coordination: R.S. Exclusive
Entertainment: DJ Mendez of Mendez Music Academy

All in the details…

Laundry Room

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Our laundry room is one of the last spaces in the house largely untouched by my crafting neurosis. We’ve got some attractive organization, a DIY embellished curtain (please forgive my HORRIBLE photography skills way back when) and some lackluster artwork, but that’s it. Suffice it to say that it could use a little something more. Thankfully, this well styled laundry room could just be the inspiration that I need to GET. ON. IT.

Let’s talk details…

1…First and foremost, the metallic pattern on the back wall makes a major difference. It distracts from the utilitarian washing machine and dryer, and adds just the right touch of feminine character. I hate to sound so traditional, but I feel like a laundry room is OFTEN a lady’s domain, so why not play that up with distinctly girly colors, patterns and accents?

2…Sure, this particular homeowner got a little help from the big guys when it came to styling, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Who wouldn’t want their detergent powder stored in oversized glass gars and their rags tucked neatly away in wicker baskets? I know I would.

3…The floor here is another great DIY project that we could all try tackling at home. A simple painted navy and white stripe takes it, again, from utilitarian to stylish in a single afternoon of hands-and-knees labor. I’m jotting all of this down on my to-do list as we speak.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

My island shopping haul

I promise this will be my last post about our Hilton Head vacation…Okay, maybe that’s more like a soft promise, but for the MOST part I’ve already told all that there is to tell. All except for a companion piece to my HomeGoods tale – plus a few extra beach shop goodies thrown in for good measure.

As you saw last week, my mom and I had a blast browsing the island’s HomeGoods store (twice, in fact). We laid eyes on TONS of fabulous treasures during our multiple tours of the store, but could sadly only bring home a few armloads each. So what did I end up grabbing for myself? The cat is finally out of the (shopping) bag – Scroll on.

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The first thing I just haaad to have was the ikat patterned Cynthia Rowley box for $9.99. The price was too good to be true, plus the on-trend pattern in a classically bohemian color palette was irresistible. You may have caught sight of it in yesterday’s studio redesign reveal (thanks for all of the love and support on that, by the way!)

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To continue our “Where’s Waldo?” (or should I say, “Where’s The HomeGoods Treasure?”) in yesterday’s reveal post, one other piece ended up making the cut in the final design. The $12.99 burlap basket you see above filled with my growing everday wrapping paper collection was yet another HomeGoods steal (figuratively) that serves as great storage for the multi-functional space. Oh, and if you’re thinking it looks a little boring now, I definitely plan on adding some kind of paint treatment to the burlap down the line…

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But let’s take a break from the studio for a moment and move on to a couple of kitchen-y items. That yellow patterned drying mat (for only $4.99) was just what our sink had been begging for. The old one had seen much better days, plus we could use the upgraded color and pattern – I so love when I can find utilitarian pieces in fun and perky colors/patterns, don’t you?

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Okay, so the can of dog biscuits shown above didn’t actually come from HomeGoods…But I DID buy it during our trip – just at a local beach shop rather than my go-to chain home accessory mecca. I loved the color and the old school pattern seemed like the perfect fit for our retro-filled kitchen.

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The glass bowl shown above is another departure from HomeGoods specific souvenirs, although it DID come from T.J.Maxx, which feels like it’s at least related. If you can’t tell from the bag of beach-scooped rocks beneath it, I plan on turning the pint sized bowl into a mini terrarium. More on that project soon!

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The two pieces pictured above, the agate pendant and silver horse, both came from another of our favorite beach shops on the island. As seen in this post from 2 years ago, we always make a point to stop in at Black Market Minerals, and this trip was no different. It was a struggle to leave with just those 2 pieces in hand…

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Remember how I was describing an idea for one of the inexpensive table cloths in my HomeGoods recap? Well I plan on doing exactly as announced – in other words, add velcro to the edges of the summery vinyl tablecloth pictured above, and then wrap it around the dingy glass tabletop of our outdoor dining set. I’m hoping it will act as a slip cover of sorts. We’ll all see how that turns out soon enough.

