Archive | SFAS RSS feed for this section

Happy Weekend!

15 Jul
Image from Nadja Seale via Pinterest
What are your plans for the weekend? I want to be this girl. So beautiful and carefree…
Don’t forget to watch Secrets from a Stylist tomorrow at 8:30pm on HGTV! Did you watch last week? Emily did her first bedroom and it was awesome. I’m in love with the headboard she used for the first look – it was a huge slice of tree – but she said it was $1,100!! Needless to say, they had to switch it out for a more affordable option for the final look. This week the show changes to just one look and I’m excited to see the new format!
Since so many of you commented last week that you like posts about design (and I’ve sort of hit a wall in that department), I thought I’d tell you a little bit about some of my favorite design blogs so you can do a little browsing this weekend!
Design Sponge – if you don’t already know about this site, you’ve been missing out. They post several times a day and have the best inspiration around for designing the perfect rooms. They also have posts on flowers, food, and DIY projects. My dream is to be featured as one of their before and afters!
With Two Cats – Lauren also blogs for Spearmint Baby and her adorable little girl Violet has one of my favorite nurseries. She makes the most beautiful inspiration boards for her readers and I love her fresh perspective.
Moggit – While this might not be the site to gather inspiration for your own home, it is hilarious and Joy and Janet come up with the funniest commentary for the strange items they find.
Style by Emily Henderson – As host of Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV, Emily is a designer like no other. She has a knack for mixing vintage thrift store finds with more contemporary pieces to create a collected, lived-in look. Watch her show and then check her blog where she spills even more secrets and resources.
Young House Love – You have to check out this blog by John and Sherry featuring their adorable daughter Clara and cuddly pup Burger. They are all about the DIY and I learn so much from them every week.
Design Mom – Gabrielle Blair has six kids and a husband and moved them all to France for the year. She throws the most beautiful parties and her kids make the most creative Christmas presents for each other every year. Not to mention she shares her great eye for design for the home and more!
Anna White – Anna is known for her catalog-quality furniture plans, but more than that, she is now building a duplex for her mother and mother-in-law! I am amazed at her mad skills.
Lay Baby Lay – First, check out little Vivian’s nursery. Fall in love. Then, subscribe to the blog for a regular dose of super cute inspiration boards for the coolest nurseries ever. You won’t be disappointed!
Spearmint Decor – I honestly don’t know how Shari does it! She has five fabulous blogs that she updates regularly (Spearmint Baby, Decor, Kitchen, Weddings, and Money), she has little kids, AND she’s super fit and adorable. I want to be her when I grow up.
I hope you get a chance to check out these amazing blogs and if you do, let me know which are your favorites! If there is an awesome design blog that I missed, tell me about it and I’ll check it out!

SFAS Season Two

9 Jul

Hey there! I just wanted to let you all know that season two of Secrets from a Stylist with Emily Henderson on HGTV premieres tonight at 8:30pm (7:30 CST). If you have DirecTV like I do, you can watch it with the East Coast at 5:30pm. Please set your DVRs and watch! There are some big changes this season and my neighbors are on one of the episodes. I think she might have wallpapered their ceiling…

Watch it people! It is really important that you watch and tell your friends and family to watch so SFAS can be renewed for a third season. Emily is awesome and deserves to stay on the air, so let’s do this!

Distractions are Divine

25 May
Read all of my Spearmint Baby posts here.
After the holidays, we had an amazing distraction to get us through the first part of the year. We were selected to be on a new show on HGTV called Secrets from a Stylist with Design Star winner Emily Henderson. You can watch our episode, titled Mantique Minimalism, here.
Our living/dining room before:

And after:
Photos by Laure Joliet. See more here.
The anticipation of filming was the perfect thing to get me through all the worries I had about getting pregnant. I just sort of ignored it for a while. I got my period in December with the help of Provera, but didn’t get it again for two months. Then, in March, I got my period all by myself. I have never in my life been so excited to get my period. My husband and I jumped up and down in the kitchen, that’s how excited we were to see Aunt Flo.
We decided that we would start clomid in April and we were hopeful that this would be our year. Then, I got some terrible news. I received a RIF or reduction in force letter that said I would be laid off at the end of the school year. I was also RIFed two years ago, but it was rescinded right before the end of the year and I was able to keep my job. However, this time my school’s enrollment was projected to decrease, so even if the RIF was rescinded, I would not be able to stay at my school and could be placed anywhere in the district. Even though I’ve worked for the district for four years, I still have the lowest seniority in my subject area because they have laid off everyone below me.
So, I began the job search. In addition to teaching full time, everyday after work I went to as many schools as I could to submit my cover letter and resume. I had a couple of good leads and was ready to interview and land a job.
We wavered back and forth trying to decide whether or not to move forward with our plan to start clomid. I felt kind of stupid trying for a baby when I wasn’t sure if I would have a job after June. At the same time, we felt like if we waited, we’d never make any progress in the baby-making direction.
After discussing it with my therapist, she advised that we see the job situation and the baby situation as two separate issues. She told me not to think of one as dependent on the other and to make a decision on the baby thing without thinking about the job thing. So, with that in mind, we decided to move forward with clomid in April!

