Wrapping Pretty Presents!

Hello! Today is super jam-packed, as was the rest of the week – packing, wrapping, cooking, cleaning and attempting to not leave the house in shambles while we are off with family for the holidays! Henry has his first Christmas program at “school” today and I am so looking forward to seeing all of the cuties up on stage singing and “performing” their songs! Henry has been practicing for us at home and I tear up every time he starts doing the hand motions for Joy To The World. He is very focused to make sure he does them just right and I look at him and realize he is quickly becoming a little boy.  Where did my baby go?! Ok, enough of the sob story about my boys growing up, but seriously! I don’t understand how this happens!

Today’s post is about wrapping pretty presents! I thought I would share a few photos of some of the gifts I’ve wrapped so far. I love a roll of great wrapping paper and ribbon to go along with it, but this year I decided to add a few extra embellishments. Tulle has always been a friend of mine, so by combining it with fun, patterned ribbon, pipe cleaners, stickers and a few miscellaneous decorative pieces, I feel like the wrapping is up a notch this year + they look so pretty under the tree 🙂

how to wrap pretty presents - sticker monogram embellishments - holiday wrapping ideas how to wrap pretty presents - sticker monogram embellishments - holiday wrapping ideas - gifts under the tree

Notice my new tree skirt?! Find out how I made it in 5 minutes here

Back to the presents…Tying the ribbon and tulle is about the only thing that takes a little time. I was going to hand-make nametags this year, but decided I had no time to do it…who does really?! That is when I raided my sticker box and found a sheet of gold foil letter stickers. I remember picking these up at the $1 spot at Target a few months ago.

gold foil stickersOn several of the packages, the first letter of the recipients’ name was all I used for a name tag.


Here I used the letter sticker on top of some plain stickers with a design on the border.

how to wrap pretty presents - sticker monogram embellishments - holiday wrapping ideas - stickers on stickersIMG_7441On others, I wrapped a black glitter pipe cleaner around the ribbon where the pieces intersect…I thought it added something interesting and gave it a little dimension.

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Another embellishment I added to make my presents pretty, was a gold Christmas tree pick. You can cut them up or put the entire piece on. Here I used a 1/2 of one with gold balls or maybe they are gold berries?!

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I mixed my go-to red tulle with fun patterned ribbons for a not so matchy matchy look 🙂

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I’m not saying they are award-winning or that I’m the world’s best wrapper, but I think they look pretty good (since I was aiming for pretty presents to begin with)!

how to wrap pretty presents - sticker monogram embellishments - holiday wrapping ideas - gifts under the tree

What do you use for nametags? What is your favorite kind of ribbon? Have you started or maybe even finished wrapping yet?!

Thanks for being here and I hope you’ll stop by again soon!

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If you are looking for some last-minute gift wrapping essentials, check out my post here for a few of my faves!

Holiday Gift Wrapping {The Necessities}

Hello out there! Can you believe we are exactly 3 weeks out from Christmas Day?! If you are traveling for the holidays this year like us, then your countdown for hitting the road may be even shorter! There is always so much to do this time of the year, but I am really trying to keep a smile on my face and enjoy the days with my boys. We are pretty much homebodies except for when we HAVE to go out. Henry is still in his MDO program on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we do get together with friends for an occasional playdate, but for the most part, we are home playing and hanging out. Bundling up 2 little ones is definitely more of a task than it was last year with just Henry. I get through the week with my double-C’s – coffee and Christmas music, that is. Other than the normal day-to-day stuff, we do have a few adult holiday get-togethers in the mix. One holiday party down and 2 more to go! Oh and one of my dearest childhood friends is getting married next weekend back in Iowa, so we have a wedding this season too! #bringitondecember

Speaking of holiday par-tays, check out my hostess gift guide from earlier this week if you missed it. I just may have added a few of those items to my own personal wish list this year. Now on to today’s post…Since most of us are in high-holiday-shopping-mode (I am toggling between a few retail websites and my blog’s dashboard as we speak 🙂 ) I thought it made sense to share a some holiday gift wrapping necessities I have been scoping out. Unfortunately, these boxes that have been arriving daily on my doorstep are not going to wrap themselves! So if you are like me and need to get on it, here is some gear to get you going!

