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Welcome to my dining room makeover reveal. For this makeover, I really wanted my dining room to have the same vibes as my living room, staircase and kitchen. I think I accomplished that. 

Dining Room: Before

Week 1 : Before Pics and the Plans

Week 2: Painting a Small Room

Week 3: Coordinating Rugs in Open Floor Plans

Week 4: MCM Inspired IKEA Besta Hack

Week 5: Didn’t happen. I was too exhausted from setting up my shop.

The Plans

The ceiling stencil didn’t happen.

Dining Room Makeover Reveal

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Despite the bright colors in the mood board, the room is a very relaxing and tranquil feeling. I’m keeping it pretty simple because I desperately need a peaceful environment right now.

I’ve been too busy to actually enjoy it, but it sure does make me happy when I walk through it, even if the rest of the house is trashed.

The table was a lucky vintage find at a thrift store. It was the kind of find that you swipe up before anyone else sees it. I bought a set of chairs from my friend, Cassie, and then bought another set to match.

The chandelier was found at an antique market in Sicily. I love it so much. The roses are hand-sculpted and have imperfect fingerprints in them.

The curtains were dyed and trimmed out to match my living room curtains. I love the bit of softness they add to the room.

I added cabinets to the room surrounding the French doors. Shelves will be eventually be added so that my dreams of a library can be fulfilled. For now, the cabinets add so much extra storage. 

I painted the cabinets to blend in with the walls. This helps my small room from feeling smaller. The box on top is my solution to the never-ending paper problem.

I repainted my china cabinet and sold it. It was replaced with an IKEA besta hack. This cabinet holds a ton of board games. In the winter, we hibernate and play games a lot.

The wallpaper panel was my solution to needing a piece of art crazy enough to compliment my cabinet.

I used a hoarded roll of the Opalhouse paper. This was the perfect use for 1 roll of paper. We love looking at the design and seeing weird, unintended designs.

I love how the chairs fit around the table. So far, my card game-playing son has no objections to the table, so I’m happy.

I never thought I would be a rug-in-the-dining-room type of person, but it adds so much warmth to the room. Gracie is also a fan.

Doesn’t everyone’s dog match their rooms?

Marble Lazy Susan (similar)

I’m so happy with my new dining room makeover, even if it isn’t finished 100% to completion.





Coral game cabinet (tutorial)

Cabinets (tutorial)

Curtains (tutorial)

Paint Color: SW Cooled Blue

Marble Lazy Susan

Wallpaper – Target

Clock (similar)

Artwork (vintage)

Big thanks to HANDy Paint company for providing me with products to paint with. I have a few weeks off in December and there are a few walls that I’m thinking about painting at that time.

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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

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June Dollhouse Therapy Challenge Reveal

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It’s the last Tuesday in June and that means that it’s time for the Dollhouse Therapy Challenge reveal! I am so excited to be co-hosting with Cassie, Alice, and Anu. We have worked hard these last 3 months to decorate our dollhouses. It’s been a fun experience and I was honored to be included with these talented ladies! 

We’ve come a long way! I started with a plain house that I built from plywood and primed.

Today, the house is all done and beautiful, if I must say so myself.

Front porch

The house received siding that I painted a dark navy blue, shingles, trim, a “stone” patio made from egg cartons, and a lovely Dutch door. I decorated the porch to make it feel homey.

 Tutorial Posts: How to Paint Dollhouse Roof

Roof Shingles

A sweet bistro table and chair set provide a nice place to sit and enjoy a cold beverage. I added a tiny piece of a fern that was growing in my backyard for the vase.

One of my favorite parts of this challenge is finding the tiniest plants possible to add to the pictures. I love mixing in real plants with fake ones.

A pink metal chair sits on the other side of the patio near a wagon that is filled with plants. Buoys and life rings provide decoration and a nod to the cabin feel of the dollhouse.

I made the buoys by carving wood pieces and painting them.

Plants flank each side of the door. I made the light fixture from a suction cup, wire, and a wooden round piece.

Dutch Door

The sides of the house received some landscaping with a sheet of grass. Garden growies add color and look like flowers.

The inside is completely finished now as well. Putting the house on a turntable makes it easy to work on both sides of the house! It’s going to make playing with both sides really easy for my daughter.


Attic Bunk Room

For the attic space, I wanted to create a bunk room for kids, so I added a false wall to create space for the built in beds. The beds, desk, and shelf are painted pink because it’s my daughter’s favorite color. This dollhouse will be going in her room, so I wanted to add a really special touch for her with the pink paint.

I used scrapbook paper for the wallpaper. I love how it’s modern, but it still has a vintage vibe as well. I made the wall hanging with yarn and wire. The bedding was made by splattering bleach on fabric. The slanted walls are planked with more wooden pieces that I painted white.