Silhouettes for Mom

10 May

When my mom saw Emily Henderson make silhouettes for one of the episodes of Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV, she gushed about how cool it was. I remembered that and decided to make some for her for Mother’s Day. Here’s how:

First, I took pictures of my stepdad and brother in profile. I didn’t want my mom to know, so I found a picture I had taken a couple of moths ago where she was in profile and cropped it. I printed them in 8 x 10, but they could have been smaller for the frame I had.

Then, I put the photo over black cardstock – I actually stapled the photo to the cardstock in areas that I knew wouldn’t be part of the final silhouette.

Here are all of the silhouettes ready to be mounted!

I used double sided tape mounting squares to stick the silhouettes on white cardstock.

I had to make sure that the bottoms were all the same distance up or they would look strange all lined up.

Since the paper was 8 1/2 x 11 and the frame was 8 x 10, I put the glass over the cardstock and traced it with pencil so I could trim the excess.

And finished! I actually already had these frames in my collection, so the project was basically free. I know my mom doesn’t mind. It’s the thought that counts and I’m getting laid off while trying to get pregnant. HA… cracks me up.

So cute!! Ok, so if I could do it all over again, I would make the silhouettes smaller and use white frames with white matting like Emily did. I might redo this project if I find some extra cash to buy new frames. I just couldn’t justify it as I have 462 frames sitting in our guest bedroom. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but I do have a TON of them.

I think she liked it and it was so fun to see how much the silhouettes looked like them!

When was the last time you made something for your mom for Mother’s Day?

>SFAS Recap: The Details

10 Apr

>Did you watch last night’s episode of Secrets from a Stylist? I loved it!

There are quite a few things that didn’t make it into the story for our episode. They edited out the parts where we talked about the camera collection, but it is one of our favorite things that Emily did for us.

Photo by Laure Joliet
My husband had a few cameras already displayed in the office, but she got him more and really completed the collection. I love that they face you as you sit on the couch watching TV. It has a cool mirror-in-a-mirror quality.
Emily didn’t know it, but the stump side table has a lot of meaning for us as well.
Photo by Laure Joliet
Our wedding was at my husband’s parents’ house. They have a 10 acre ranch covered in oak trees and big rocks. The theme of our wedding became the oak tree and we used slices of them throughout the decor: on the tables, under the cake, etc. I’ve always wanted a stump like this and it works so beautifully in the room.
As for the best part of the whole room? The part that almost made me cry when I saw it in the first reveal (of course, they cut that out because it didn’t go with the whole we-were-so-pissed-off thing)?
Photo by Laure Joliet
This tree is a drawing by my mother-in-law. We used it on all of our wedding stationery – invitations, seating cards, reply cards, programs, etc. Last year, she had the original framed for us, but I’ve always wanted it blown up huge for the living room. It it a symbol of our love for each other. 
Photo by Laure Joliet
You see, this is a real tree on my in-law’s property. If you walk to the other side of it, you can see that it is actually two trees growing into one (just like us).
I’ve always known that it’s the details that make something special. The details of our room really make it stand out as ours and I love seeing all these reminders of our passions everyday.
This concludes the recaps! Did you miss something?

>SFAS Recap: Final Look

8 Apr

>Our episode is online!! Watch it HERE.

When we came in for the final reveal, the room felt like a breath of fresh air…

 photo by Laure Joilet

So amazingly beautiful!! The chair rail and the white on the bottom half of the wall made the room feel so much larger. The curtains made it feel breezy and fresh and the valences were so unique.

  photo by Laure Joilet

The wooden furniture felt so much more “us” than all the white. The new chandelier was so simple and lovely and the candlesticks were the perfect mix of modern and rustic.

  photo by Laure Joilet
LOVE the bar cart. That print is one of my favorites! I commented on Emily’s blog post about it forever ago and she noticed and got it for us! Super cool.

photo by Laure Joilet
My husband is sort of a camera buff, so the collection was all for him. I love it so much, too, though! These accessories I love because they mean something. The thinker bookends are kind of random, but I still like them. And I love that she displayed a bunch of my art history books from college because they were expensive and filled with such beautiful pictures.