 Holiday gift wrapping favorites

Brown Kraft paper | Red Stripe | HO HO HO | red & black | Kraft Stripe | gold chevron | plaid

Holiday gift wrapping embellishments - pretty things for your gifts and packages - ribbon and twine

twine | gold foil stickers | red tulle | festive washi tape | gold bows | red white bakers twine | metallic sharpies | gold bells | scalloped tags | gold washi tape

Holiday gift wrapping supplies and storage - wrapping essentialsgold scissors | acrylic tape dispenser | gold dot boxes | supply storage

I am sort of into the “kraft paper” and twine look this year, but naturally <3 to add a bit of gold and glam. And the scissors, btw, are obviously not an essential, but I have a pair and they are actually kind of heavy duty, but oh so chic at the same time. Another thing to note, if you spend $50 on holiday merchandise, you get a free $10 Target gift card! That includes lights, ornaments, etc., not just wrapping supplies.

Now that you have all of these great holiday wrapping supply ideas, be on the lookout for a round-up of some super creative holiday gift wrapping & packaging ideas I have been eyeing, as well as a couple DIY projects by yours truly.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here again soon!

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2 Chairs Down…

…Not sure how many more to go! I have found myself out shopping or perusing Craig’s List and have these oh-my-gosh-I-could-totally-make-this-chair-look-so-awesome-and-I-have-to-buy-it-now-because-I-will-never-find-another-one-like-it moments. Well, since I have had several of these “moments”, my husband can no longer park in the garage. Whoops! Sorry, dear. So, I finally decided to get out my black spray paint & staple gun and buy some fabric this week to finish up 2 of the chairs I picked up recently 8 months ago! I fell in love with the detailing on the back of the chairs and thought for $20 for the pair, I could make them into something fun. I think I had them looking pretty good after about an hour 🙂

Before I give you a very simplified version of my project, let me remind you that I am by no means an expert. I don’t reupholster furniture as a side job and I have only ever done a bench prior to these chairs.  There are tons and tons of tutorials by great bloggers out there and you can find thousands of pins all over Pinterest. I just wanted to show you how I took something from ugly to cute quite easily!

The before…


To start, I removed the screws underneath to allow me to remove the cushion.

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Once the cushion was free, I gave the chairs a good wipe down with a damp cloth.  Then, I took them out into the yard and gave them a fresh coat of glossy black spray paint.

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While they dried, I laid out my 1 yard of fabric and cut it in half.  1/2 yard per cushion was just the right out amount. I laid the fabric pretty-side down and then the cushion face-down on top of it. I started by folding over one side of fabric and stapling it down in place. Next, I went to the opposite side of the one I just finished and pulled the fabric taught and stapled it down too.  To finish off the sides of the cushion (since I just did the front and back sides), I folded the fabric like I was wrapping a gift. One corner at a time and then staple, staple 🙂

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After the chairs dried for about an hour, I centered the cushion back on the frame of the seat and had my husband help me hold steady and then drilled the seat cushion back in.  I used new screws since the old ones I removed were pretty rusty.

That was IT!

Here is the after…

DIY simple chair re-cover with funky stripes

A few close-ups… I will figure out what I am actually going to do with the chairs later. For now, they are in the playroom for some additional mama seating during playdates 🙂

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Here you can see the fold over on the corners. If it is done neatly and tightly, it can still look nice.


Now, off to eat some leftover Halloween candy and have a(nother) glass of wine.

Hope to see you back here next week!

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DIY Pretty Porch Pumpkins

Hello again! Crazy busy day over here with the kiddos and Halloween festivities!  My 2-year old had a Halloween parade at school today and then we took the boys to my husband’s office to show off both of the boys’ costumes. I will say we have a pretty cool lion and an ultra-cute monkey on our hands for the next 2 days 🙂 Luckily their gear is nice & warm because it is supposed to be 40 degrees with 45 mph winds and a chance of rain. Yay for our first year taking out the kids!!

I wanted to pop in and give a quick “how to” on the DIY pumpkins in the Fall Front Porch photos from yesterday. They were meant to be quick & easy & basically cost $0. The only supplies needed are pumpkins, spray paint, craft paint & Q-tips.

DIY painted pumpkins for the porch craft paint & spray paint

The rest is easy to follow. Take a look:

DIY painted pumpkins for the porch DIY painted pumpkins for the porch 1 DIY painted pumpkins for the porch 2

I did the other 2 DIY pumpkins with dots. One, I dabbed the Q-tip up and down the indented lines & the other pumpkin, I dotted heavily at the top and then more sparse lower down for a confetti-look.  All were done with my trusty Q-tips!