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I also mentioned this sculptural gold and white frame in my original store recap last week – At just $7.99, I just had to have it. I could stand to start upgrading my frame collection, and this metallic beauty fit my style too perfectly to leave it behind.

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While hardly functional in the normal sense of the word, my new $9.99 gold filled hour glass is one of those really cool signature styling pieces that I’m more than happy to welcome into our collection. The “sand” in this particular hour glass is actually tiny fine beads, making the sound a little more unique in comparison to others like it – it’s sort of dull and heavy, rather than soft and whispery.

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Last but certainly not least, we have my favorite take of the day – This Moroccan style side table. At $49.99, it was the most expensive piece I bought that day, but I have some pretty grand plans for it, as I’ve hinted before. A big name brand has claimed it for a specially hosted project and review, and I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks. So mysterious…

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. I’ve announced the winner of the SIGG Active Top bottle – Click here to see if it’s you!

P.P.S. In today’s Friday Feature Round Up, we’ve got 2 posts over on Le Papier Studio – a “Pin of the Day” post focused on picnicking, and an “Inspired by…” post central to the new “Children of the World” collection that was recently released. Over on Glitter Guide, I designed and wrote a feature all about 4 ways to add pink to your home. Enjoy!

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Studio reveal (one more time with feeling)

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I’ve never encountered a space like this room. It’s gone through 4 coats of paint (in the last 2 years alone), countless arrangements, unTOLD hours spent on styling – But it just never felt “complete.” Now, I know I can’t possibly be the only one with a confusing space like this…Right?

Well thankfully, I think that I was finally able to hit the bullseye over the weekend, and all it took was removing one piece of extraneous furniture, repainting a small section of the room and updating my art and desk area.

First up, the “Before” shots.

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It was a pretty room – VERY functional for an artist, with my oversized drafting table and custom built paper supply cabinet. But the room also functioned as a guest room, so the bed  had to be included somehow. That “somehow” solution? Sticking it out into the center of the space. Sure, it blocked flow, but it worked. And I lived with it. The other big feature in the room was the black feature wall. I was so afraid for the longest time that an entirely mint room (the paint color is “Icy Mint” by Valspar, btw) would read “nursery,” so I hadn’t even considered the thought of painting over it.

That is, until I reached my breaking point and decided it was time for something drastic. The first thing to go in my big editing-down-the-studio-slash-guest-room was to purge half (yes, I said HALF) of what was stored in my studio closet. I moved a 4 feet high, 4 shelf industrial unit into the upstairs hallway and proceeded to fill it with soon-to-be yard saled items. With half of the closet now empty, I was able to tuck the giant custom wood cabinet seen 2 photos up behind closed doors. This was absolutely the biggest improvement. I think the room threw me off for so long because it just had TOO MUCH FURNITURE. If you are also struggling with a difficult room, this would be my first piece of advice: Edit things down, especially furniture.

The next thing to go was my black feature wall.

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Isn’t Valspar paint amazing? Those last 2 photos above show the FIRST coat! I was amazed by how well the almost white color covered the saturated black in just a few rolls. Ultimately it did take two coats, but it was nothing I couldn’t take care of in under 2 hours. Once the paint dried and I put my new desk back into place, things really started to come together. The black was definitely a fun, unexpected element of the room before, but with the mint now running continuously across all four walls, it immediately felt so much more cohesive and calming.

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The next and final phase was to update the art. With a new blank wall to play with, I finally had room for a large scale art project that I’d been putting off for over a year. You see, at our wedding last year, my friends, family and I made tons of paper pinwheels as decorations. After the event was over though, they sat forlornly in plastic bags at my parents’ house, just waiting for me to come up with a fun place to utilize them. Well that time is now and that place is my studio…

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The space over my desk needed a big “wow!” factor, and nothing suited it better than these pinwheels. The color! The shape! The pattern! And, of course, the memories of our special day…To hang them, I simply used a handful of clear pushpins and arranged them in a random pattern similar to our plate wall in the kitchen (as seen in our home tour). In case you want to make your own set of paper pinwheels, I will be posting a detailed DIY tutorial next week.

