easy ways to de-old lady your house

I’ve mentioned before my never ending home decorating work. Our house is over 70 years old. The prior owners had… interesting taste. Everything was basically old lady chic when we moved in. If you’re facing similar issues, here are my tips on some easy ways to de-old lady your house too.

Curtains

This is an easy way to change the whole look of your room. Curtains are like the eyelashes of your windows or something, so they need to be pretty. Fancy curtains can be expensive but Ikea has simple curtains that are cheeeeeap, for like $20 per pair, including these ones -

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Our kitchen curtains were all one million different sizes so I couldn’t find any cute ones to buy so I actually made some curtains myself. I found fabric at Joann Fabrics and diy’ed the curtains below -

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Knick knacks

Our prior homeowners left some random things in our house which was super fun. I obviously got rid of that stuff right away and slowly added our own personal knick knacks. I love things that are a little fun/quirky so that helps to make the space a little younger which is good. Obviously. Like I love our piggy bookends below.

IMG_5141-2Pillows

I love pretty pillows but daaaaang, they can be expensive! I’m not spending 80 bucks on a pillow right now in my life. Nope. But the pillows that came with our old couch were fugly so I just got some fun pillows from Ikea. Cheap and done. Here’s the difference in the pillows on our old couch -

pillows Art

Art is an easy way to personalize and update your space. We had nothing on our walls for the longest time but I finally have hung up more art and it makes such a big difference. I like doing a mix of typical/normal art and also some quirky and fun pieces too. Here are some of my fave fun pieces - IMG_4715 IMG_3270 IMG_4469

Paint Colors

We recently repainted our living room. It was previously a pale yellow which make the room look a little old and dingy. Plus we have wood builtins and beige carpet, so the yellow wasn’t a great contrast. Repainting the room a more modern light blue has made the space look so much more fresh and modern. See for yourself -

living room paint

These are just some of the decorating changes we made which makes our home look like younger people live here. Since younger(-ish) people do actually live there. It’s fun living among things that we like more and it makes the home a lot more welcoming.

Anyone else dealing with an older home and working on making it look “younger” with the decorating?

Also I want to introduce you to one of my great sponsors for this month – Kiersten from She Is Fierce -

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Here is a little intro from Kiersten -” My name’s Kiersten: I’m a 20-something post-grad, coming to terms with the mountains of debt I’ve collected over the last four years. She is Fierce is my collection of essays, stories, and midnight ramblings inspired by the ups and downs of this thing called ‘the real world.’”

I love Kiersten’s blogs and think you guys will as well. If you’re a new reader, check out these posts first – On Defining Feminism, 10 Blogging Tools You Need to Be Using and I Believe…  I found some great new tools from her post on blogging posts, so def make sure to check that out!

Check out more here: Blog | Bloglovin | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest |Instagram

why i had my engagement ring re-set

Happy Monday everyone – how was the weekend? Mine went too fast and I feel like I didn’t even get anything done really. Isn’t that how it always is? So last week I finally got my engagement ring back after it was at the jeweler’s for over 3 weeks. Not having my ring for that long was the worst but it was worth it because I got a new setting. So today I’m sharing exactly why I had my engagement ring re-set.

engagement ring re-set - jadeoak.com

I love the ring that Jarrod gave to me (photo of it below) – the diamond is beautiful and the setting was really pretty and unique. Buuuuut it wasn’t my 100% perfect dream ring. After discussing it with Jarrod, we decided if I was going to re-set it, I should do it before the wedding so my wedding band would match.

I felt some real #firstworldproblems guilt by getting a perfectly beautiful ring re-set, but I also knew I’ll be wearing this ring forever, so I wanted what I wanted. I talked with an upscale jeweler near our house, who told me it wouldn’t be worth it to re-set all the small diamonds and quoted me over twice what we ended up paying. Um no. So I ended up using the jeweler who did my friend’s ring and they did a great job (even though they took a little longer than what they originally told me).

