Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday friends!  I don't know about you, but I am so ready for this weekend- it's been a long week!  We're off to enjoy the sunshine and pool today and I have some fun home projects in the works.    Hoping to make the most of this weekend! 

If you get a chance, I'd love to hear your mom's best advice to you, and you can share it HERE.  I shared mine! :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gold Desk Ikea Hack

She had me at the big gold perfectly-spaced polka dots on the wall.  But then she went and made over an Ikea desk for about $50 and I nearly fainted.  Check out this perfection.

My friends, if you haven't been to Just Bella blog, you really need to pay a visit.  Christine is mama to this precious thing, which, in and of itself, is worth the trip.  One thing I really appreciate about Christine's design sense is her simplicity and ability to beautifully edit a space.  She's makes everything seem effortless and I feel like she spends a lot of time "in the moment" if you know what I mean.  Look at her creativity in styling her mantle for the holidays. Adding just a few things each season creates such a totally different look.  

All photos via Just Bella

* * * * * 

Hope you're having a great week!  If you get a chance, I'd love to hear your Mother's Wisdom- we're sharing our moms' best advice HERE.  

No Double Dipper

As sure as eggs are eggs, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revised its figures yet again.

This time the revision brings some good news, it appears that Britain never had a double dip recession:
"GDP growth between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 has been revised from a fall of 0.1% to flat, thereby removing the phenomenon of two consecutive quarters of negative growth."
As I have noted many times before it is extremely unwise to rely on figures provided by the ONS, they are always out of date and invariably wrong.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

£11.5BN Cuts

The chancellor is to unveil £11.5BN of cuts for 2015/16 to help reduce the deficit.

Local government is expected to be hardest hit.

Watch Osborne's speech live at 12:30 here.

Mirrored Tray Makeover

While shopping Overstock for a lounge chair and chaise for our master sitting room, I realized just how much of the decor in our house is from accessible places like Overstock, Homegoods, and Target.  I like style and quality and a bargain all at the same time.

Recently, I found a unique round mirrored tray that looks very similar to a high-end version I have drooled over since I first saw it, the Arteriors Cinchwaist Gold Iron/Mirror Tray, that literally retails for $396.

I like my $12.99 version just fine.  And it's kind of thrilling to happen upon such a great bargain.  

While the gold is gorgeous on the expensive version, I wanted mine to be a glossy silver so it would compliment the shiny silver mirror and hardware in my master bath.  I used a metallic gold spray paint after carefully taping the mirror's edges and covering the middle with paper.

In just a few minutes it looks great on my bathroom countertop.  I typically keep most things under the sink or in drawers, but a few items I use almost daily, I like to keep out.  (I swear by Curel lotion, by the way- very light scent and not greasy at all.  I use it everyday.) Keeping everything together on a pretty tray makes it look tidier.  

I can also see myself spraying the tray gold and using it in the bar at some point.  

Do you get excited at the thrill of finding a bargain too?

And, I'd love to hear your Mother's Wisdom- we're sharing our moms' best advice HERE.  

The Dangers Posed By Rising Interest Rates

The Bank of England's Financial Stability reports arises a red flag about the dangers from a rise in interest rates.

The Executive Summary notes:
"In the near term, risks could crystallise if global long-term interest rates were to rise abruptly from current still historically low levels.."
Hidden away in the report itself, the Bank notes that:
"The impact of higher global interest rates on borrowers will depend on the cause of the increase....a significant cohort of UK borrowers could experience financial difficulties if interest rates were to rise during a period of subdued income growth.."
Will interest rates rise?

Sir Mervyn King, thinks not (not at least in the foreseeable future).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cyprus NOT Seeking Renegotiation of Bailout

Q: When is a renegotiation not a renegotiation?

A: When it is a "tweaking".

Farewell Sir Mervyn

Sir Mervyn King is giving evidence to the Commons Treasury committee for the last time as governor of the Bank of England.

During his valedictory appearance he hinted that Jane Austen will appear on future £10 notes, he also welcomed the responsibility for bank supervision being returned to the Bank of England.

He is no fan of austerity for countries with no other means of promoting growth, and noted that it had been a disaster for those countries; in the meantime QE in the UK, in his opinion, will continue to run for the foreseeable future as will the current low levels of interest rates.

Pretty Paper Things

After I published my post yesterday, I couldn't believe I forgot to add the funniest thing about my wonderful and loving Grandma -- She is crazy for those 50 Shades of Gray books! She's been on me to read them for months, but I still haven't gotten around to it.  I know lots of people are fans- I just didn't know my Grandma was one of them!

I've been busy doing other things, like going crazy buying washi tape and starting a blog calendar.  These are the things that make my inner 12-year-old girl all giddy.  Brightly colored markers . . .

sharpened colored pencils . . . 

pretty notebooks . . .

with equally pretty pages.