DIY painted pumpkins for the porch 4 DIY painted pumpkins for the porch 3Fall front porch - a touch of gold - painted pumpkins & lanterns & hay & cornstalks - DIY 1

5 minute project with a big impact! I always love a little flare, especially if it involves GOLD.

Fall front porch - a touch of gold - painted pumpkins & lanterns & hay & cornstalks - pom pom burlap ribbon Fall front porch - a touch of gold - painted pumpkins & lanterns & hay & cornstalks - DIY 4The other bit of flare I added to the porch is this adorable black pom-pom burlap ribbon I featured on my 5 Fab Friday Finds post. You should totally scoop it up while it is still 40% off & free shipping! I tied a strand around each of the cornstalks and then a smaller piece on the handle of the large lantern (and I have the 11″ lantern on the opposite side of the porch – you may remember them from my Outdoor Oasis series this summer). I think the ribbon is my favorite detail of the entire porch. It goes along with the natural feel of the porch, but has a cute little pom-pom pizzazz on the edge. 🙂

Fall front porch - a touch of gold - painted pumpkins & lanterns & hay & cornstalks - DIY

I hope you have all the details you need to get this look on your porch or at least a little inspiration! I mentioned this was my first year decorating the porch for fall & after picking up the supplies, a little set-up and a quick paint job, I think I’ll be doing it again next year. Do you do any outdoor fall decorating? What do you do on your porch? Please share your fall decorating ideas in the comments section on this post. I would love, love, love to hear from you!

Coming soon – playroom bench seat (I am determined to finish it this weekend 🙂 ) and some new projects I have been working on too!

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll join me back here again soon.

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DIY Black & Gold Pumpkins {w/ Dollar Store Thumb Tacks}

Hi there! I am back after an awesome family weekend – full of all the fall goodies! Pumpkin patches, a local fall festival, decorating the front porch, hot soup in the crockpot and lots of snuggle time on the couch with cozy blankets catching up on the new seasons of our favorite shows.  It was perfect!  I am hoping we get more of that in next weekend too 🙂

Last week I shared a few fall decorations around our house and am finding myself surprised at how I am slowly getting more and more into decorating for fall & Halloween!  I’ll be sharing details on the front porch later this week and today, I am sharing a super easy & inexpensive DIY project – Black & Gold Thumb Tack Pumpkins! I picked up 3 glittery black styrofoam pumpkins from the $1 bins at Target awhile back and in the midst of some purging & organizing over the weekend (I forgot to mention, I did lots of this too) I found them!  After I made this happy little discovery, I remembered I bought some gold thumb tacks at the Dollar Tree a loooong time ago with hopes of taking on a different project.  Well, that never happened, so I had a brand new pack of 300 shiny gold thumb tacks ready to be put to good use… in my little pumpkins!  Total project cost was $4…score.

DIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumbtacks


I won’t share the step-by-step instructions, because there wasn’t all that much to it.  I took a handful of tacks and pushed them in to the pumpkin creating my design as I went. I made 3 designs: an arrow / chevron pattern, a straight line one and then a monogram one with large “B” in the center & then a small T, R, H & S along the sides for each of our initials.  I didn’t have a plan in mind, initially, but these are what I came out with…

Have a look…

DIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumb tacks Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumbtacks & Monogram pumpkinDIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumbtacks bling blingAfter they were finished, I pulled out some old candleholders I had spray painted gold and decided they would make perfect pumpkin stands in the windowsill of our formal living room. These are fancy pumpkins, right?

DIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumb tacks formal living room gold fall decorDIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumbtacks bling bling pumpkin DIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumb tacks Glitz & Glam Decor

 DIY Black & Gold pumpkins w Dollar Store thumb tacks glitz & glam fall decor

For such an effortless project, I am more than happy with these blingy little things.  I actually might have to make some more! Have you hopped on the thumb tack or nail head pumpkin train? What about painting pumpkins – given it a shot? I think I see spray painted pumpkins in our future!

Hope to have you back here with me again soon.


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Powder Room Refresh Reveal [Modern Rustic Glam]

Monday is here and so is a new post.  Finally.  I have been fighting a bad cold for the last 3 days and prior to that, was back in Iowa at my parents’ for a few days and then before that, I had my parents here along with my 2 aunts from Arizona.  We spent a few days hanging out here and then headed down to the State Fair to spend time with my husband’s family.  We overindulged in all things “fair” and went to a couple of concerts as well. So fun!!  I’ll share more about our Illinois State Fair adventures in another post later in the week.

