this and that

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The kids are now both back in school!  Izzy started last week and Sam this week.

She stuck to the same story as last year, wanting to be a bunny vet when she grows up.  She's still obsessed with them.  They're a few of them that hang out in our front flower beds.  We've told her that if she can catch one, it's hers.  We thought that would get us out of doing the pet bunny thing.  We might be eating those words because this girl got too close once.

I don't think I ever realized how much the kids look a like until I saw the above picture of Izzy in Preschool compared to the one below of Sam.  Wow.

Sam has also stuck to the same answer when asked what he wants to be when he grows up.  It just got a lot more descriptive and grown up.  Last year it was simply, "Drive trains"!  He is becoming his own little man and knows what he wants.  Just like how he knew he didn't want to wear the cool outfit mommy sat out for his first day of school.  "No.  I don't want to wear THOSE.  I want to wear these shorts and this little shirt."  My days of getting him in a button up shirt for church are even over.  

I think we all got tired of not having a routine during summer.  Doesn't help when it's too hot to play outside or hit up the pool.  They are both so happy to be back and hanging out with their buddies.


So, last week it was just Sam and I and we popped into Homegoods.  I'm usually really good about having the strength to leave empty handed.  Not this time.  This time I spotted a huge round wooden mirror.  Exactly what I have been wanting for years for the dining room.  I did the casual saunter over as to not attract attention all while screaming with excitement in my head and evil eyeing anyone who might possibly be interested in the mirror.  $150.  Deal!!!  Not a sales person was in sight and I didn't want to risk walking away to find help only to return and have it be gone.  So, I lugged that beast behind me like a dead body while pushing Sam in the cart.  Two steps forward, drag.  Two steps forward, drag.  You do what you have to for a good find.

I got it home and started worrying it wasn't going to work.  My concern was that it was a different wood tone from the table.  Then there's the gray painted chairs, black piano, and dark brown floors.  Not that I think everything should match, but I was worried there was too much going on.

How my mind works:  Toss (not the best word to use given how heavy it was) it up in the packaging to see if it's even an option.

Obviously I can't tell from this, so I've got to take it out of the packaging.  Back is starting to hurt.

The dark drapes are now killing me.  Despite this room having large windows and high ceilings, it's sooooo dark.  Charcoal drapes have to go.  I put up one panel from the kitchen to see what it would look like.  This was the photo I posted to Instagram asking for your help in deciding if it was a keeper.  

You all are enablers.  I ended up keeping it and decided on white curtains.  I may have ten different wood shades going on it here, but oh well.  The mirror is now hung, the old drapes are down, and I'm feeling better about this. 

But still praying this mirror doesn't fall off the wall despite the overkill wall anchoring.  It is no joke heavy.

I'll take some good pictures of the space when I get the sheets curtains hung.  Click here to see what I mean about the sheets.  I'm doing the same thing in here.

P.S.  If you're looking for this mirror and can't find it at your Homegoods, I found the same one at CB2, here!



And before I head off, I want to say thank you to POPSUGAR for including my DIY African Mudcloth Pillows in their roundup of DIY mudcloth!  Check out the story here!

DIY african mud cloth pillows

Thursday, August 25, 2016

You may remember I did some DIY African mudcloth inspired pillows for our living room.  You can check those out here.  Well, I am still loving them like crazy and decided to make some more using a different technique for our dining room.  They turned out pretty awesome!

SOURCES:  dining table // slipcovered head chairs // side chairs // chandelier // DIY refinished piano // mirror - antique (painted in Annie Sloan Pure White) // DIY framed botanicals // no-sew skirted table // antique dough bowl - Round Top (similar here and here) // glass vases // drapes // bamboo blinds 


How to do it!

  • Fabric - I used a heavy black linen fabric from JoAnn's for the front and scrap painter's drop cloth for the back.   
  • White DecoFabric paint marker - Found at craft stores or on Amazon here.  I used a full paint marker and part of a second for these two pillows.
  • Sewing machine, pins, and matching thread
  • Iron
  • Zipper (you can omit this if doing an envelope closure and just adjust your back piece accordingly)
STEP ONE:  Cut out your fabric pieces.  In addition to your normal seam allowance, add about an extra 4 inches to the height of the fabric for the front of the pillow only.  The added height for the front piece is because we will be sewing in pleats in the next step.  For example, my pillow was an 11x20 so the fabric piece I cut for the front was 15x21, and the back piece was 12x21.

STEP TWO:  Sew in pleats onto the front fabric piece.  For this part you will follow Step Two from my last DIY mud cloth tutorial.  I used the exact same method for sewing in pleats, except I ran my seams horizontal this time and spaced them 5 inches apart.  After you've sewn your pleats into place, you can trim down an excess fabric to match the size of your back pillow piece.

STEP THREE:  Use a photo of authentic mudcloth as inspiration for your pattern, or create your own, and start drawing out the design with the fabric paint marker.  The first pass with the marker won't be very opaque, but once it's dry go over it again making the lines on the design thicker.