And this Jonathan Adler agenda.  It's so whimsical and fun.  June says, "Liberate your inner hippie"

washi tape + planner = a delightful way to schedule blog posts.

Too bad I'm already behind:) 

But the process makes me happy.

Looking forward to Haven!  And Cassie coming my way!  Not jury duty.

Do you stop for way too long in the paper section of your Target store too? 

Good to know I'm not alone. 

Thank you all for reading my blog.  It makes me immeasurably happy.

P.S. A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to my friend Emily who won the Pottery Barn Kids/PBS Kids Book Nook challenge!  Her nook was super cute and creative- check it out HERE

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Nice Little Earner For Barclays

Barclays has decided to start selling on data from its customers to other companies.

The Telegraph reports that Barclays has told savers that it intends to package together "information about the transactions on your account" with data on groups of other customers to compile reports on spending trends across Britain. This could then be passed on other companies or Government departments.

In addition to these changes, which will take effect in the autumn, Barclays will also start tracking customers through their mobile phones or other "devices" allegedly to help protect them from fraud. If a payment is made in a certain country, Barclays will "ping" the customer's mobile number to check if the phone is in that country.

Barclays claims that any customer data it sells would never be sold on in such a way that an individual customers was "identifiable".

Everyone happy with this?

If not, aside from closing your account, there's not much you can do about it; as Barclays is only allowing you to opt out of having your mobile tracked.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Celebrating the Women in Our Lives

Hi friends! I hope your weekend was filled with fun summery things.  Today, I'm excited to share a "female friendly" post to celebrate the women in our lives who've helped shape the people we are today.  When I was asked to share a word of wisdom from an influential female in my life I knew just who to pick- my superhuman Grandma Nola.  

Grandma Nola is a force to be reckoned with, feisty with firey red hair, a beautiful spirit for truly helping other people (I'm talking sponsoring entire families not related to her), and cooks the best-tasting homemade meals with love.  She grew up on a farm and can sew with the best of em, and will find a solution to any medical problem you're having after researching all on her own.  She is fiercely independent and always encourages women to get an education and live life on their own terms.  She's Facebook, Internet, and email savvy too! She also happens to read this blog everyday so I know she'll get a kick out of this post. 

    me // mom // grandma Nola (2004- law school graduation)                        baby brother // grandma Nola 

The words of wisdom that Grandma Nola instilled in me from a very young age are

As women especially, we can easily forget this simple sentiment as we go about our lives raising kids, keeping house, and taking care of everyone BUT us or put ourselves way at the bottom of our "lists".  My Grandma reminds me that it's important, essential really, to take care of YOU.  It's not selfish to call a YOU-time out and get some much needed rest or give yourself permission to let others give a helping hand.  Since we don't live close, I still receive handwritten letters that are always signed, "take care of you" and I'll always remember that advice. 

In the comments section, I'd love to hear the about an influential woman in your life and the words of wisdom she's shared with you. 

* * * * * 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Greece Stares Into the Abyss Again

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is preparing to suspend aid payments to Greece by the end of next month unless eurozone leaders plug a €3bn-€4bn shortfall that has opened up in Greece’s €172bn rescue programme, according to a report in the FT.

The shortfall has arisen as a result of a decision by  eurozone central banks not to roll over Greek bonds they hold, and comes amid signs that even the scaled-back privatisation plan Athens agreed to last year is falling behind schedule.

There is still a chance for Greece to receive the next tranche of aid if it manages to reach a deal with the troika before the end of June. However, the coalition government in Greece is on the verge of collapse as a result of its failure to internally agree on how to resolve the crisis caused by the decision to close the state broadcaster.

As ever with bailouts, they are not solutions but merely vehicles for kicking the can down the round and buying time for the incumbent government to resolve the original crisis. In Greece's case there may well soon be no government to hold talks or resolve the crisis.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blogging & Social Media

In just a couple of months, Cassie (Hi Sugarplum), Courtney (A Thoughtful Place), and Carmel (Our Fifth House) will be talking about blogging and Social Media at the Haven blog conference.  As we prepare, I wanted to reach out to YOU (who better to ask?!) and find out what forms of social media you like best (and worst) and what questions you have about how to use social media.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I love Pinterest and Instagram (@honeywerehome), have started to become more active on Facebook, but Twitter kinda overwhelms me.   What about you?  If you are a reader or blogger, I'd love to hear from you! I just recently figured out how to link my Twitter and FB accounts, but I like to keep Pinterest separate for fear of bombarding FB/Twitter with my many daily pins!  Because I really enjoy Pinterest and Instagram, I'm most active there but I wonder if any of you are really reading tweets/tweeting.  I feel like so many people are on Twitter that my tweets would just get "lost" in feed- does that make sense?  