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Now, I chatted about my desk yesterday, but you may have noticed a second new piece of furniture. My original desk chair was yet another hand me down – a little too traditional for my tastes. Plus, the thrift store find was in desperate need of some grease. Every time I moved a muscle, the entire piece would creak and groan – not good when your husband is trying to get some sleep in the next room for a 4am wake up call (and yes, it was really THAT loud). An original way of adding a different touch to your desk is by choosing one of the electronic massage chairs, that way you can get relax while doing your work. So I decided it was time to pick up a treat for myself in the form of a brand new acrylic ghost chair. I love the mod vibe, and the clear finish is just perfect for blending into the room, making it feel less cramped. It’s surprisingly comfortable too!

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As for the art in the rest of the room, I rehung some of my existing framed prints to the side of my pinwheel collection, but I also threw in a couple of new pieces too. The first was a newly framed print of a Grace Kelly costume design that my sister gave me for Christmas, and the other was a thrifted find via Etsy. I recently discovered that Victoria of sfgirlbybay, one of my favorite bloggers, has an Etsy shop – I just HAD to snatch up something from her beautiful treasures, namely the vintage “W” seen a couple of photos down. It was exactly what I needed to offset the colorful pinwheels.

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My inexpensive IKEA bookshelf also returned to the side of my desk, where it continues to display favorite books and thrift store accessories. (and, of course, I couldn’t help but snap a shot of Ginny enjoying the sun beam reflected from my camera…That girl loves her some dancing light)

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As for the drafting table, that got shimmied to the side a bit and now sits unobtrusively just inside the door to the space. This piece of furniture has always been essential to the room thanks to its functionality as both a crafting table and a drawing/painting surface, so it had to stay. Thankfully, my dad did a beautiful job making it slim-lined, but attractive all at the same time.

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The final issue was making the bed work. Having it stick out into the middle of the room just wasn’t cutting it for me, so I eventually decided to push it against the wall, day bed style. To make it feel less like a bed and more like a lounge area, I removed the covers and opted for a single gray fitted sheet. Then I topped it with a folded quilt (think table runner) and piles of pillows to add softness and pattern. If you can ignore the wrinkly brand new, out-of-the-box fitted sheet (which will obviously soften over time), I think it was the perfect solution – one the cats are THOROUGHLY enjoying.

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So there you have it! 2 years, 4 coats of paint, 6 different art arrangements, 30+ photos and 1,136 words later, I got the studio I’ve always dreamt of. Not to sound too cheesy, but the journey to get to this point has been enormously educational. Despite alllllll of the challenges, I think it has helped me to realize that trial and error will eventually reward me with the room I know I can have – it just takes a little perseverance. Although I’m sure there are changes to come just because, I couldn’t be happier now and it finally feels like home.

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What sort of challenges have you faced while designing (and REdesigning) a favorite room?

An HHI Home Goods Trip (or Two)

So, as promised, I’m back for a second installment of what all went down during our family get away last week to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Although I mentioned yesterday that an HHI Home Goods recap was “coming soon” and had planned to do my normal “All in the details…” feature today, I just couldn’t wait. So without further adieu, I welcome you into the always energizing, ALWAYS inspiring Home Goods off of William Hilton Parkway (which, yes, we visited not once but twice during our week-long vacation – who could blame us!).

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This first picture was snapped (oh, please forgive all of the iPhone photos in this post…) because I thought the smooth glass bowl would be super fun as a succulent terrarium. That side opening is really unique and would look fabulous perched on a bookshelf or coffee table. Plus, at only $9.99, it’s a STEAL.

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How cute would those patterned mugs above be hung from petite hooks on either a kitchen hutch or coffee station shelf. I was particularly taken with the mod bird motif – obviously.

