Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Planner!!!!!

I've been looking for a 6-ring binder planner for a long time, and to be honest I had seen quite a few nice ones, but I always chickened out as soon as I saw the price tag. Fifty or more euros for a planner?? You have got to be kidding!!

Before the school year starts, I start browsing planners for the following year. However, this year, with my work experience keeping me busy this summer, it totally skipped my mind...until I finished my planner. I usually buy an academic-year planner, which goes from September one year to July/August the next, so naturally, mine was up before the end of August. I have to admit, I kind of started to panic. Me with no planner?!

After searching a few different websites, I decided to order from Collins Debden's online store (since they do ship overseas). I found this great teal planner, personal size for 24 pounds (32 euros) which wasn't bad considering most planners I had seen cost double or more.
After waiting two long's finally here!!!!!!!!!!!

It came with a week-to-view 2015 refill, card holder, personal reminder page, today ruler, 10 sheets notes pages, 10 sheets meetings pages (probably won't use these), 10 sheets finance pages, 10 sheets address, A-Z tabs and dividers. Pretty neat, ey? 

Of course, I've already started to personalize it. Check out the post-it's in the front pocket =P

As I said, my last planner only had pages until mid-August and my new planner has a 2015 refill (starting in January), so I made some quick and simple pages on Word that I'll be sharing in a future post very soon. 

With everything going digital these days, I wasn't sure if I'd need a telephone/address section, but now that I think of it, what if I lose my phone? Or it's out of battery? Sometimes it good to have it all on paper. So these tabs will come in handy!

I'm going to keep updating this planner; I'd like to add some monthly inserts, change the meetings section to "blog" and other whatnots that I'll be sharing with you here. 

I'm crazy in love with this planner but I'd like to know more about yours. What planner do you use? How do you keep it organized? What sections do you have? Do you buy or DIY your inserts? Please share in the comments below!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adding A Little Art

Since all the walls had been painted (well, almost all the walls), the next step was to think about was hanging things up on them. You know, make it pretty.

We have a little tradition going on and whenever we go somewhere new, be it a country or a town, we stop by a souvenir shop and buy a postcard. We had a few stored away and I thought it would be a fun idea to put them in matching frames and hang them on the same wall. So that's what we did.

Before making holes all over the wall to get it right, we cut out pieces of paper the same size as the frames and played around with them on the wall until we were happy with the layout.

We should have used a different coloured paper, that stands out against the wall. Oh well, we'll do better next time! Maybe with this picture you'll see the layout better (this is what Picassa says this photo should look like): 

The next trick I used helps minimize the damage done to the wall and is a lot easier to fix if you make a mistake. Since the frames weren't very heavy I marked a hole in the top center of each piece of paper and used a small hammer to push a pin into the wall (careful not to bend the pin!!). 

These holes are a lot smaller than nails or hooks and will be a lot easier to fill in with a little paint. You'll be surprised how much weight these will hold! 

All that was left was to pull off the paper and hang up the frames. Tah-dah!!!

What do you think?? 

Have you been playing around with frames? Are you excited about back to school? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rocking That Dining Table

When you finally move into a house you plan to stay in for a while, something amazing happens. People you know, such as parents and in-laws, start asking you if you need anything for your new home because they have X and Y they no longer use or need.

The truth is, over the last 5 years I've slowly bought most of the stuff I've needed, especially kitchen equipment and linens. However, one thing I hadn't thought a lot about, since I was previously renting, was furniture. All I had was a 20€ Ikea coffee table, a mattress and a box spring, and a desk. Not a lot, huh?

So when my dad offered me an old set of dining table and chairs it was sort of "Oh, yes, yes, please!". Wanna take a peek at the goods??

I was delighted to see the set worked together great with the curtains, and the chairs looked great with the floor. Love love love!!!

And that red plant (Guzmania) was a birthday gift from a friend from uni, that ties the red sofas in the room together (I'm planing to get cream/beige covers for those sofas). 