STEP FOUR:  Once the paint is fully dry, place right sides of the front and back together and stitch in place, leaving an opening for your zipper at the bottom.   

For the zipper - I used a metal jeans zipper, but any zipper would look great.  If you've not sewn in a zipper before there are a ton of great tutorials and videos out there.  Find your favorite based on the type of zipper you're after.  I always fuddle my way through zippers so I'm doing you a favor by not including a tutorial from me on this :D

STEP FIVE:  Press your pillow so the seams are nice and crisp and insert your pillow insert.  I like down inserts.  You can get great prices on them at places like Tuesday Mornings.  They will absolutely up your pillow's game. 

And remember, if sewing isn't your thing, grab some pre-sewn pillow covers and add a paint pen design to those.  You options are limitless!  Now go enjoy your new mudcloth inspired pillows and buy yourself some new shoes with all that money you just saved!

For more DIY African Mudcloth Ideas, check out my first post!


arhaus living room design board

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sometimes I sit back and wonder what I would do if I started from scratch in my living room.  Ever do that?  

I've been a fan of Arhaus for a while.  The whole fam went into one of their gorgeous stores not too long ago and I drooled over everything.  Like most things, it's so much better in person.  Unfortunately I was snapped out of my dreamlike state when I when I noticed some commotion over where my husband and Sam were.  Apparently Sam managed to screw the lid off his thermos and spilled milk all over their floor.  Their staff was so incredibly kind about it, but you had better believe there was a moment where I thought about escaping and pretending I didn't know my husband or son :D

Any who, I thought it would be fun to create a design board based off my favorite Arhaus pieces and one of their sectional sofas.  I started with this perfect sectional and this gorgeous rug.  The rest of it quickly fell into place.  I would absolutely be happy in this room.  And that elephant art?  LOVE it.  But if you're not into elephants, this is a great alternative.

What's your favorite part?  I keep eyeing the media console since ours is beat to a pulp.  But that sectional (which I never thought I would say) seems dreamy.  Seriously, how amazing would it be to be able to lay out on the sofa and not have kids trying to sit where your legs are?  Mmmm... I'm daydreaming about it right now...

UPDATE:  I was just back over at their site and noticed they are having their Anniversary Sale - up to 40% off, and I checked out all of my picks from the design board and they're all on major league sale!!!


functional kid's room art with The Baby Cubby

Friday, August 12, 2016

Today I've partnered with The Baby Cubby to share with you a new piece of functional art I've recently added to Samuel's room.

Sam is getting to the age where he is starting to collect things that have meaning to him like his artwork or special pictures.  This Petal Lane famed magnetic board from The Baby Cubby is absolutely perfect for him and his room!  I like to think of it as art that can grow with your child.  It's beautiful all on its own so you can leave it empty during the nursery/early toddler years, and since it's magnetized it makes the perfect backdrop for holding special items they start to collect as they get older.


There are a ton of baby stores, but I'm impressed with how Baby Cubby is separating themselves from the herd.  Our family has exited the baby stage, but I still remember how difficult and time consuming researching baby products/gear was.  I'm convinced price shopping has taken 5 years off my life.  The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who get it, they know your time is precious and therefore they've done all of the research for you offering only the best and safest gear (check out their gear guide here).  They also price match, even Amazon, so you know you're getting the best deal.  And then there's free shipping everyday on orders over $49!

If you're near the Lindon, UT area you are in for a treat!  You can pull up into one of their "drive-up stalls" at their storefront and someone will come out to the car to place your order and then bring it out once it's ready!  That way you don't have to wake a sleeping one or go into a store with a cranky-didn't-take-a-nap one.  Someone's using their noggin' here!  But if you do make it out of the parking lot into the store they have a play area for the kids and a massage chair for you.  You can even check out and support local vendors in their pop-up shop.  

So they've got the baby gear thing down, but their decor game is also spot one.  And not just for the babies!  They have the sweetest decor items that are perfect for big kid rooms and playrooms.  I'm loving their Petal Lane pieces and could even see some of them in a grown up office space or kitchen command center.  Here are a few of my favorites:
SOURCES:  dream big // soar // map // love // be happy // good vibes // dinosaur // you're my favorite

Which is your favorite?  I was so close to going with that large "love"!  

Now through August 19th The Baby Cubby is offering readers 10% off their purchase with PROMO CODE: westermanfam10

Happy shopping, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Disclosure:  I was provided with the art shown in this post; however, all opinions are my own.

DIY slipcovered sleigh bed

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Thank you guys for your comments on my guest bedroom makeover!  Without a doubt, the biggest change in there came when I slipcovered the dark wood sleigh bed.  Total game changer.  This is a perfect way to help break up a matching bedroom set or to freshen up a bed you're not loving the style of anymore!

Here's how the bed started in the room.