Now, let’s get right to it since I have a few long overdue project posts.  You know, the ones I have been promising for weeks now.  Gosh, I need to seriously kick that habit! The room I am sharing today is our tiny little main floor powder room.  It has actually been completed for awhile now, so I guess you could say I enjoy keeping everyone on the edge of their seats…I am sure the anticipation is just killing you 😉 Well, if so, then today you are in luck! If your remember back to my mood board, then you know I was aiming for dark gray walls with pops of gold to add some glitz & glam to the space.  The room ended up being a bit more on the blue side, but I just love it.  The color is Valspar “Blindfold” from Lowes.  There are plenty of pops of gold, but I decided I wanted there to be a sort of rustic feel as well, wood shelves, a wood frame, some twine, etc.  I am calling the style of this room “Modern Rustic Glam“.  Updating this room wasn’t on my master list of projects, but I am so glad that a little itch to paint inspired me to spruce it up.  I mainly used things I already had; some I left as-is and others I gave a quick makeover to. It’s fun to do a little room refresh every now and then, especially when you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Continue reading

outdoor oasis DIY pillows - thisisourbliss.com

Project: Outdoor Oasis Part 2 {The Pillows}

hello, new outdoor pillows!

Father’s Day has come and gone and so have my first 3 days at home with both boys without help!  I am still alive…so far…we’ll see how the week ends up…wish me luck!  Overall, I had 3 weeks of help and couldn’t have done it without my parents.  I mentioned before my parents took our oldest back to Iowa for a week after my mom spent a week here helping us.  They brought him back last Thursday night just in time for swimming lessons with Daddy.  My in-laws got into town on Friday night, so we all spent the weekend at our house grilling out and spending time together.  My husband was able to play golf on Saturday AND Sunday of Father’s Day weekend with my dad and his.  Whoever said I wasn’t a nice wife?  Golf was what he wanted, so golf is what he got!  That meant my mom, my mother-in-law and I had lots of QT with the babies and we were able to sneak in a pedicure as well!  All in all it was a great weekend… perfect weather too!

Speaking of good weather and spending time with family….we spent quite a bit of time outside sitting and lounging on the patio while Henry played and the guys grilled out.  That meant us girls were able to sit, relax and enjoy some wine 🙂  Like I said, it was a great weekend.

I shared our new outdoor curtains last week and today, I am going to share photos of our new sectional with my newly crafted pillows.  I picked out 4 different prints of outdoor fabric from fabric.com and have sewn 6 pillow covers so far.  I went with a bold stripe (I’m a sucker for black and white stripes), a black, tan & off-white geometric print, a black & green sea-life print and then a smaller scale. bright green pattern to off-set all of the black and give it a neonish pop of color!  I have quite a bit of fabric left, so might make a couple more or sew some for my mom’s outdoor patio furniture.  We shall see.

Here is the tutorial, by Four Generations One Roof I first used when getting back into sewing mode last year.  I wanted to make some pillows for my house and a friend asked me to make some for her as well.  This was a perfect step-by-step instruction guide for sewing pillows with a zipper closure – just what I wanted – Easy to remove & wash or switch out if I am ready for a new look 🙂

Here is how they turned out: IMG_4802


And for a few personal pics…


Baby Simon lounging with the girls on the patio and big brother, Henry playing in the yard…<3


Another Father’s Day photo… Ted & the boys with my dad (left) and father-in-law (right)

IMG_4780And finally… Our little family of 4 🙂

Next up, the final Outdoor Oasis post – accessorizing the patio! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here again soon.

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Outdoor Oasis Project Part 1 [The Curtains]

Wow!  It seems so strange to not be writing about my little guy’s nursery.  That room consumed all of my crafting / free time it feels like!  On to other areas of our home we go!  One particular space I had been dreaming ideas up for was our outdoor patio.  It was a blank {cement} slate, so I knew if we did ANYTHING to it, it would be a huge improvement.  We have an unfinished basement, but its a walk-out.  We hope to finish it this winter so having a nice outdoor space down there will be a great benefit.  But now with an active toddler on our hands, we have already been down on the patio more than we planned on so he is able to play in the yard.  We have a deck off of our kitchen where we sit and have dinner or drinks when its nice, but you have to take the stairs down to get to the yard.  In other words, there’s not a whole lot of playing that can take place up there, so making the downstairs patio more enjoyable for us adults this summer while we watch the kids play became one of my priorities…so there it was… Operation: Project Outdoor Oasis! Continue reading