So you know when you tell your hubby an idea when he is really engulfed in something else and he doesn’t want anything to do with the idea (at the time).  Yeah that happened here.  So when Matt was building the desk, I brought up the idea of tearing up the carpet since we knew there was wood floors underneath, although we had no idea what condition they were in.  Rightfully so, Matt said he wanted to “finish one thing”, so we continued on with the desk project, and once it was in, it did look awesome, but those floors were just calling my name.  I brought it up again and Matt told me the order of operations was not ideal.  I calmly reminded him that I ACTUALLY did bring it up earlier :)  Ohhh the small wins.  Anywho, he was a good trooper of pulling up the carpet around the desk legs which revealed our awesome wood floors that were in really good condition!!  We will have to re-level the desk, but until I pick a rug we have little tufts of carpet to level it from it’s “original floor” (order of operations fail).  But just a few hours of pulling up tack strips, nails, staples, and cleaning, and ta-da!  Pretty psyched how it turned out!

Oh, and if you noticed we have a curtain!  First one in the house (which now makes me feel a little behind on the rest of the house!?) But it was a steal at Home Goods!  While the color palette is pretty neutral right now I’m excited to start accessorizing and adding some color.  Next up, the hunt for a rug!

Lewis is so excited too he had to photobomb.

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Hello all! My name is Adrian and you’ve seen me on the blog before, but only in pictures :). I’m Mallory’s older sister and Vivienne’s mama. I live in South Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis in a 1,400 square foot home with Vivienne (obviously), my husband Jeff and our two dogs. In my (rare) freetime, I enjoy crafting, thrifting, reading home decor/lifestyle blogs and redesigning my house over and over again. I’ve decided I don’t have enough time to run a blog by myself, but have enough to write a few guest posts.  So here goes the first one!

As I said above, I enjoy reading blogs. One of my favorites, Style By Emily Henderson has a fantastic feature she rotates through calling ‘Trolling Craigslist.’ Basically, she looks at Craigslist in a random city and features things she finds. So I thought it would be fun to do it for Minneapolis. Why do you ask?  Because I LOVE Craigslist.

Craigslist is a great (online) resource for shopping and I’ve found some fantastic items at amazing prices. Herman Miller Shell Chairs? Check. 5 Vintage Dressers? Yep (not all at once). Dining Hutch? Yes! I could keep going, but I’ll stop :)

Now the issue with Craigslist, which is a good issue, is that there is always. new. stuff. Like I could shop my house every day. And with my under 1,400 square foot house full to the brim, I figure sharing great finds might satiate my shopping fix and ensure that some of these beauties find good homes. And maybe help me stop buying dressers. Or chairs.

So, without further ado, here are the finds!

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Wicker Folding Chairs I’m currently in a wicker phase. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the 70s influences coming back, but I’m really drawn to it. Anyway, these sweet little folding chairs would be a great addition to any home, perfect for extra seating, any stylish too!

Vintage Full Size Bed Stay with me on this one folks. With a little love and some paint, I think this gal would be lovely in a guest room or a little girl’s room. Very shabby chic.

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Brass Arc/Arch Lamp So much love for this floor lamp. Brass is back! This kind of lamp is great for rooms with no overhead lighting and perfect for behind a chair or behind the corner of a sectional. This is a run, don’t walk one people.  If I didn’t have a 17 month old that I knew would try to hang off of it like a monkey, I would have bought this already.

Wooden Spindle Bench As the Craigslist poster said, it would be a great hallway bench. It would also be great with a dining set in a dining room or kitchen as a settee. It also would be lovely painted. And maybe add a cushion?

Vintage Tall Boy Dresser This guy would be a great addition to any bedroom. The dresser is also a good scale for a hallway or entry. The detail on the drawer fronts is super unique. And who doesn’t need more storage?

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Vintage End Tables The shape. Oh, it makes me want to throw out my Lane Acclaim side tables and take these babies home. But all those corners don’t match with a wobbly walker. Lame yo. Someone rescue these. And put some fantastic lamps on top of them.

Bamboo Wicker 3 Piece Set I know, more wicker. It’s a miracle there are only 2 items on this list. But this set, seriously. Yes, it might need new cushions (or hey, get rid of the cushions all together), but imagine it in a sun room. Or on a 3-season porch. Or just use a piece for an eclectic look in a living room. In love. If I hadn’t just bought a wicker loveseat (or as I call it a bench to make my husband feel better), I would be en route to Northfield right now.

