7th House on the Left

Thanks to the World Wide Web, over the past few weeks, Ashley has come to realize that anything and everything can be done to a pumpkin. Creative bloggers have done everything you could possibly think of… They’ve painted, decoupaged, upholstered, gilded, glittered, chalk-boarded, monogramed, hot glued, covered with vinyl, spray painted, sequined, and finally, carved their pumpkins into all sorts of designs. On top of that, we’ve also seen them made into serving pieces, candy bowls, planters, bird feeders, candy dispensers, chandeliers (I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart), clocks, topiaries, tureen toppers… the list goes on.

All that being said, we’re thinking about going with the tried and true classic pumpkin this year. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past Ashley to change her mind and get out the paint. As a matter of fact, I’d say there’s a really good chance that she will do just that by the time the season is over. Regardless of how we decide to proceed with our favorite Fall-time gourd, Ashley and I thought we’d share some of our favorite designs and concepts from around the ‘net. Hopefully these will inspire you to do something cool and festive with your own outdoor fall decorations:

1. Decoupaged Chevron Pumpkins by Tatertots & Jello 2. Monogramed Pumpkin by The Butlers  3. Puffy Paint Pumpkins by Young House Love 4. Chalkboard Pumpkins by The Old Painted Cottage 5. Sequined Pumpkins by Making Lemonade  6. Gold Thumbtack Pumpkins by MadiganMade 7. Polka Dot Pumpkins by BHG 8. Silhouette Pumpkin by The Lettered Cottage

There aren’t any “manly” pumpkins out there. I might have to rectify that… I’m thinking TRON pumpkins with glow-in-the-dark blue paint.

Have you treated any pumpkins this year? Tell us about them (or leave a link!) in the comment section…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it a million times more, but inspiration is all over the place. It’s in the simplest things… packaging, the color of an apple, the pattern of the bricks in the road, a cosmetics bag, a vase of flowers, an old door, a concert poster, a perfume bottle… yeah, you get the idea.

I had one of those “aha inspiration moments” the other day while I was busy rearranging the books on the shelves of our TV unit in the living room. We’re still in the process of finding the right “things” to be displayed with the books, but I still tend to rearrange the book collection every few days. The right side is a little more “done” than the left, but we’re getting there.

After a few minutes of stacking, switching, and moving things around, I had somehow concocted a relatively unexpected and fun color combination:

Then it dawned on me: these are the types of colors I want to use in this room. I had been going back and forth with color combos in my head for weeks – specifically trying to decide if I wanted to use red or not (I talked a little bit about that here). I’m not looking for a “designated color scheme” by any means, just a color combo to use as my inspiration when picking out things to go in the room. And by “room”, I mean the room that consists of the living room, kitchen, and dining room – oh, and my office. Right now, we have a pretty bland pallet: gray walls, white trim, white fireplace, and hopefully one day a new gray sofa. Even though it looks “blah” for now, it’s the perfect “canvas” to incorporate my new favorite color scheme.

Greg’s pretty happy with the colors, too! Well, as happy as a husband gets, haha! I’m not looking to slather the room with bright bold colors. Even though that could totally work in other spaces, I want to go for something that’s subtle yet colorful. Oxymoron, right? I’m thinking something kind of like these rooms…

I wonder if I can find a purse big enough to carry all of these books inside stores with me when I go shopping… just kidding! I’ll probably just to keep the photo of the books on my phone for on the go.

How about you? Have any “aha inspiration moments” lately? What’s your take on color schemes? 

Simple inspiration grid photos found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and lastly, here. Room inspiration photos found here, here and here. Whew! That was a lot.

HIS + HER FAVORITE THINGS

posted by Greg & Ashley  /  19 Comments

Happy October, everyone! The weather is getting cooler, the leaves will soon start changing, and before you know it, we’ll be sitting down for a big Thanksgiving dinner. So let’s get started with this month’s favorite things…

1. Hoodies – Warning: This is going to sound very un-manly. I love hoodies. They’re a bit too casual for work, but I try to wear one whenever I can during my off-time this time of year. I’m super-excited that the weather has cooled down to the point where I can wear one without looking crazy. It was in the 50′s last night! Bring on the cold weather!

2. Our Local Farmers’ Market – I know, I know. I’m a little late in the year to be talking about this, but I only just recently discovered the joy of our local farmers’ market. Ashley has been going there all her life, but after a year of living in the area, I’d never been. That problem was rectified last month, and now I’m hooked. Eating apples, peaches, and other produce that I know was just picked by a local farmer is a great feeling, and everything tastes better, too! Every few days since we first went, I’ve been going back to replenish my stock of fruits and veggies. I’m already looking forward to next year when I can take full advantage of the entire harvest season.

3. SplashTop for iPad – I love this app. Sure, it lets you remote control your computer, but tons of apps do that. The joy of Splashtop is if you are on the same local network, you can watch Flash videos in real time! It really does feel like you’ve got your whole computer on your iPad while you’re using it. Of course, movies and such don’t work quite as well over 3G, but you can still remote control your PC or Mac remotely over the airwaves. This is my new go-to app for remote-controlling my personal computers, and I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.

