Big Announcement About a Little Addition!

April 15, 2015

Hi everyone!  I have some wonderful news to share with all of you that I can't keep inside any longer.  Tom and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting a baby this fall!  I have always wanted to be a mother and I'm so blessed and thankful to be on this journey with Tom.  We are over the moon excited about welcoming a little baby into this world!  

I'll try to not go overboard with the pregnancy and baby posts...but I am so excited that I can't make any promises :)

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Vintage Crush: Mid Century Gold and Lucite Ice Bucket

April 7, 2015

Every home needs a bar area...and you know what every bar area needs?  A mid century gold and lucite ice bucket!

This ice bucket has two of the key trends that are popular right now: lucite and gold.  I love a good trend, but I like incorporating trends in unique ways.  Just like history, trends repeat themselves, and when possible I like to embrace a trend with vintage pieces rather than with the newer interpretations.  It makes things more interesting and you're less likely to end up with the exact same pieces as your best friend!

This pretty ice bucket is listed on DashOfVintageWhimsy right now for just $35.  If you've been looking for a unique and playful way to finish off your bar cart, this piece is for you!

Have a great Tuesday everyone :)

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Vintage Greek Key Dining Chair Update

April 6, 2015
You remember those vintage Greek key dining chairs I found last year?  In case you missed it, I blogged about them here.  I bought a set of 6 chairs for $120 at a thrift store in Alexandria, VA, and then after doing some research I found out that they are really nice and were being sold for $6,750 on 1stDibs.  (Crazy, huh?)  They needed to be painted, the seats needed new padding, and the fabric desperately needed to be updated.  After months of putting it off, I finally made them...and after months of forgetting to blog about it...I finally present to you the complete DIY project! 

Here are a few of the before pics:

The chairs are very solid and the Greek key detailing was a nice whimsical touch.  Great bones mean lots of potential, and I knew that with a little love they would look amazing.

My first step was to redo all of the slip seats.  I took the seats off and took off the fabric and old padding.  I used the wooden part of the seat as my template for the foam.  (I believe I used 1 inch foam.)  I cut the foam a little larger than the seat so that it would wrap around and give a plush look.  You can buy this type of foam at Joann's or almost any fabric store.

Next I measured the batting so that it would be slightly larger than the foam.  Then the fabric was cut so that it was slightly larger than the batting.  Layer them in this order: fabric, batting, foam then seat base.

I started stapling on the sides and worked around to the corners.  I used 3/8" staples because you need them to be long enough to hold the fabric taut (but not too long or it'll go all the way through the wood).  

After lots of stapling I had a slip seat that was both comfortable and pretty to look at.

The next step was to paint the chairs.  We opted for black lacquer spray paint because I wanted a shiny finish.  We sanded, primed and then applied 2 coats of black paint.  I have noticed that we have a few nicks on the chairs now, so I probably should have finished them with a top coat that sealed everything in.  Lesson learn!

Finally, the chairs were finished and ready to be used! 

Aren't they fun?  I don't know how practical the white fabric is on dining chairs, but I guess I'll re-look that once we have children.  For now, I love them!

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Styling in Annapolis: A Big Difference on a Small Budget

March 31, 2015
I recently had the opportunity to help decorate a gorgeous old home in Annapolis.  The couple just moved into this beautiful home and while they had many of the larger pieces that every house needs, they were in desperate need of rugs, accessories and styling to make their house nice and homey.  Their budget was a mere $2,000, and that was for furniture, lamps and accessories in the foyer, living room, dining room, breakfast area and sunroom.  My goal was to use as much of what they owned as I could, and I just added a finishing touch to everything.  I don't believe in starting over from scratch, and using items that a homeowner owns and loves is my favorite way to decorate.  Here are the before and after shots to show you just how large of an impact just a small amount of styling and accessorizing can have! 

Dining Room Before.
Dining Room After.
In the dining room we added a rug, a table runner and some hurricanes with candles.  They already owned the chandelier, so that got installed too.

Reading Nook Before.
Reading Nook After.
In the reading nook on their sunporch we added a rug, an adjustable reading lamp and a garden stool/small table.

Living Room Before.
Living Room Before.
Living Room After.
Living Room After.
Living Room After.
In the living room I added the coffee table and some accessories for the table.  I also added a mirror over their mantel and used some accessories they already owned.  The couple gravitates towards neutral colors, so by using darker pillows I was able to add a little depth to the room.

Bar Before.
Bar Before.
Bar After.
Bar After.
Their built-in bar needed a tray to corral the alcohol, and I pulled out some vintage high ball glasses from a cabinet.  I added bar accessories like coasters, napkins, straws, and an ice bucket.