The desk area turned out so cute. Do you see that tiny pencil? It’s made from a bamboo skewer that I painted. The “M” paperweight is a bead. The pot is on the desk to hold more pencils. I bought the wire chair years ago from CB2 and I updated it with spraypaint and a pillow. Those tiny books have little blank pages in them! The box on the bottom shelf is a Trivial Pursuit game.

The tribal rugs are made from scrapbook paper. I loved the pattern too much, so I made the paper work. Everything is fair game in dollhouses. A paper rug in real life would be a disaster, but in a dollhouse, it works.

Faux fur rug

Another rug provides more playing space for the doll inhabitants.  The mini games are so cute.

Mini Dollhouse

Be sure to check out the final reveal for Cassie at Primitive and Proper, Anu at Nalle’s House, and Alice at Thoughts from Alice. They have been killing it every month!

Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

Netflix: The Savior Of Living Room Entertainment?

Netflix: The Savior of Living Room Entertainment?

As someone that loves watching television shows and movies, I’ve been a subscriber to Netflix’s streaming service since the beginning. At that point, it wasn’t the most robust service, but I didn’t really care — it delivered enough entertainment value to make me happy.

But 2010 has been a great year for Netflix’s streaming service. Aside from adding every season of major hits, like Family Guy and The Office, the company’s offering has also added a slew of movies that make it one of the most compelling services in the space.

It also helps that the service is available on a variety of devices, ranging from the Apple TV to the Logitech Revue, and several HDTVs. Those products also include content from other streaming providers.

Simply put, streaming is huge nowadays. But as the space continues to grow, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: studios are unwilling to play nice.

The Apple TV’s content offering is a prime example of that. If you want to get content from NBC, for example, you’re out of luck. In fact, the device most notably features shows from ABC and Disney.

Google TV-based devices also suffer from studio negativity towards streaming content. Although they have the ability to connect to the Web from their device, Google TV users aren’t allowed to access television network content for free from the Web. That means Hulu is out, along with content on many individual network Web sites.

Similar limitations are placed on several other devices. No matter what product a consumer is using, they can’t access all the content they really want unless they hook a computer up to their television. And in many cases, that simply isn’t convenient.

To some, the studios’ reaction to the growth of streaming might be understandable. After all, they pay a lot to get their shows on the air, and they should be fairly compensated. But studios are taking it a bit too far. And they’re looking worse with every 28-day-delay deal they ink with providers.

However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve lost all hope. Quite the contrary, I think there is a way around this problem. And I think it will be due to Netflix’s own efforts.

Nowadays, as the company’s CEO Reed Hastings has pointed out, Netflix is a streaming company first, and a by-mail rental company second. Because of that, Netflix will be investing heavily in the streaming space going forward.

Over time, I think it will be that investment, along with Netflix’s ability to attract so many customers, that will bring the movie studios and television networks around. They might not like the idea of it, but Netflix is quickly showing studios that the market is changing. And they can either join in or look like a bully, which will only continue to hurt their revenue.

I should note that Vudu, Amazon, and other streaming providers are helping to improve streaming for all of us, but when it’s all said and done, it will be Netflix that will either make or break our living room entertainment experience.

Netflix has the user base, cash, and vision that’s required to save living room entertainment for those of us who don’t want to toe the studio line. And although we’ll all be forced to continue to pay for the right to do what we want, it’s a fee worth paying.

The Pc Attempts A Makeover, And A New Marketing Strategy

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Right away the campaign comes across as a little desperate and forced—like the PC industry is trying to rise above the clumsy, square persona that’s been foisted on it (remember the “Get a Mac” campaign featuring Justin Long vs. John Hodgman?), but maybe it’s overcompensating a little too hard.

We might typically think of PC companies as engaging in the first approach. “That’s why it seems odd to us that they would be collaborating,” said Hartmann. “It goes against our idea that they’re trying to steal shares from one another.”

But in the case of this new ad campaign, which aligns with Hartmann’s second approach, shared messaging could expand the overall market for PCs—one that has suffered both from Apple’s encroaching dominance over laptop and desktop computer markets, as well as from a general shift away from personal computers towards devices like smartphones, e-readers, and tablets.

“If Microsoft invests to create a better operating system,” said Hartmann, “that’s going to sell more of the end user product—meaning that’s going to help HP and Dell.” But that spillover might encourage HP and Dell to rely on upgrades from Microsoft to help sell their products rather than making big investments themselves.

“Where there’s spillovers, there’s a tendency to say ‘maybe I don’t need to make the investment,’” said Hartmann. “One outcome is that nobody makes the investment. Another is that only one party makes the investment—usually the party with the most to gain.”

That might explain why Microsoft, arguably the player with the most to gain in the PC world, recently decided to put out a new Surface Pro 4 tablet that competes with Apple’s new iPad Pro, Google’s upcoming Pixel C, and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy View tablets.