Tell me what you think in the comments if you get a chance. 

* * * * * 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Organizing & Cleaning Tips from the I Heart Organizing Team

Thank you so much for the kind words on how James' book nook turned out!  I finally got a chance to see what everyone else came up with and I must say there are some pretty lucky kids out there with very creative mamas!  You can vote daily until June 23, 2013 and the winning blogger gets to give one of her readers a $500 gift card to Pottery Barn!  

* * * * * 

If you're looking for answers to some of your most asked organizing/cleaning questions head on over to I Heart Organizing to see the I Heart Team's Answers.  We tackled everything from our favorite organizing products, how we organize our kid's art supplies, our organizing/cleaning routine (including laundry, and counter clutter)!

Photo Credit // I Heart Organizing Contributors

p.s. working on the blog's technical issues today! :/

* * * * * 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pottery Barn Kids & PBS Kids Reading Nook Challenge (Vote to Win $500 to Pottery Barn)

Hi friends! As a huge fan of Pottery Barn Kids and PBS Kids, I was delighted to join in a Reading Nook challenge where I was asked to create an inviting kid-friendly space in my home with Pottery Barn Kids goodies.  Five other bloggers are participating also and YOU get to vote on the Book Nook you like best.  The blogger who created the winning space will get to give one of her readers a $500 gift card to Pottery Barn.  I hope y'all like what I've created and that one of YOU wins the gift card!  You can cast your vote on Pottery Barn's new blog, Building Blocks.

I found lots of inspiration for my design via Pinterest and created an inspiration board you can find HERE.  The products I chose to work with are pictured below:

You might remember that, just before the challenge began, James' room looked like this (after clearing out most of the furniture):

And after incorporating the items from Pottery Barn Kids, he now has a perfect little reading nook to call his own.  

The inspiration for the reading nook began with the blue and white stripe Rugby Play Tent Canopy.  Not only is it a super-cool place for a kid to hide away for some reading time, it makes a bold statement in the room.  It's made of durable polyester and is really sturdy.  We hung it from the ceiling with a small hook.  

A Dr. Seuss quote fits well with the space and is framed just outside the canopy.  I simply printed it from my computer.  Instant, inexpensive art! 

For cozy seating, inside the canopy is the Red Madras Anywhere Beanbag.  James is about 3 feet tall and fits this chair perfectly with room to grow.  The Chenille Jute Stripe Border Rug ties it all together and is really soft.

I added some pieces from our own house to the nook as well.  We are fortunate to have an old (vintage??) red wagon that belonged to James' dad as a kid that is still in pretty good shape for being over 30 years old. After a good washing, it doubles really well as added book storage.  

The big star bucket holds extra pillows and blankets for super cozy-time inside the canopy.  

I liked how the star bucket mimicked the awesome glow-in-the-dark star decals we put on the ceiling.  They really do light up the ceiling like the night sky when the lights are out!

Opposite the canopy is the Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase in white.  I'm so pleased with the quality of this furniture- it has a sold wood frame and was easily assembled in about 20 minutes.  I like to keep books as well as colorful decorative objects in the bookcase for added visual interest. 

On display is part of James' favorite train set from his Great Grandma on top along with the Solid Task lamp in red.  

The bookcase holds lots of books and I included a wire basket that can easily corral the smaller board books.  Making a label that James can "read" was easy with computer clip art and a laminating machine.  It also makes clean up easy since James knows exactly where the small books belong.

I adore this Dalmatian bookend.  It's surprisingly solid and keeps the books upright. So cute!

The Galvanized Magnetic boards are perfect for showcasing James' current art projects and I love how doubling them up increases the impact in the room.  The "GROW" sign is meant for a garden, but I thought it was completely cute and appropriate for a child's room.  

As you can see, James loves his little nook and "reads" in it everyday.  He even watches his PBS Kids shows on the iPad in there. We especially love Super Why and I swear it has given him a head start on learning to read.  I hear the catchy ABC song in my head as I type . . . 

Now for the fun part, YOU get to vote on which blogger's Book Nook you like best.  The winning blogger will be giving away a $500 Pottery Barn gift card to one of her readers! You can vote once a day until June 23, 2013.  Thanks! :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Heart Michael Kors

My crush on Mr. Kors is pretty obvious and his summery collection of tan leather heels and wedges are perfection- he really nailed the color. I've been looking for a two-tone watch for awhile now and this one is simple and pretty.  May have to indulge- after Father's Day, of course.  Hope all the Dads have a great Father's Day this weekend! 

The Brayson Sandal makes me so tall (and I need all the help I can get)- but they are actually really comfy and easy to walk in. 

* * * * *