Thursday, February 28, 2013


Hey y'all!  So excited to be offering my first Bees Times Three giveaway to you today!  Earlier this week I offered a DIY tutorial for these cute little tote bags, but today I am going to give one away to one of my lucky readers!  I will personalize one of these bags with your initial and complement it with one felt flower in the color of your choosing.  If that weren't a sweet enough deal, the bag will come stocked with a $50 Target gift card!  Happy entering!  I will be announcing the winner on the blog next week!

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Guest Post: Staging Your Home to Sell

I'm so excited to be bringing you a guest post today from someone who is uber important: my mom.  My mom blogs over at Home Sweet Hollywood about all kinds of decor and home tips, and what it is like to live in the heart of Los Angeles.  Today she is going to be giving some of her tips for home-staging when you are trying to sell your house.  She kinda knows her stuff on this topic: her last house in Santa Clarita (a suburb of Los Angeles) sold in just seven days--and for full asking price.  Make sure you visit her at Home Sweet Hollywood and show her some love!

Wow, what a nice intro...thanks babe!  I'm excited to be here and to share some staging tips.
As Falon said, I recently moved from the suburbs back to my hometown...
the Hollywood/Studio City area.

In order to get going with my big plan I needed to sell my house. I immediately started cleaning out and purging stuff (even more than I usually do). Another thing I did was stage my home with neat, clean spaces.

Staging your home for sale is all the rage for one works.  If you're not doing it when selling a home, you're most likely leaving money on the table.  Not cool.  Make your dining space look inviting but don't set the table for dinner...that just looks fake.  Your goal is to stage without it looking staged...make sense?

It's all about creating a feeling of a certain lifestyle. The scene you set should show the potential buyers what a lovely life they will have if they buy THIS home.

You want them to be able to picture themselves having breakfast or a cup of coffee in your lovely kitchen.

Of course you love your family photos and memories, but pack 'em up. Don't remind the buyer that another family lives here, you want them to picture themselves living here. A good replacement for photos is a stack of books...looks neat and clean.

Beds should be made neatly with updated, clean bedding.

 You're going for uncluttered, so even if you have to pack up some of your clothes, it's worth it to show that your closets are spacious...plenty of room. 

It's all about creating a they think if they buy your house, they too will live a neat and tidy lifestyle.

I even slightly staged my refrigerator. Don't laugh..they will look in there...Snoopymcsnoopersons...buyers look everywhere!  If your fridge is dirty or messy, it will help if it's cleaned up.

Nothing tops fresh flowers and healthy live plants around the house.  They provide an organic luxurious feeling and make a room come alive.  But no fake plants...I repeat NO fake plants...never never never. FRESH, excuses.

Staging is really about common sense. Think about what you would like to see when looking at a home.

Clean, uncluttered, well-maintained, neutral.

 We're talking about your biggest asset!  If you want top dollar it's totally worth the time and effort to make your home look its very best.

Thanks for  stopping by, Mom!  If you want to read more about life in La-La Land, head over to Home Sweet Hollywood!  And, if you are interested in a little giveaway, check back later today!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Potting Succulents

Over the weekend I got the chance to hang out and do some shopping with my mom, which means both good and bad news.  Good news, she buys me stuff like these awesome little vases from West Elm.  Bad news, she takes me to places where I want to buy stuff, like these adorable succulents from Rolling Greens nursery in LA.  I couldn't wait to plant these babies in their shiny new homes!  I am not a garden expert in any way, shape or form, but the nice thing about succulents is they are hard to screw up.  So I set out my vases and stuck the plants in them (still in their nursery containers) to see how I liked the look.  I got the big fish bowl looking one from the Goodwill a few years ago for about $2 and have used it frequently ever since.

I started with the little guys, filling the vases about halfway with soil.

Then I gently removed the succulents from their original container and repotted them into the little silver vases.  I used the remaining soil they came with to fill up the holes and empty spaces.  Super easy to do, and they look so cute!

The bigger one was a little harder to do because I wanted the succulent to look like it's floating in the bowl.  Originally, I started with some soil already in the bowl...

...but found it was actually easier to put the succulent in first and then pack the remaining spaces with extra soil.  That worked much better and gave me this final result:

I put the little vases on my coffee table and the big bowl on the dining room table, and I am just loving the look!  Our house definitely needed some plant life, big time!

The succulent in the big bowl cost about $10 all together.  My mom sent me a picture of one from Gelson's that cost $47 and looked almost exactly the same as mine!  It pays to DIY!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mini Command Center

Many of my mini house projects are slowly coming along.  One major aspect of our home I wanted to tackle was general organization.  An issue we have always had, especially in our small house, was a place for all of our papers and mail and "stuff".  It usually ends up looking like this:

Ew.  I decided to create a mini command center in the corner of our dining room.  Here is the finished product:

I found this file system at Ikea (it comes with five sections, but I only used three) and Mr. B mounted it on the wall.

I labeled each section with "Now", "Soon", and "File" using labels from Michael's.

I got this super cute little stand from Home Goods for $60.  Absolutely love it!  I moved the "You make my heart smile" sign over from the dresser in the dining room.  The mini vases are from West Elm, the little one holds chalk and the bigger one pens and pencils.

I hung a mini chalkboard on the adjoining wall for important reminders (like this one!).

And there you have it.  Relatively cheap and easy, and so far already making a difference in the paper clutter factor.  Hopefully Mr. B will be able to keep on it!

Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Tote Bag

Hello lovelies and happy Monday!  Today I am bringing you one of my favorite projects.  The steps to this one are pretty easy, but it takes a steady hand to make it come out all right.  If you decide you don't want to go through the hassle of making one of these babies, check back this week for a very special giveaway featuring one of these bags!