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This aisle of vinyl tablecloths chalk FULL of color and pattern was like a magnet for me. I made a bee line over and was astounded to find that the pieces started at only $4.99 apiece. What would I do with one? I’m currently loathing our back deck glass table, with its dingy looking surface, and would love to add some Velcro to the edges of one of these fun tablecloths, wrapping it around our existing table top (think slip cover).

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This little multi compartment dish was on clearance for only $7! I see it (obviously) as a chip and dip or veggie dish, but also as a fun place to corral paperclips and push pins in an office, or crayons and little plastic figurines in a kid’s room. Luckily, my mom decided to swoop it up for herself, so we’ll have to see what she ends up doing with it.

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At only $19.99, the teaky type ladder pictured above would be so fun as a towel or magazine holder. No joke, if we hadn’t driven a small sedan to the beach, this baby would be sitting pretty in our living room right now.

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Pretty storage is always an enticing buy for me, so these collapsible burlap baskets were calling my name with enthusiasm. I actually was more drawn to the plain ones believe it not, but only because they provide me with a blank canvas to add all of my OWN color and pattern. Plus, the $14.99 price tag for the large and only $9.99 for the small was a big sway factor.

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Speaking of pretty storage, it was love at first sight with these hot pink and mustard boxes (at only $9.99 apiece). This was definitely the trip that I realized my immediate affinity for all things Cynthia Rowley. I already have a few of her pieces throughout our house, but I was drawn over and over and OVER again to her prints and shapes this trip. Love her.

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No, I don’t NEED a designer white porcelain dog (especially since it was on clearance for $130), but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream. That said, someone needs to give Fido a bone – or 10! Those ribs…

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We can’t take a virtual tour of Home Goods without talking seating – And again, I do apologize for the cruddy photography…I blame my shaky excitement over all the deals ::har har:: But anyway, while those adorable upholstered side chairs were major temptations, that little clearance Eiffel chair knock off above was “the one.” I loved it. Like REALLY loved it, but I had already ordered a brand new acrylic ghost chair for the only spot where I could have used an accent chair like this one, so I had to gloomily walk away…

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Hello, odd conversation piece! This massive bust sculpture so reminds me of something Emily Henderson would use in a room. Undeniably quirky and totally WRONG proportionally, it would look so avant-garde in an airy loft space. Oh, and when I say “massive,” I mean it. It’s sort of hard to tell how big it is in that photo, but it was probably almost as tall as I am (use the side chair next to it as a point of reference if you haven’t already). Wow.

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Notice more Cynthia Rowley? Aside from those pretty striped beauties, I was all but drooling over the gold frames they had on hand. Wouldn’t that cluster look so great filled with black and white photos on an entry console?

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The pillow section at Home Goods is always a pretty big draw for me. Great prices and they tend to outweigh places like Target by leaps and bounds when it comes to variety in texture and pattern. Is it just me or does that last one, the peacock, look like it could possibly be DIY-ed with a little felt and fabric paint?

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Sure, this plain natural fiber door mat is a little boring, but grab a stencil and some paint and you can have an entirely unique rug all your own – For under $20!

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Those gold and glass side tables above take the cake for SOOOOOOO-wish-I-could-have-bought-them. Alas, I didn’t have the space to cart even one of them home with me, plus the $80 price tag (for the smaller one) would have swallowed my measly little $100 budget. Still a great deal though.

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The art section was yet another department that didn’t disappoint this go around. As I mentioned earlier this week though, I don’t have any business buying more art. So I had to again, walk away. Even from that SUPER cute moroccan pattern clearance mirror shown above – One $5 people!!

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What to leave you with? Well let’s just say that I’ve got big plans for the one large piece I bought – Namely that majorly fun orange metal side table above. P.S. It involves a collaboration with an equally major brand. Details to come in June!

Now let’s play the guessing game – What do you think I actually bought? Or what do you think I SHOULD have bought?? I’ll be sharing all the details plus where they ended up next week.