I decided on my new setting with the jeweler’s help and they made me a new custom engagement ring and wedding band, using my existing center diamond and the small side stones. It worked out perfectly and now I have exactly what I want. I have long skinny (/alien) fingers so I wanted a skinnier band that would be easy to wear and comfortable. I also didn’t want my bands fused together later, but was worried about my wedding band turning. So they made my rings about 1/4 to 1/2 size too big and put small beads inside – this means your rings won’t spin as much on your finger and be turned every which way. Plus if my rings are ever too small later, they can just file down the beads without having to resize the entire ring.

So that’s why I got my ring re-set and how I decided on how to do it. I know some ladies would never re-set a ring from their man, but for us, it worked out and now I’m happy and Jarrod is happy I’m happy. Happy wife, happy life, amiright? Ha.

Oh here is the before of my ring too – it’s still lovely but the new one above is just more “me.”

engagement ring

Thoughts on re-setting an engagement ring? For you, is it a do or a don’t?

And I have two other fun things going on today – first is a linkup announcement for next Monday, July 28th, with me, The “Florkens” and Treasure Tromp called “Don’t Try So Hard.” This is a link up to celebrate our inner beauty and why we should all not worry about trying so hard.

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Here’s more info on how the linkup will work:

1. Take a picture of yourself — without “trying so hard.” Remove the makeup, forget the hair, and let your natural beauty shine through.
2. On Monday, July 28th, let your picture take center stage on your blog and remember to include at least one thing that you find beautiful about yourself. (Use the hashtag #donttrysohardlinkup on Twitter & Instagram to share your pictures and posts!)
3. Follow your hosts and linkup your post!
4. Click around to others who have linked up and show them some positive feedback in the comment section. Do you love their eyes? Do they have cute freckles? Maybe they naturally have a beautiful glow! Let’s soak the blogosphere in positive thought and self confidence for one day!
5. Sit back and remember that you don’t have to try so hard. While it’s nice to do our makeup and hair, wear trendy outfits, etc., it is so much more important to remember that you are beautiful just as you are! Cheers!
Hope you’ll all link up with us next Monday!

Finally I also am part of a great giveaway for $100 to Stella & Dot! They have adorable jewelry and accessories in every style imaginable to match every personal taste. They even have great new personalization options! Be sure to enter for your chance to win below so you can spruce up your look this summer!

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Living Lavender // Dream Big & Buy the Shoes // Becoming Adorrable // Jade and Oak
Rad Maverix // Butcher’s Niche // SarahChristineStyle // Lot 48
a Rafflecopter giveaway

wedding shape-up tips – normal and weird

wedding shape-up tips - jadeoak.com

Our wedding is a little over two months away! Eek! There is still lots to do, but one thing I have been working on consistently is working out so I can be in super wedding/honeymoon shape. My goal was mainly to tone up and work on shrinking my waist a bit. I tend to have a pretty straight up and down waist rather than a tapered in/hourglass type waist, so I’ve been mainly working on that. My dress is pretty fitted so I want it to look fab!

So in case anyone else is doing a wedding/summer shape-up, here is what I’ve been doing, both with my diet and exercise. And some weird tips too.

Constant crunches

My grandma used to tell me that when she was younger, for a couple weeks before the summer, she was just suck in her stomach throughout and that would make her waist smaller for the summer. It isn’t that easy but it’s still a good tip. I basically tighten my abs throughout the day like I’m doing a crunch. You can do this at your desk at work, while you’re walking around, driving, pretty much anytime. Plus while you’re sucking it in, you look thinner too, while you’re working your abs. Sounds weird but try it out!

Smoothies

I’ve been having a fruit smoothie for breakfast a few days a week. It helps me get some fruit and is a less caloric option than my usual breakfast of yogurt and granola. I don’t do it everyday, especially if I know I’m going to have a later lunch, but it’s good to change things up.

Blogilates

I just discovered this site and am in love! I’m still doing the beginner workouts, but I love that there are a ton of other workouts I can try as I advance. There are lots of short workouts, about 10-15 minutes, so I can just do one workout if I don’t have much time or I can do a couple videos if I want to mix and match. And the workouts are free which is great! I have an Apple tv, so I just pull up the video on my iPhone and send it to the tv which is awesome. I usually just go to the gym so this is a good way to change things up.