The first thing you need to do is gather supplies: a plain tote bag (you can find these at Michael's), fabric paint, and an initial stencil.  Since I knew I was painting my letter black, I used a black marker to trace the letter onto my plain bag.

Then I used a small paint brush and filled the letter in with black fabric paint.  It helps to squirt the paint onto a paper plate, makes it easier than dealing with those weird fabric paint containers.  I recommend starting with the outline of the letter; go over your marker lines, covering them completely and then go back and fill in the rest.

I then attached a felt flower that was previously made (I'll do a tutorial on these babies soon, but they are all over Pinterest if you are dying to make one today!)

And here is the finished product:

These are great little bags for carrying books or papers or lunches or really anything you need to cart around town.  I gave this one to my mom and she absolutely loves it!  Don't forget, if you want one for yourself but you don't feel like making it, check back later this week for a special giveaway!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Partial Pantry Update

So things have been slow and steady in terms of progress on the house.  We have gotten a lot done, but at the same time I look at what there is left that I want to do and it seems like it will never be finished!  (And, I am my mother's daughter, so I doubt our house will ever be finished per se.)  One of the first projects I tackled was the pantry in our kitchen.  You saw some pics in our kitchen tour, but that was hardly the half of it.  To refresh, here is the pantry from the outside:

Here it is with the doors open (we had already moved the door mat at this point or the doors wouldn't have opened all the way):

We keep our food items on one side of the pantry...

And cleaning supplies on the other:

As you can see, neither side was especially neat or organized.  The first step was to take everything out of both sides and clean the shelves and the floor. While I was working on that, Mr. B took off the wooden pantry doors (let me know if you have creative ideas to reuse those doors!).  I used plastic storage bins from Ikea to hold like items, canned goods in one, baking supplies in another, etc.  For all of my baking goodies, I  made an essentials box with things like baking soda and salt (things I use in most baking projects) and a couple of other specialized boxes for things like espresso powder and peppermint extract.  I figure this way when I bake, I can just pull out the essentials box each time.  I used plastic food storage containers (again from Ikea) to house ingredients like flour and powdered sugar.

Here is the organized food side:

For the cleaning supplies, I used green plastic boxes that I found at Wal-Mart.  I again grouped like items, one box for general cleaning, one box for puppy supplies, etc.  And here is the organized cleaning supplies side:

We still have some work to do in the pantry, mainly painting where we took down the doors and hanging some sort of covering, but it is already a million times better than it was, and honestly, this part of the process did not take all that long and has made such a huge difference in day-to-day kitchen life!  Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

B Family Home Tour: Dining Room

Hello again!  Today our house tour takes us into our teeny tiny dining room.  To be totally honest, very little dining happens in our dining room.  Typically we eat in the living room.  The dining room tends to be where I work on my crafts because there is good light in here for pictures.

Here are the two windows, which are good sized for the size of the room.  I absolutely love these gray curtains in here--kind of hard to see with them open, but they are awesome (got them awhile ago from Target).

Again, we don't do a lot of meals in this room, but we do have a cute little two person table for the times when we actually eat like grown-ups

This dresser has a lot of sentimental value as it was in my room when I was a baby.  Looks wise it is not my favorite, but I have some plans to stain it and change up the hardware.  Right now it is acting as a catch all; it holds my books, some office supplies, and some extra kitchen stuff (like my aprons).  It tends to collect things like mail and paperwork, which can be a problem.

On top of the dresser are some of my favorite decor items.  I love this lamp that I bought when I moved into my first apartment on my own.  The green "B" is from our wedding, and my mom bought us the frame with our anniversary numbers (7-24-11).  I found the "You make my heart smile" sign in the dollar bin at Michael's (total score!), and the purple glass bowl is from Ikea.  It's where Mr. B tosses his wallet, watch, etc. at the end of the day.  The cart was there mostly for Christmas wrapping paraphernalia, and will be finding a new home soon!

And this is one of my favorite things in the whole house, our baseball stadium map.  This was custom painted for us by the extremely talented Kelsey Susdorf.  One of our goals as a couple is to travel to all of the baseball stadiums in the country.  This painting gives us a place to commemorate each visit.  We write in the date with each new stadium we go to (note that we aren't making much progress!).  This is especially meaningful since our first date was to a Dodger game, so that is the first date entered on the map.

And that's about it for this one!  This one should be an easy area to fix up as the only major project is the dresser.  But some improvements are already in the mix for this space!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

B Family Home Tour: Master Bathroom

Hello again and welcome back to the B family home tour!  Today we are going to take a look at "my" bathroom.  This is the bathroom connected to the master bedroom, but I am pretty much the only one who uses it, Mr. B uses our second bathroom.  We are lucky to have two bathrooms in a house our size, but that means that both of them are pretty tiny.  We try to make the best of our limited space!

This is the view of pretty much the entire bathroom.  I like the vanity because it has a lot of storage, but there is virtually no counter space and I am not a huge fan of the wood.  I think I am stuck with the vanity, but I will have to try to do something to make it a little prettier.

This is the shower/tub combo.  I absolutely hate the glass doors on here, but I hate showering in a shower with a curtain even more.  This tub is pretty old and looks like it has been in the house since it was built (in 1931), but it works.  I could definitely use some in shower storage to make things a little more organized.

I would love to add a frame around this plain mirror.  Most people are not fans of these types of light fixtures, but I actually like it.  I think the frame would go a long way to make this look a lot better.  (Pardon my lovely laying around the house sweatshirt here.)

There is a good size window over the toilet, but that leaves very little room around the bathroom for additional wall-mounted storage.

Because this is a small space, I think it will be pretty easy to spruce up.  I think it just needs a little paint and a little pizzazz and it will be a whole new room!