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Waiting Room Table and Chair Bench This would be awesome (recovered and painted) in an entryway.  You could lineup shoes underneath the table and under the chairs. Adorable. Yes, it’s a little waiting room-esque, but I think it’s in a good way.

Lucite Table Base This is a great deal! Throw a piece of wood on top (I’d go walnut or something with a great grain) and you’ll have yourself a stunning coffee table. It’s a little retro and little contemporary all in one.

Well I hope you all liked the post! We’re hoping to make this a regular thing, so if you’re looking for anything in particular comment below, and we’ll try to find/feature it next time!

NOTE: All of these items were available when I posted this article. They may not be by the time you look at them. In the Craigslist world, you gotta act quick!

 

The desk is in!  A very exciting and big step forward (we’ve been maneuvering our way around the massive desk in the garage for weeks now).  Matt did SUCH an amazing job being a teach-yourself-carpenter in progress.  Here are some details on what we’ve done so far and our next steps.

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The “Desktop”:  Making big boards out of little boards
This is a saying my Dad (who is a carpenter) always says (mostly when he is cutting wood, then making “little boards out of big boards”).  Anywho, we went to Home Depot to pick out our material of choice for the desk and came across common board.  Now, here is what sold us on this type of wood:

1) Price
Each 10′ x 10″ x 3/4″ piece of common board was about $7.  At this price, we felt pretty good about our first crack at making a DIY countertop with the kreg jig.

2) Look
I liked the natural grain and look of the wood.  Unlike Doug wood, it didn’t have any weird red undertones and it looked like it would take to stain nicely if we decided to go down that path.

To create the countertop, Matt took each board and kreg screwed holes to attach it to the next board.  Then, he used wood glue and clamps to make a nice tight fit and to get rid of the seams.  Then, he sanded.  A lot.  Like a lot a lot.  But it was totally worth the time.  The seams melted away like magic and when you run your hand over the top, you can’t tell or feel at all where the separate boards are (such a proud wifey moment!).  Then, he ripped more common board down to make it into the trim to match.  He 45-ed the edges for a nice finished look (again, so proud.)

We attached a cleat to the wall and then attached the long section of the “T” that fit in the wall to the cleat (which actually turned out to be pretty sturdy).  Then, we used the legs and blocks to help support the corners.  Finally, we attached the island of the “T” (which I got to screw in, laying on the floor while Matt hulk-hogan style held it together), and again put the legs for corner support.

The Legs
Oh yeah, these guys?  Well, we ripped ‘em off an old table from Craigslist.  Scraped off a bunch of “gunk” for lack of a better term, primed, and painted them.  To attach them to the desk, we needed some more height, so we used another block and drilled a hole into it to attach the legs to the desk.  I think they do the perfect job of bringing a little character and rustic to our desk system. :)

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Poly/Sealing
Now, I thought once I had made the decision to keep the desk natural that the decision work was done.  Ha!  Nope, welcome our world/introduction to polyurithane/lacquer.  Now, we could have done some research, but we just kind of dove right in.  We had purchased the oil-based high gloss lacquer for another project, an outdoor bar cart that had to be super durable since we plan to keep it on our deck.  We have a gallon of it with a lot left, so initially we though we’d use it on the desk.  LUCKILY, we tested it.  Blech!  Did not like at all. The oil-based lacquer although super durable, gave the pretty, raw, rustic wood a yellow/shiny coat that totally changed it’s look.  Strike 1-nope.  Second try was a water-based poly in a satin finish.  LOVED the look.  But we tested our test piece with a cold glass of water to see if the seal would hold up to a water ring…results weren’t that great.  :(  Finally, we tried an oil-based satin poly, and the smell almost killed Matt (OK, that may be a stretch, but for some reason it really did smell awful).  That was still too shiny for me and the layer didn’t go on very evenly.  Despite our test, we are going with the water-based satin sealer, we will just be doing a lot of layers, and then using coasters (like, I will be a coaster natzi).  Then again, I’m not all about keeping everything in prestine condition.  I like to live in my spaces and not have them be showroom ready.  That’s just us.  Keepin’ it real.

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 EEEeee!!  We are getting closer!  Things to plan next are wall shelving, storage, and colors/ mood board.  Some FUN stuff if you ask me!! :) I’m so excited to be organized and up and running in our space.

Enjoy!

 

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My niece Lindsey is having a little girl in August and will be naming her Alice after her grandmother (adorable, right?!)  Well, as the host/planner of her baby shower, what theme would you choose other than ALICE In Wonderland?!  I had a lot of fun planning this baby shower with the help of my sisters.  This was the most people I have had at our new house and without knowing how the flow would go, I was a bit nervous!  I really wanted to utilize the outside deck space for the party so everyone could spread out and mingle without feeling crammed into the house.  (Not to mention making sure the house and yard were CLEAN!)