Gym

Speaking of, I’m still going to the gym too. Though I sadly haven’t seen Joe Manganiello again, sigh. (Read about that here.) I used to mainly do cardio, but I’ve been doing more weights too. I know it’s important so I’m working on it!

Leggings

This is a weird one but I swear it helps. When I’m at home, I wear leggings, which are obviously pretty tight. So when I think about wanting to snack, it doesn’t sound that great because I have tight pants on, constricting my stomach, causing me to not want to make my pants feel even tighter by eating a bunch of junk. Make sense? It’s weird I know but think about it – in the winter I tend to indulge more because I’m wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt in the house and look and feel like a blog regardless. Tight clothes make me a little less into gorging myself. Whatever works, I guess?

Snacking

I’ve been trying to take healthy snacks to work so I don’t get sidetracked into eating junk. I’ll take a couple Oreos with my lunch so I can have about a 100 calorie chocolate fix so I’m not tempted to go out and buy a 250 calorie Snickers. It helps!

Gardening

I’ve been working on our yard/gardening more lately.  I haven’t been doing as much lately but doing a little here and there gets me off my butt. Example – yesterday, I did some weeding and watered my plants for about 30 minutes outside. As I said, that is 30 minutes I’m not on the couch, watching tv and hunched over my laptop.

Water

I always drink a ton of water, but I’m trying to make sure I really drink a ton. Not literally. I have been trying to drink a glass of water right when I wake up. I also drink a bunch of water before lunch so that I’ll feel fuller and be less likely to snack my face off all afternoon.

So those are the things I’m doing right now to be healthier in general, but specifically to get wedding ready. I told Jarrod I’m going to eat my face off after the wedding. Mwuahaha. Some of my tips are typical, some are a little weird – what are you doing to get healthy? Share some weird things you do that work!

office reveal

So I can cross something off of my July Goals – woohoo. This is something that has been on my to do list for a long time – for most of the 2.5 years that we’ve lived in this house. Our third bedroom has basically been a storage area but I organized it and decorated it so it is finally more usable. Here is the office reveal!

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The desk is from Ikea – the top is similar to this one and it is set on these two cabinets here and here. Then the shelf and the file folders are also from Ikea.  The desk chair is old and the scissors, stapler, gold filing folder on the desk and the dry erase board are all from Target. The super awesome calendar (and the print you’ll see later on another wall) are from Bah Humpug’s Zazzle Shop (and her blog of amazing pug drawings is here). The photo of that dog attacking the pug is from this Etsy shop (it makes me laugh), the Peter Pan poster is from Disneyland and the Ampersand is from Paperchat Etsy shop.

The white thing on the floor in the corner is a huge canvas that I will use one day. I also have a huuuuuge old and heavy sewing machine on the floor too back there. I really need to learn how to use that thing. The cork board is from Walmart. You can see a before of it below (with a pug model, of course). I spray painted the frame gold to make it prettier and then used some fun wrapping paper (from Target) for the background. I love how it turned out!

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So on the other side of the office is a huge bookshelf, a filing cabinet and a small desk (from my old apartment), all from Ikea. The rug is from Ikea too. And you can see the million CD’s I still have. We also have a cute piggy bank o the shelf, an unnecessary amount of old magazines, another pug drawing from Bah Humpug, 2 paintings I did that I don’t know what to do with and a gold birdcage which is a sneak peak to some wedding stuff.

Below is the “before” of the cork board. We all know what cork boards look like, but this helps to see how much prettier it is painted and with the wrapping paper. The last 2 photos below are of the super embarrassing before’s of the office. Keepin’ it real!!

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So another little project can be checked out the list – woohoo! Though now the office is slowly being filled with wedding stuff so it’s going to be a mess again, but at least it will be pretty under the mess. Good enough. Anyone else doing an office project? Any suggestions of other office things I need?