This sleigh bed actually used to be in our master back in our Kansas home, and I wish I would have done this back then.  My husband loved it (it was his bachelor furniture), but I just never cared for it.  Mostly because it was part of a full up matching bedroom set and all of the dark brown furniture together was way too much.  While we have since broken up the matching side tables, there was still a lot of dark furniture in this room.   

Now, I don't have photos of the process because I was busting my rear to get it done in time before guests showed up, but I can still walk you through the process if you're looking to do something similar.  


You can obviously use whatever fabric you'd like, though a heavier weight fabric is ideal.  I used my favorite go-to fabric for slipcovers - painter's drop cloth from the hardware store.  It's the perfect weight, it's neutral, has a nice texture, and it's CHEAP.  For this queen sized sleigh bed I purchased two 9x12 drop cloths at about $20 each.  I had a lot leftover, but I needed the larger sizes so I would have enough large segments without running into seams (larger drop cloths are pieced together so you have to work around the seams).  

TIP: Wash and dry your fabric beforehand so you don't have shrinkage later. 


When making a slipcover, you always work inside out.  Keep that in mind when placing and pinning your fabric.  For the headboard and footboard, you are going to have one large piece of fabric that runs from the inside where the top of the side rails meet the headboard or footboard, up over and down the outside of the board to the floor.  You then will have two smaller pieces that will cover the sides of the headboard or footboard.  Its always best to give yourself plenty of seam allowance at this point.  Pin in place and cut off any large amounts of excess.  Use scissors to snip in towards the curved areas.  

TIP:  Once you've pinned the large center piece to the smaller side pieces, use a pencil to trace around the shape of the headboard or footboard.  This will give you an exact guide when sewing the pieces together.  I wanted to be able to see the inside curve of the headboard and footboard, but wanted the outside more straight, so I drew a straight line from the top of the headboard and footboard to the ground.

Once sewn together, turn right side out and check your fit.  At this point I decided to run a second seam on the outside of my first to give it a more finished look.  This part is totally up to you.  Next you place the slip back on the bed right side out, pin, and sew your hem in place.


Cut out a strip of fabric about 3" wider than the span of your side rails and about 5" taller than the top of the side rail to floor measurement.  Sew a hem along the bottom edge.  

Now, originally I was going to use the velcro where one side is sew through and the other is sticky back.  That way I could remove the side rail piece and wash if needed, but decided on an easier/quicker route since I didn't have velcro and was short on time.  I used a staple gun and stapled the side piece to the rail from the inside so no damage was done to the visible wood. 

For this part you're going to need to remove the mattress and box spring.  Lay the fabric right side out over the rail.  Start near the headboard, fold under 1.5" of the unfinished vertical side and staple into place from the inside of the rail.  Work your way down to the footboard making sure your bottom hem stays straight.  Once you reach the end, fold under the remaining length of the unfinished vertical side and staple.

You're done!  

You can check out the full bedroom makeover here!

For more slipcover ideas, check out my no sew slipcovered buffet and slipcovered nightstand.



If you haven't done so already, make sure you enter my JORD watch giveaway here!  Everyone who enters receives a $20 gift card!!!


JORD watch giveaway

Monday, August 8, 2016

I have been loving my JORD watch that I shared with you guys a couple of months ago so much that I have been wearing it almost every day!  

My husband has been pretty smitten with it as well so he was pretty excited when this showed up the other day.

Isn't it pretty!  Mike chose the 94A Series in Dark Sandalwood.  You can check out all of their men's watches here.  A lot of new styles have been added.  This particular watch is made out of Sandalwood from Mozambique.  All of their wood watches are made from sustainably harvested wood, have a scratch resistant glass face, and come with a 12 month warranty. 

I LOVE the look and feel of this watch.  It makes the jump from business dress to casual so easily.  Even though he had felt my watch before, he was still surprised by how incredibly lightweight they are.  When compared to his traditional metal band watch, he feels like he's not wearing anything.  A strange sensation at first, but certainly welcome in the summer heat!  

And since we took advantage of their free sizing, he was able to wear his new watch as soon as it arrived!  You just print off their measuring guide and order according to your measurement.

I feel like this watch perfectly suits Mike.  He's your classic man's man.  He loves worn leather, whiskey, his bird dog, and scented bubble baths.  Hehehehe.... But seriously, he does.  And I seriously  want his watch for myself.    

Ok, so if you have yet to try JORD for yourself you're gonna like this.  JORD is offering one lucky winner a $75.00 e-gift card towards any of their watches!!!  And that's not all, everyone who enters (except for the winner) will receive a $20 e-gift card that you can apply toward any watch on their site!  There are no losers here!  Use it for yourself or toward a unique gift for someone else.   

Giveaway details:  This contest runs 8/8/16 through 8/15/2016 at 11:59pm.   One winner will be chosen at random by JORD to receive a $75.00 e-gift card.  All others who enter will receive a $20.00 e-gift card.

Disclosure:  I was gifted this watch by JORD; however, all opinions are my own.


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