The couch is so comfy and SO dog friendly!! Stains wipe right off with water. We’ve tested it several times, believe me. With two dogs, one of which is only 9 months old, messes are unavoidable in our house.

We were so happy that the other members of our family, Jackson and Ruby, could join us for the last few minutes of filming. Thank you SO much to Laura and Scott for helping us out with the little rascals that day!
Awwww Ruby got a close-up!! What a love.
Stay tuned for some more details from the room!
Did you miss something?

>SFAS Recap: Look One

6 Apr

>Was it really that awkward? Yes, yes it was.

Here’s what we left our house looking like…

And here’s what it looked like when we came back…

And here’s our reaction…

I looked like I was trying to hide behind my husband!

Here’s what was going through my mind:

  • Wow, the walls are dark (and smooth – yay!) and all the furniture is white.
  • Bummer, they didn’t smooth or paint the entryway.
  • Ummm… they switched the rooms! Wait, I’m not sure if I’m ok with that.
  • Where’s the TV?
  • Our TREE!!!!! YAY!!!! Makes me want to cry, but…
  • There’s so much stuff everywhere! Stuff makes me anxious.
  • Oh, yeah, I’m being filmed. I should smile!
And when that much stuff is going through my little pea brain, I tend to not be able to talk. Before we went inside, they kept telling us that the worst thing we could do was to not say anything and at that moment, I couldn’t find any words.

When I said that I couldn’t imagine us living there, I meant that I couldn’t imagine our day to day life on the other side of the room by the windows. When we left, I told my husband we were switching the rooms back. We had planned to eventually open up the kitchen to the dining area and I thought that this new arrangement wouldn’t allow for that. I was worried about the hole in the ceiling from the chandelier on the wrong side of the room and I was sad we didn’t get the fireplace or entryway like we thought we would. However, at dinner that night, my husband convinced me that we should live with the room however it was for three months without changing anything.

Poor guy! They kept cutting away to this shot, making it seem like he was super angry. We realized while watching that this was probably during one of those times when we were waiting for something to happen and didn’t really realize the cameras were even rolling. He wasn’t even that upset! He didn’t like it, but I was way more freaked out by all the change than he was.
I thought Emily was mad at us. I emailed her that night and apologized for being so freaked out and she was really nice, but I definitely got the feeling that she wasn’t happy with how we reacted. I suppose we should have said something like “it’s really nice, but not for us,” but honestly? We didn’t like it for anyone. But does that mean we think Emily is a bad designer? NO WAY! She’s amazing!!! We’re just not that cool and don’t always “get” good design, you know?
Up next, the final reveal! I’ve got some amazing photos to share with you…

>SFAS Recap: Style Diagnostic

5 Apr

>Wowsers, this part was wayyyyyy different after all that editing.

Hold on. Stop blogging. Reality TV is edited??? It isn’t 100% real? Whaaaaaaaaaat? Ha. Yeah.

First, she asks us the questions and we answer. Then, the second unit (secondary camera that is a little less important than the main one) takes close ups of us pointing to things and holding things up. Even though we’re pointing and holding while we talk, we do all the pointing and holding a second time so they can get close-ups of everything.

Let’s talk sweaters.

During this clip, you hear me say, “I like this one” and you see me holding up this sweater, but you don’t see me talking and holding it up in the same frame. Then you hear Emily say, “Why do you like it?” and I reply, “I like the color,” but you don’t see our faces, just me from my chest down holding the sweater. I actually hated this sweater. I picked a royal blue one (hence the whole color comment – why would I say I like that oatmeal color?) with pearl buttons. BUT, Emily thought I was going to pick this one, so they edited it to make it seem like I did. Those tricksters…

I actually liked one of the men’s sweaters the best. It was grey with white stripes. Very clean and minimal and cool. I pulled that one out at one point, but they didn’t show it.

They also cut out a question she asked us about what hotel we’d most like to stay in and why. I didn’t answer that one how she expected either, which explains why they cut it.