One thing that I loved about this hand me down is that it was better for both parts: my dad freed some space in his garage and I didn't have to spend a fortune on more furniture (there are other things I have had to buy). 

So if you're moving to a new house, before you buy anything, ask your family if there's anything they want to get rid of. Who knows? You might find a hidden treasure!! 

Have you been looking for furniture lately? What do you think of these pieces? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Making a Terranium

Hello everybody!!!!! How is your week going??

I'm here with a really simple DIY project that I've been dying to try for a while now: a mini-terranium!!

While we were shopping for stuff for the house, I saw these two little cuties and thought they'd be perfect for a small fish bowl I bought a few months ago (with this project in mind). It turns out one of them was too tall for my tiny bowl but it turned out fine with just one plant.

When I picked out the plants I also picked up a pack of small white pebbles to cover the bottom of my fish bowl, like so:

I would have liked to have some moss to put in as well, but I'm finding it difficult to buy some, so I just covered the pebbles with some soil. I then carefully took the succulent out of the pot and placed it in a hole I previously made in the soil. Pat it down and voilà!

Decorate with a few more white pebbles (optional). 

So pretty!!! This little plant is now chilling on my coffee table, next to a rope-covered tin on my chevron tray!! 

What have you been making this weekend? Are you making the most of your last 2 weeks of summer? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Window Treatments

Curtains make a huge difference when it comes to turning a house into a home. They make a room feel like a ROOM. Our living room was the first to get this awesome upgrade!

Since we'd painted everything white for the moment we decided to go for darker curtains. To be honest I was thinking along the lines of something beige or light brown but when I saw these brown babies, and for only 8€ each!!, I had to had them. And if they didn't suit the room I could always change them.

But there was no need to change anything because they were perfect. It's true they make the room a little smaller (because of the darker shade and all) but I like to think they also make the room cosier. What do you think?

Let's take a look at a before and after shot.

Nice difference, huh?

We also need some curtains in the study and the guest room. We have some light white curtains for the bedroom, nice and airy for the summer.

We need some curtains for the study, that FYI, hasn't been painted yet. Any thoughts on the subject?? Please share in the comments below!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Make That Grout Sparkle!

I don't know if you noticed the floors in any of the before pictures, but the previous tenants couldn't have cared less about them. To say they were dirty is an understatement. Let me show you the colour of the grout on the kitchen floor:

It's black! Better said, WAS black. Because I got down on my hands and knees, old school-style, with my spray bottle with all-purpose cleaner and a bristle brush. Just keep scrubbing, just keep scrubbing, just keep scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing.

We did the same in the rest of the rooms and I have to say it's a big difference. This is the bathroom before pic:

Now the floor actually looks clean!!

Anyone else been doing any deep cleaning?? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Slapping that Paint On

After giving the house a good deep clean, those walls seriously needed a coat or two of paint. We went for white but maybe we'll change some of the rooms in the future.

One of the things I've noticed in Spanish houses is that they love their gotelé (popcorn walls and ceilings). It's great if you want to cover up wall imperfections but it can be a real pain to clean and paint (you need a special fluffy roller to get the job done right). Add to that the fact that gotelé tends to peel and fall off after about a decade and you get an awesomely frustrating day!

This had begun to happen in the living room and the bedroom, so first things first we used a metal spatula to peel off as much of the previous paint that was beginning to fall off.

Once this was done, we proceeded to paint-proof the rest of the room with painters tape, making sure to cover all the trimming, the windows, the outlets...

When it comes to the actual painting, I prefer painting the ceiling first, especially if the walls are going to be a different colour. That was if the paint drips on the walls, you won't see it after you paint them.

After the ceiling, come the walls, being careful not to paint beyond the tape. And last, but not leat, using a small brush, finish the edges.

At the moment the white is still looking a little plain, but like I said, we might switch it up to a hardcore cream in the future =P

Who else has been painting this week? Or maybe you've been out in the garden enjoying the sun! I'd love to hear what you've been up to!! Please share in the comments below!