Sidenote: If the load-bearing wall between our kitchen and living room were down, I would have been more comfortable with being inside, but that is our upcoming FALL project.  Patience (like I have any).

Anyway, I had a team of helpers that I couldn’t have pulled it off without.  I literally came home from work one day and my yard look like a mini-episode of Yard Crashers.  OK, maybe not that big of projects, but lots of rallying of weeding, reinforcing our deck, and planting/moving hostas (our yard is frikin hosta-crazy!).  Long story short, our yard and deck never looked better!

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In terms of decor, I wanted to keep it light and airy with a very girly/vintage feel.  We used crates to make shelves on the buffet where the dessert table was to give us some height and display area for framed photos of the “Mom-to-Be” and stacking of the vintage teacups in true “tea party” form.  The cupcakes had “eat me” signs, and the mason jar mugs had “drink me” signs.  Our favors were packs of tea in mini burlap bags with a teacup stamped on them.  A lot of the centerpiece and styling decor are available for rent from my rental website Mint To Be Vintage Rentals.

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Games are a very important part of a baby shower.  You want to keep your guests entertained and busy enough so they don’t become bored (and they often don’t know each other as well since everyone is there in honor of the mom-to-be).  For our shower, we played  games that were super fun and I would highly suggest.

Sitting Out Games:
I also like to promote guests to mingle at baby showers and to participate in a few stations that are sitting out.  We had two “sitting out” games/activities:

How Many M&Ms are in the Bottle?
We had this bottle sitting out and filled it with M&Ms.  Guests had to guess how many M&Ms were in the bottle for a chance to win a prize.  I also made up a cute rhyme to go with our theme that we displayed in a sign to tell guests how to play.

Mommy Motivation Diaper Message
This is a new one I had never seen until I started searching for baby shower ideas.  We purchased a pack of diapers and left sharpees out for guests to write funny or motivational messages for the parents-to-be during late-night diaper changes when moral may be low.  Although I have not been in this position, I would think these could be a real “pick-me-up”!

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Sitting down Games:
When the group is sitting down together (often before or after gifts), playing a few games is a great opportunity to laugh and get to know one-another in the group.  We played 3 sitting down games:

Play-Doh Sculpting
We passed out a container of play-doh to each person at the shower, along with a paper plate for them to write their name on.  The challenge was to sculpt a baby out of your play-doh.  The Mom-to-Be would then judge and choose the best baby to win a prize.  We were laughing so hard at some of the “attempts” and woo-ing over the successes.  It was a very fun and interactive game for all ages (plus the 4-year old attendee then really enjoyed playing with the play-doh during gifts!)

Baby Shower Gestation Game
This is a fun and quick game where you match the animal with the number of days you think that animal is pregnant for.  This was actually harder than you would think and of course it is mostly luck whoever wins, but it is a fun (and informative) game that may make the mommy-to-be feel a little better about only being pregnant for 9 months compared to some other pregnancies!

Celebrity Baby Matching Game
This is a classic that I have played before at baby showers, but it is always fun.  You have to think about your audience, if your guests seem like they may know some celebrity babies & mommas, then this game is a win!  (Me, I am terrible.  All I know is there are some crazy baby names like Apple and Blue Ivy).

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It is so hard to believe that one-year ago I was in frantic wedding-planning mode, exhausting all of my energy to planning and coordinating every last detail for our big day.  What a year it has been!  From getting married, to buying our first house together, so many exciting life events.

I feel like there is a small amount of pressure for a first anniversary.  I mean, you don’t want to do something so extravagant that it is a lot of work (oh yeah, that was the WEDDING), but you don’t want to discount the occasion and set the bar low for future anniversaries either.  Keeping in mind that Matt & I have found that we are totally guilty if we are at home of so often either working on projects (a majority of the time), or engulfed in some type of technology, we wanted to do a mini destination.

So we decided to plan a trip with our camper and do our own little getaway to the northern Minnesota  Brainerd/Nisswa area.  Our plans = No plans.  It was great.  We left home when we were ready, took our time driving up, and hung out with my brother and his wife at their amazing cabin.  Pontoon rides, seafood dinner, and bonfire, yep it was perfect and so relaxing.

My request?  A one-year anniversary photoshoot, of course.  I want to keep doing (something) like this every year (I know all the parents out there are chuckling saying “good luck!”) but even if not as coordinated as this, still I think it’d be special to take photos every year reflecting where we are at that point in our lives.