4. Husky Screwdriver – This is one of those things I didn’t know I couldn’t live without. I use my Husky “tweaker” screwdriver almost every day, and it’s a lifesaver. There’s not much more to say about this. If you work on electronics or computers (or even if you don’t), you should have one of these in your tool arsenal. At $5-10, it’s a great investment.

5. Espresso Maker - You might realize by now, I’m a bit of a coffee fanatic. It’s not that I drink a ton of it, mind you. I just love a truly good cup in the morning. One thing I’ve been really hankering for lately, though, is a nice latte from home every now and then, and that’s not possible without an espresso machine. If you’ve never done any research on these steam-era marvels, you should. They’re really fascinating, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the skill it takes for your barista to pull a good shot of espresso. In the near future, I think we’ll be starting to shop around for something to scratch my espresso itch. I’ll probably start pretty small and inexpensive, but I’ll be sure to share my success (or defeat) with you guys when the time comes.

6. Rostov’s – Speaking of coffee, Rostov’s is one of the local coffee roasters in the Richmond Area. Again, we like keeping it local whenever we can. If you’ve never had a cup of coffee made with beans that were just roasted a day or so previous, you’re missing out. Whenever someone says, “I don’t like coffee,” I just reply, “You just haven’t had the right cup yet.” Rostov’s is a great place to start exploring your coffee options. They’ve got all sorts of different beans, roasts, and blends. If you find all of that a little confusing, that’s okay! I found the staff there to be extremely helpful the first time I wandered in. They helped me pick the right bean for my tastes, then offered to grind it for me right there. If you’re not in the Richmond area, just do a Google search for local coffee roasters (or, you can order Rostov’s on their website). You’ll never go back to grocery store coffee again.

Now for the birthday girl’s favorite things. I’m pretty sure she’s giving me some birthday present hints in here somewhere…

1. Twirl by Kate Spade - Even though I’m kind of a “perfume junkie”, I’m a tried and true Clinique Happy and Amazing Grace fan. I like perfume to be light, airy, not too fruity and slightly floral. In last month’s Birchbox (which I talked about in this Fave Things post), they included a sample of Twirl by Kate Spade. Let me say, I have used that little sample until there is not one molecule of perfume left! It smells SO good! I’ve noticed that the scent changes a bit by the end of the day – but in a totally good way. They decsribe it best… “the fragrance dries down to a base of luminous musks and a touch of a French macaroon—straight from the patisserie, of course.” … Yum, right?!

2. Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio – I started using this eyeshadow in college, then switched between a few others for a while just for something different. After getting tired of those, I switched back to the Smashbox Eyeshadow (in Focal Point) and wondered why I quit using it in the first place! In short, it’s awesome for everyday and can be easily amped up with a tiny dab of water on your brush. I don’t see myself going back to the “others” anytime soon.

3. Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder - Magic. In. A. Bottle. For my hair anyways. A few sprays on the roots adds immediate volume. I also use it on the ends of my hair to add a little extra texture. It’s also slightly tinted, which makes your hair appear thicker. Overall, this is one of my new “must haves”. If you decide to try it out, make sure you get the right shade for your hair. My hair is medium brown with chunky blonde highlights, so I use the “Blondish Hair Powder” and it blends in really well!

4. White Pumpkins – Last year, I loved the idea of trading in the traditional orange pumpkins for the Martha Stewart-ish white pumpkins – or “fairytale pumpkins” as they call them around here. But this year, I’m kind of obsessed with them. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed a lot of the local patches, markets, and farmers selling more white pumpkins this year, and they are selling out fast! We haven’t decided what we’re going to do on our front porch yet – but I’m pretty sure at least one white pumpkin will be involved.

5. Sephora’s Beauty Insider ProgramApparently this is the month for beauty products. I’ve been a Sephora shopper for years (since 2005 according to my Beauty Insider account) and over the years I have become a huge fan of their Beauty Insider program. (It’s free to join, by the way!) With every dollar you spend, one point is added to your Beauty Bank. As you save up points, you can “cash them in” for special Insider products. (The 500-point perks are really nice!) They even have special deals and store events specifically for Beauty Insider members. Aaaaand, when your birthday rolls around, they send you a special birthday gift – for free! My birthday is coming up on Friday, and along with the order I placed last week, they sent me a bottle of Philosophy’s Vanilla Cupcake Shower Gel. How nice!

6. Mercury Canister – Another ZGallerie favorite! Ever since I did the DIY mercury glass candle votive a while back, I tend to be distracted by mercury glass items wherever I shop. I love how it can add a little bit of subtle “bling” to a any room. This little canister would be cute paired with a stack of books and a small vase of flowers. Love it!

7. Real Simple Wall Organizer – I picked up this Real Simple dry erase weekly wall organizer the other day at Target. We’ve only used it for a few days, but we already love it! We hung it on the side of the fridge and it has proved to be really useful. It’s not too big and bulky to take up a bunch of room, but it’s the perfect space for Greg and me to keep track of our weekly happenings and major to-do’s. And it has a nice, linen frame that you usually don’t find with the “norm” wipe-off calendars. Yay for pretty organization!

How about you? Do you have any current favorites? Leave a comment and share them with us…