Here we are when she said that my husband’s style was “Mantique Minimalism” hahahahaha…

The sad part about this was that when she first said it, we all laughed hysterically, then they had to stop us because her mic had fallen down under her dress and they couldn’t hear anything she’d said. We had to re-do the whole thing and it wasn’t as funny the second time around.

Oh, also, the house where we filmed this was this amazing place in the Hollywood Hills with breath-taking views, but the AC didn’t work very well and it was probably 115 degrees in that room with those lights on us. It was HOT. I kept asking if my face was red (those of you who know me know my face gets red very easily), but I’m happy to say it looked fine on TV. Whew. Crisis averted.

Did you miss something?
SFAS Recap: Before
SFAS Recap: Here we go…

Stay tuned for my recap of the first reveal!!

>SFAS Recap: Before

3 Apr

>**SFAS = Secrets from a Stylist. On HGTV. Watch it, people.**

Last night, we watched the show at home with our families. We ate pizza and salad and drank champagne to take the edge off of seeing ourselves on TV. When it was over, I, for one, was relieved! I thought it was a great episode and it was pretty funny!

For the “before” segment, Mike said he liked things that were old and worn and rustic. We pointed out that our old-looking (Target) phone wasn’t even plugged in (it used to be, but we never used the phone line, so we got rid of it to save money).

It was pretty funny how Emily and I both wore red dresses, though mine is more of a pink-ish color, and lots of people said that we looked like sisters (I’m flattered).

I said that I don’t like a lot of stuff, meaning that I like things to be really uncluttered and bare. At our meeting back in October, I said I liked “modern, but not too modern” and I guess I meant that I like clean lines an not much clutter, but nothing too crazy-out-of-the-box.

I said in the interviews (those times when we’re talking to the director who is sitting right next to the camera) that I’m weird about jewelry and I won’t wear a necklace if I’m wearing earrings and I won’t wear a bracelet or watch on the same hand as my wedding ring. I really don’t like a lot of stuff everywhere, which Emily said was the hardest part for her because she does. She admitted (though they cut it out) that it was hard for her to edit the first look to make it truly minimalist.

After this, we went to the studio space in the Hollywood Hills to film the Style Diagnostic. Stay tuned!! They edited this part like crazy!!

>SFAS Recap: Here we go…

3 Apr

>When you’re on TV, people are going to hate you. I knew that, but I sort of forgot that I would see their comments on facebook, twitter, and the blogs. I’m pretty sensitive, so it is hard for me to take, but I use this blog as a means of therapy, so let’s talk it out, people.

Back in October, Emily came over to talk style with us. Initially, we applied for our master bedroom to be styled, but Emily thought our living/dining room needed more help. As her assistant measured the room, my husband and I went through magazines and flagged pictures that we liked. At one point during our conversation, Emily said that she would love to open up the wall between our kitchen and dining room. We were SO excited about this as it has been something we have wanted to do since we bought the house. She said she’d have to check with the producers and she’d let us know. I asked her about it again a month or two later and she said that it was a possibility, but probably wouldn’t happen. We also told her that we had been wanting to put in an electric fireplace and while she didn’t say, “Yes, you will for sure get one,” I felt, from her reaction, that we would. Lastly, she said that they would definitely do the entryway. She was very positive about that one.

Ok, now I love Emily. I’m probably her biggest fan. I think she is adorable and nice and real and so so good at what she does. When we had our meeting, she hadn’t filmed any of the episodes for the show yet, except her one special with her friend, Ian. She knew that there wasn’t supposed to be any major renovation, but she  didn’t know exactly where they’d draw the line. She also didn’t know that I’m pretty obsessive about planning and thinking through things and that I would convince myself that they were going to completely renovate our kitchen, as well. Oops. My bad.

The week of filming begins and we are kicked out of our house to sleep on an air mattress at my parents’ house. When we came back for the first day of filming, our house was not ours anymore. It was a set. We weren’t allowed to go into some of the rooms and had to ask permission to go to the bathroom. As soon as our part of filming was over, we had to leave because they had to start working right away. This was my first realization that this was not about us, it was all about TV. Yes, we are lucky and so very grateful, but they are making money off of us, too, right? They gave us free stuff, used our home at a set, didn’t pay actors, didn’t pay writers… there is a reason why reality TV is so popular. It is cheap and juicy. Ew…

Now that you have some background, next I’ll tell you about the style diagnostic and the reveals.

And did I mention how incredibly grateful we are? Well, we are. And we love Emily. And HGTV. And Tricon Films.