This first year’s theme ended up being our Vintage Camper, which I had been wanting to get photos with anyway.  This is a good representation of our lives with no kids, carefree travelers and cray DIY/project lifestyle.

I did use a few “tokens” from our wedding day that are special to us and that we can maybe use from year to year when doing these photos.  The headband, bracelet, and necklace are all the jewelry I wore on our wedding day.  The wooden “the Kiesows”, the knot, and the chalkboard easel also all made appearances.  We even tried to recreate a few wedding pose photos we really liked.

(Of course we did get some photos of us enjoying the camper & cooking breakfast too :)
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Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Let me just preface this post by explaining how much of my life is supported by Target.  As a full-time working individual with a zillion projects, how often do you think I get to a fabric store?  The answer: never.  A mall or clothing store?  Puh-leeze. Even my wardrobe is starting to freakishly mimic the Target Sunday ad.  Good thing Target has EVERYTHING.  I digress, the curtains….

Have you ever seen something in a store over and over again that catches your eye, you may even go out of your way to look at it for the 25th time, but you say “that doesn’t go with my house” or “that isn’t quite my style, but I love it.”  Well, that was this shower curtain for me at Target.  I was drawn to the pattern from the second I saw it.  I loved the colorful, geographic, chevron pattern, but it was a little on the modern side for me and seeing as how I’m not in the market to re-do my bathroom, I just swooned over it at my regular Target visits.

What spurred on this project in a week (weird how that ALWAYS seems to happen), all of a sudden Matt & I were going camping, and our camper had no curtains!  Eek!  No privacy= an issue when it comes to camping.  I just couldn’t stand the impromptu curtains we had before (black fleece with sticky velcro that would not stick to the walls = curtain fail.  And super ugly).  So I dove in and bought two of these adorable Target shower curtains to make all of my interior curtains for the vintage camper.

The process?  Well, let me tell you, I am not a sewer.  I would certainly love to be, but I just haven’t done much of it at all.  But, curtains are a great beginner project because all you do is sew straight(ish) lines.  :)  I did a ¼” hem on all the sides and a ½” fold-over hem for the curtain rod to fit in.  The rods are also from Target, and were $4 each (win!).  Secret:  I didn’t pin, but I did iron the shower curtain first to get out all the wrinkles.  As for measuring, I added 1 foot to the width of each camper window to allow “bunching”, and added 2” to the height to make sure my curtains covered the frame plus a little.  This overage also was fine for taking into account my hems.

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The result?  Love!  I was initially a little nervous about pulling in the green and orange in the print, but I think that really forced me outside my comfort zone and the teal/mint green in the chevron really pulls in the cabinet colors too (only giving you a sneak peek of those right now!).  I’m really excited to accessorize the camper once it is done.  The curtains are somewhat white, so are they 100% light blocking?  No.  Which is OK, I mean I would say who really SLEEPS IN when you are in a camper, but Matt & I have actually formed a Sunday habit of camping and sleeping in till 10AM :)  We can always line the curtains if we feel this is a need down the road.  I am also considering cutting the curtains right down the middle (and hemming of course) so we can “open them” and tie them up on either side when we don’t want them closed (however, thus far, we haven’t disliked having them closed all the time, especially since they still let light in).

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{Ignore the lack of cushion covers and paint on the walls, oh so more to come with the Vintage Camper remodel, but lots in the works!}

I hope I maybe inspired some non-sewers like me to take on some curtain projects, so easy!  And try to keep you eye out for some non-traditional fabric material, like a shower curtain!

Enjoy!

 

Layout Reveal!
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Since moving into our new house this past January, we have thus far turned one bedroom into a closet, which is totally amazing and functional for our current lives.  Our house has three bedrooms on the main floor (a big selling feature and something to look for, future home buyers.  It’s very appealing to have the parents room with 2 kids rooms on the same floor!  Future state, future state).  The third bedroom on the main floor is going to be our home office.  Now, is this going to be the forever layout of our home?  Nope.  Is it what we need right NOW and is conducive to our current lifestyle?  Yep.

If there is one thing (ok there may be a few) that drives me nuts, it is having stacks of papers all over the kitchen/living room.  It. Drives. Me. Bonkers.  You can never find anything and it’s a vicious cycle of making piles, moving piles, losing piles, repeat.  Ugh!  Ok, that was my rant.  Anywho, the soon-to-be “office” has become the “dumping ground” (for lack of a better term) for the papers what finally make it out of the whirlwind of the main living area of the house.

