March 30, 2015

Unexpected Urchin

Okay, maybe not "urchin". Is coral considered a type of urchin?

...Just Googled it - they're not.

Okay, now that we're both a little smarter, (or in my case, less oblivious) let's talk about finding awesome items in unlikely places, namely: CORAL.

I love, love, love coral. Especially bright shiny white coral. You know, the fake/bleached kind.  Unfortunately my friends, the store-bought variety usually come with a hold-your-breath sort of price tag. Ugh.

So what's a fashionably frugal gal supposed to do? Make your own!

Okay, maybe not make your own coral, but you know, make it yours. Allow me to explain...

Enter Exhibit A: Pet store coral for fishies. You know, the bright orange and neon green variety. Bleck. But no worries! I have my trusty spray paint (you had to know that was coming...)!

A touch of primer and a few light coats of white and we're in business!

This faux coral came from a pet store for around $6.99.  It's a good sized piece, and just what I'd been looking for!

March 26, 2015

Summer Lovin' Accessory Comparison

Tybee Island, GA Beach Cottage

For me, there's nothing like a summer breeze and tropical hues to bring out the island girl in us all (die-hard California Girl)!  My own house was inspired by coastal homes with white washed planked walls and pops of "happy" colors. 

And while the decorating / renovating / DIY-ing quest continues here at Oxford Park, I'm always on the look out for coastal accents at affordable prices!

WaterColor, FL Beach House - Yes, you can rent weekly stays here!

Though my entire house won't be "beachy", our loft space (favorite space in the house!) will most definitely be bright, punchy, and fun!

Tuscan Bordered Lattice Turquoise Rug via Rugs USA

With lots of coral, turquoise, and limon-yellow accents, I don't think anyone will mistake it for "rustic cottage" or "industrial chic"!  Ha!

And I'm learning to relax and have fun with our home decor.  There's always the pressure of getting it right the first time, and not wasting money and time spent...

...but there's something said for taking a risk here and there.  You may end up with an amazing, gorgeous home feature!

via Etched in Stone Designs

You may know I'm always on the look out for a deal!  And while we've been actively rearranging, installing, and decorating the loft (updates coming soon, including some DIY tutorials), I'm also craving to spruce up our outdoor spaces in time for warmer weather.  First up, the front porch!  'Cause who doesn't love a little curb appeal, right?

So, here's a mini round-up of the garden stools and benches I found online that are contending for the prime real estate that is our porch.  In order from Splurge --> Save:


Safavieh always seems to stock on-trend home decor at reasonable prices.  This garden stool is my favorite (and most expensive of the ones I found, of course) originally at $133.69 (though I just checked and the price has been lowered to $125.76).

Safavieh Imperial Vine Garden Stool via Walmart

This cute stool, also by Safavieh (sold via Walmart), is a great second choice coming in at $100.99 (though the price last week was $90.89).  Watch closely for price reductions on your favorite pieces!

Safavieh Paradise Tranquility Garden Stool via Walmart

The most affordable option in turquoise is this garden stool via Cost Plus World Market (love them!).  Coming in at $59.99, this is a steal of a deal!

Baltic Blue Lili Punched Drum Stool via Cost Plus World Market

Next up is our need for a white porch bench.

This first contender is from Pier 1 and is currently $349.95.  The cool thing about this bench (besides the awesome back design) is that it is fold-able for easy storage if you are inclined to take it in during colder seasons.

Rock Point Folding Bench via Pier1

Next is this equally fabulous bench by Wayfair (sold via Walmart).  At $219.95, it's a great deal, especially at 5 feet long!

Vifah Bradley Acacia Garden Bench by Wayfair via Walmart

However, since I need a shorter bench, my likely purchase is sold by Walmart.  It's 4 feet long and is currently selling for $129.  Wow!

Lattice Bench via Walmart

Add a little of this...

Artificial Bougainvillea Hanging Plant via Wayfair

...and a bit of this to the mix...

6.5' Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree via Walmart

...and we're set for summer!

What's your warm weather decorating plan?  Do you have any favorite places to shop?  How do you feel about ordering online without seeing an item in person (Eeek)?

March 24, 2015

Pin There, Done That

I think I can safely say that we all love Pinterest.  Oh how I wish that I'd thought of that one!  So much eye candy, so much inspiration, SO many untried DIY projects and recipes!

Hey now, I know I'm not the only one. ;)

Well here ya go!  Welcome to my new blog series:  "Pin There, Done That"

This will be an on-going series for Bella Storia when I share completed Pinterest projects with you!  Some may be awesome, some may hang their head in shame, but I promise to share them all with you so you can create for yourself, or stay away, far far away!

And just to wet your whistle, as they say (okay, so no one says that except your grandpa, and it sounds just as strange, but there ya go), here is a round-up of some of the projects I plan on attempting:

Kool-Aid and coconut oil?  Yum!  Chloe will love making this with me.  ;)

Perfect for all those baby formula containers I've saved!

I remember making these at girl's camp!

I have one of these glass pumpkins!  Can't wait to try Mirror Effect!

This is amazing!  Going to try my hand at a butterfly wreath for Spring.

Dollar Tree to the rescue!  Perfect for all seasons, too!

Bought some canvas on sale at Michaels...trying my hand at some abstract painting for the new house!

Perfect beachy/rustic accent wall for little Ryker's room!

Summer will be here sooner than we think!  Dreamy "Project Porch" coming soon!

A list of Pinterest to-dos wouldn't be complete without a recipe or two!  Easy cinnamon pull-apart bread, here I come!

I've definitely been using my wire racks for the wrong thing!  Can't wait to try...

Such a good idea!  Wedding and Baby cards together in one place as mini memory books.  So smart!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks!  There are SO many more I can't wait to try!

Do you have any favorite Pinterest crafts, DIY's, or recipes that you love?  Any Pinterest fails?