The Options: Gallery Wall or Gallery Ledge

Gallery Wall or Gallery Ledge

Option 1: The Everygirl | Option 2: Pinterest (source uncredited)

I adore art. Have WAY too much of it, in fact. At one point, it had piled so high in my studio closet that I literally gave up and hung everything gallery wall style in our upstairs hallway just to get it up off the floor! So it should come as no surprise that I would be particularly enamored with different exhibition methods. The age old question (at least it’s “age old” to me…) – Gallery wall or gallery ledge?

Option 1: Gallery walls can typically withstand a larger VOLUME of framed prints, so that’s score #1 for this particular methodology. The options are nearly limitless too when it comes to shape – Hang your prints randomly like the first inspiration image above, or hang them to mimic a round shape. You could even take the time to painstakingly line up your frame edges (think a rectangular puzzle with perfect 90 degree corners). No matter your arrangement, you can’t deny the impact of this first option.

Option 2: And yet, for the more calculated art connoisseur, there’s the gallery ledge. A sturdy thin shelf mounted securely to the wall allows your favorite framed prints to “float” in a more contained manner on the wall. The layered effect of larger frames behind smaller ones in the front is my favorite part of this set up. Plus, you have much more freedom to move the frames around or switch out the art when it suits your fancy.

Those are my thoughts, but I’m dying to know your opinion – Cast your vote!

Pinspiration Monday: Travel Keepsake Box

Well, we are back safe and sound from the beach! “Safe and sound” but also more than a little depressed to have traded in our shorts and sandals for work appropriate slacks and flats…There is very little worse than driving back over the bridge towards home when it feels like we were just driving OVER it towards our island oasis. Yet, on a happy note, I’ve been reunited with my lovable hubby and our three furry kiddos so life ain’t all that bad.

I’ll be recapping our trip throughout the week, including a full tour of the house we rented and a review of one fun, HANDY new product I tested out, but today I’m sharing a little project I managed to whip up yesterday afternoon after everything was unpacked and I was ready to do a little reminiscing…

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Source: Martha Stewart

The inspiration image above (snagged from Pinterest, of course) caught my eye right away. I’m definitely the sentimental sort, saving everything from receipts and candy wrappers, to ticket stubs and those little cardboard restaurant coasters – Anything to encourage a little walk down memory lane. As I’m sure you can imagine, I came home with quite a few new pieces of memorabilia to commemorate our latest trip to South Carolina.

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Although this is something like the 12th time we’ve visited Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a quaint southern plantation my parents discovered on their honeymoon almost 30 years ago, we’re always discovering new places and picking up new treasures. Instead of tossing it all, I loved the idea of filing it all away in a special labeled box. Luckily, I was able to pick up all of my supplies pre-vacation and just had to set aside 15 minutes of my Sunday afternoon to put it all together.

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As to those supplies, I bought two hinged wooden boxes for less than $5 apiece at my local craft store, one for this recent trip to Hilton Head and another for our honeymoon to Punta Cana last May. The stencil I also picked up cost next to nothing and helped my confidence to stay on point as I drew out the letters on my first travel keepsake box.

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To label my box with “HHI” (for “Hilton Head Island”), I simply held the stencil in place and traced the shape with a pencil. Now here’s where I know a lot of you will think I’m crazy, but really I’m just impatient…I knew that black paint would have given me a cleaner look, but I had just finished cleaning up from a spontaneous closet purge and didn’t have the energy to paint my letters. So instead I grabbed a Sharpie pen and merely colored inside my traced lines.

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Sure it bled a little bit but, since it only took me .5 seconds to complete whereas it would have taken me at least 20 minutes to paint it on, the uneven lines were worth it. I can always go back over with black paint to clean up the edges if I feel like it, but frankly, I don’t mind the drawn on look. This is one of those projects that’s just for me and my desire to remember a wonderful family vacation – Perfection was never my goal.

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That said, my ultimate goal of creating a special sanctuary for all of my collected paper memories was easily met, and I can’t wait to move on to my second box reserved for Punta Cana memories!

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How do you make the most of YOUR vacation memories?