When we started to sit down and visualize/plan our office (for the record, this was me on Pinterest + daydreaming, not Matt & I actually sitting down and planning), I decided a few things:

His & Her’s
For Matt & I, his and hers workstations are a must.  We felt like if we had one desk, we would never hang out with each other because one of us would be stuck in the office and the other one in the living room.  When you spend 40-60 hours a week away from home, when you’re here, it’s nice to be together.  Also, Matt works in IT and therefore has a desktop computer with dual monitors, so he takes up a lot of space.  I also JUST got a desktop Mac computer with a HUGE screen (can you tell I’m excited?!) so I need ample desk space as well.

Here is an example from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, showing the two separate workstations that helped to sell me on this layout:

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Island Fever
Knowing that we will both be predominately working on our computers at our workstations, we also wanted some desk space that didn’t fight with the keyboard. We designed the island to be a little wider than the desk where our computers will sit and are still considering our options for storage underneath.  I’m excited to be able to have things out on the desk without feeling overcrowded.

Here is a great example of the “island” effect we are going for (think “T-shaped” desk):

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Nice Legs
I fell in love with this photo of a home office desk with bold, character-filled legs (and really, just an overall beautiful home office).  *Swoon!  Now, of course, I found a gross old table on Craigslist (that came from a smoker, no scratch that, a chain smokers home) that had similar legs.  This turned into a beastly project that deserves it’s own post.  But summary is that I knew we would be going for an open, airy design with bold desk legs.  This design also requires us to get creative with storage since we are building the desk like a table, with no real storage built in (rebels!).

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Things we are still considering:
Built-in-Desk top – wood or white?!  Ahhh I’m going to have to figure this one out soon.  I can’t decide if I should paint the wood table top of the desk white to match the legs, or poly/stain it to give it the wood look.

Desk Chairs – Ok well, we know we need these, but it’s a matter of what we end up with.  Comfort is important, I mean, we don’t want to build this amazing office and then not want to sit here!  I dream of these white desk chairs, but they may be out of our ‘immediate budgetary constraints’.  Boo. We do have some spare chairs (shocking, right?) that I have been wanting to re-do, so those may be an interim solution… stay tuned.

Carpet – Pulling up the carpet (there is hardwood underneath, not sure of the condition though- nothing a rug couldn’t hide, I’m sure- *Can you tell I’m on the “let’s pull it up” team?!).  It’s a gamble, but would be really nice to have hard floors with desk chairs vs. carpet (plus the carpet isn’t in pristine condition).

File Cabinet – We have a hideous (ok that may have been harsh) “regular old” black file cabinet.  Blech.  I need to find some way to spruce it up since we functionally need it (initial thoughts include washi tape or gold spray paint).  Realistically we really need more filing storage, maybe this one could end up hidden in the closet.

Additional Storage – When we moved we realized we have a lot of office stuff (which is SO ironic, because we for sure did not have an office back in the tiny house.  We must have just known in our hearts-of-hearts that we would eventually have one and therefore hoarded office supplies like it was our job.) I foresee us needing a bookcase as well as some shelving above our workstations.  Our printer is wireless so I’m thinking that will go behind us or in the closet.  As I mentioned above with the legs, we will have to see how it looks once it is up to find the most functional and aesthetically pleasing places for storage.

The good news is we are well on our way to another office update soon, the custom T-shaped desk is making progress in the garage!  I’ll keep ya posted as to next steps :)

Enjoy!

 

 

Baby Mollie was so adorable.  At a mere 7 weeks old, I was so excited to get her in front of the camera.  While newborn shots are typically within the first 10 days, Mommy had a slower recovery time, so of course that came first!  What was really fun about shooting her at 7 weeks was that her eyes were open, and she was totally aware of the camera :)

Congrats Mommy, Daddy, and big brother Collin on the newest addition to your family!

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Enjoy!

 

Enjoy this adorable beautiful baby preview!  7 week-old baby Mollie –  More to come :)

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Rachel & Marc are set to be married this October and are such a fun couple.  Their wedding concept/theme is “vintage circus” and I just know it will be fabulous.  I actually work(ed) with Rachel (we shared a cube wall) so I got to spend LOTS of time with her at work, and it was so fun to meet Marc after hearing so much about him!  Marc and Rachel were so fun to shoot and Rachel had so many fun prop ideas!!  Rachel was so organized, literally my first time having a “shot list” – loved it!  We shot at some awesome locations, an abandoned theater in Northeast Minneapolis followed by the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN.  A beautiful day with an awesome couple!

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Enjoy! :)

 

 

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