“HP and Dell weren’t strong enough players to make those investments, so Microsoft did it themselves,” said Hartmann. Microsoft’s move might then pave the way for HP, Dell, or Lenovo to catch up with their own tablets—which would run on Microsoft operating systems and Intel processors.

An aligned campaign combats the pattern of certain parties freeloading off the spillovers of others, instead encouraging competitors to help each other help themselves. In forming a united front, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, HP, and Lenovo are owning up to the fact that, in the face of a shrinking market, they all stand to benefit from cooperation.

Is it possible that, say, HP could have abstained from the collaboration and still reaped some benefits at no cost? Sure. But an arrangement that holds all five players accountable for both giving and taking is “a more efficient way of promoting PCs,” said Hartmann. “They’re promoting the entire category of PCs and trying to change the whole perception of what they’re capable of. I think it’s a smart thing to do business-wise.”

As for whether the campaign will win the hearts of consumers, or simply make the PC industry seem even more out-of-touch than it already does, Hartmann said he’s “gotta leave it to customers to determine that answer.”

Gifts To Make Eating At Home Feel Like Dining Out

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In these humdrum at-home pandemic days, scarfing out of a pizza box or slurping wonton soup from a plastic container is the closest most of us get to a safe restaurant experience. But sometimes you need to spruce things up. Dressing up the table, stretching your palate with new flavors, and setting the mood will help make supping at home feel more like eating out at a favorite corner bistro. These gifts will elevate your dining experiences in 2023.

Set the menu

Special suppers require forethought, and the guest of honor often isn’t in on the planning. While you could print out formal menus, the process can be wasteful—and how many of us have a printer at home, anyway? Instead, artfully scrawl the evening’s courses on a reusable chalkboard the same way a restaurant might announce its nightly specials. A model made from hard slate stone instead of coated wood or cardboard will take chalk better (and scrub up cleaner once the dining’s done).

Ditch disposables

These 15-inch cotton kitchen towels are a favorite of chefs for mopping up their kitchen messes, so it’s no wonder they’ve made it onto the tables of chic eateries, too. The cotton weave is super absorbent, so it’s perfect for sopping up spilled vino or sauces, and it won’t wrinkle as easily as frillier linen or sateen options. In addition to making a table look just-so, the fabric is great for swaddling wine bottles or lining bread baskets.

Revive cocktail hour

Sipping a cocktail at the bar is probably the best way to kill time waiting for a tardy dinner companion, but it’s a pleasure quickly lost when the “bar” is your coffee table. To replicate the level of mixology you previously only indulged in at a proper establishment, Shaker & Spoon stretches its tastes and ingredients well beyond simple classics like Old Fashioneds and martinis. Each box comes with the fixins’ you need to make four cocktails (three servings each), all based around a single spirit. The service’s detailed instructions will have you muddling, infusing, and garnishing like you’re wearing a silk-back vest. The holiday-season rum-centric box features a Filipino-inspired cocktail flavored with avocado and coconut.

Water, without the waiter

Scrambling back and forth to the kitchen to refill water glasses is a surefire way to kill the mood. Without a server to fill up your cup, you’ll need to keep a supply of cool hydration on the table. While hammered metal or bourbon-bottle-turned-carafes might be better at evoking swanky barroom vibes, stoneware will keep the wet stuff cooler longer. The stone in French favorite Le Creuset’s offering is so dense it’ll hold onto a temp throughout the meal. It can also handle anything from -65 degrees F to 500 degrees F, so consider it for double duty as a coffee carafe for fancy brunches.

Embrace appetizers

At home, we usually reserve appetizers for holidays, but having a li’l somethin’ before the main meal is an easy way to upgrade any weeknight dinner. Sure, you could toast up some franks in blankets or defrost some frozen mini egg rolls, but why not expand your palate and avoid cooking at the same time? Pop open a jar of caper leaves—yes, off the same plant that gives us briney capers—and have a nibble. Picked and packed in oil and vinegar on the island of Pantelleria off the Sicilian coast, where generations of farmers have cultivated the yummy berries, the leaves have only recently become chic to eat on their own.

Bread at the ready

Warm, crusty, butter-melting bread that comes straight from the oven—or at least out of a professional warmer—is a mainstay in countless eateries. In your home, the microwave or toaster oven will do, but once the carbs cool down they can become rock hard in an ordinary bread basket. The stone base of this wicker offering, however, can keep buns toasty and ready to sop up sauces throughout the meal. Just place the terracotta slab into a warm oven for 10-20 minutes and slip it into the bottom of the basket, and you’ll get to enjoy hot bread for as long as it takes you to scarf it all down.

Make butter art A little ambiance, perhaps?

Advanced Cell Phone Tracker For Modern Parents

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