Bookshelves Before.
Bookshelves Before.
Bookshelves After.
Bookshelves After.
As you can see, this couple loves to read.  They have SO MANY BOOKS, but it was fun to decorate with all of them and get a glimpse into their personalities.  They also spent many years living in Germany, and they have collected a wide assortment of antiques and knickknacks.  I like to incorporate accessories with books when styling bookshelves because it's a wonderful way to show off treasured pieces, and it also helps tell the full story of the homeowners without saying a word.

Foyer After.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a before picture!)
I didn't get a before picture of the foyer, but there was nothing in here.  They owned the federal mirror already, so I just added a narrow console table, the beautiful blue and white lamp, and a tray for them to place their keys and mail.

What we don't have pictures of is the kitchen area.  We added some bar stools to the kitchen bar, and added a rug under the breakfast table.

As you can see, just a little styling and a few accessories can make a huge difference!  All in all, I did all the staging and decorating in about 8 hours, and thankfully the couple was very happy with the result!  Most of the knickknacks were from HomeGoods or TJ Maxx, the rugs were from RugsUSA, and the furniture we added was from Nadeau,, Wayfair, or HomeGoods.  See, you really can get a huge bang for your buck as long as you're creative and resourceful!

Note: I left the picture and mirror hanging to the homeowners because I had never dealt with plaster walls before and I didn't want to mess up the new paint job!  I had no idea plaster and drywall was totally different.  Guess you learn something new everyday :)

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On My Mind...Lately

March 27, 2015
Happy Friday y'all!  Is it spring yet?  It still looks like winter here in Maryland, but I know consistently warm weather is right around the corner!  Below are some of the things that have piqued my interest this past week.

1.  Golden Easter Eggs.  

I can't remember the last time I decorated an Easter egg, but these gold leafed eggs that were featured in the current issue of Southern Living make me want to guild some this Easter.

2.  A Little More Kindness.

I saw this saying on Pinterest this week and it really spoke to my heart.  All of us are doing the best we can to live happy and full lives, and it would be nice if onlookers would just be nice and less quick to judge.  Plus it's orange and pink which is always a fun color combo :)

3.  Kate Spade Luggage.

Did you see that Kate Spade is selling luggage now?  I'm IN LOVE with this carry-on bag.  It's so pretty and playful and green!

4.  Palm Beach, Florida.

I visited Palm Beach for the first time last week right before we left Miami.  I felt like a fish out of water surrounded by all those fancy people and fancy stores...but Worth Avenue sure was a pretty street to look at!  I'm really missing the warm weather and palm trees because it's still so darn cold here in Maryland!

5.  Disco Ball Succulent Planters.

Did you see Laurel from A Bubbly Life's DIY disco ball planters?  I think they are adorable and they look like they are really easy to make too!

Are you following Life with a Dash of Whimsy on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Twitter and Facebook yet?  I'd love for you to join me there!

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Lemon Curd 5 Ways

March 25, 2015
Have you ever eaten lemon curd?  It's one of my favorite things to eat, although I must admit that before I tried it for the first time I wasn't quite sure how to eat it.  Is it like jam?  What do I put it on?  I tend to use it the same way every time (option number 1 below), so I rounded up some delicious ways to expand my lemon curd usage a bit.  If you've never tried lemon curd before or if you are searching for a new way to use it, read on for some tasty new recipes that use this delicious, lemony goodness.

1.  Waffles with Lemon Curd and Fruit.  

This is how I eat lemon curd most of the time.  I pop some frozen multi-grain waffles into the toaster and then immediately cover them with lemon curd once they're nice and toasty.  Then I top it with berries.  It's so delicious and one of the best ways to start the day!

2.  Lemon Curd Mousse.  

Doesn't this mousse by The Kitchen McCabe look delicious?

3.  Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies.  

I'm crazy about the chocolate version of "puppy chow," but this lemon version by Lemon Tree Dwelling sounds pretty amazing.

4.  Crepes with Lemon Curd and Greek Yogurt Filling with Blueberry Sauce.  

I don't know why I've never thought to mix lemon curd and Greek yogurt, but I'm definitely going to try it out soon.  It sounds like a tart, creamy match made in heaven!  These crepes by Yummy Mummy Kitchen look so good.

5.  Lemon Curd Trifle with Berries.

A trifle is my go-to dessert when I attend a potluck.  It's easy to make and it's really pretty too!  This lemon curd version by A Hint of Honey is entirely homemade (and it looks amazing!), but if you're short on time you can just use store-bought lemon curd, poundcake and whipped cream.

Inspired to make something lemony now?  I know I am!   

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