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7.29.2014

Design on a Dime: DIY Crate and Barrel Art


I love Crate & Barrel, and am fortunate to have many kitchen items and décor accessories from them. However, I can't afford to completely furnish my house from C&B, though Lord knows I'd love to.

I remember seeing these simple, stylish pieces in one of their catalogs:

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/
 
I thought, "hey, I can do that!" and rolled-up my sleeves for some quick DIY.  Actually, this one was so easy that I don't think it even required sleeve-rolling. 
 
All it took was a trip to Ikea for picture frames (I used the Virserum frames to better match my living room décor, but this would work nicely with Ribba frames as well), and a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts for some coordinating fabric.  I got enough to cover three different sections of wall.  Ikea is my exclusive stop for frames, as you just can't beat the cost for frames that include matting. I cut the fabric, and inserted them into the frames, and voila. 
 
 
 
 
I also picked up a bit more fabric to make some throw pillows for the room in the same fabrics.  Here are a few of the throw pillows below on my beloved Ikea Strandmon wingback chair:
 
 
 
And there you have it.  A design update on a dime.

7.25.2014

Product Review: Rug Pad USA Premium-Lock Eco-Friendly Rug Pad

 
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  I was not financially compensated for this post.

As much as I'd love for my living room to permanently look like a spread in Better Homes and Gardens, the reality is that we live in it (I guess that's why it's called a "living room" after all).  Since we spend so much time in this room, it is definitely a playroom for the boys as well as a living room.  As you can see in the example above (photo taken before installing the rug pad), you can always find the room littered in their toys and snacks, and the couch cushions, throw pillows and blankets are often moved around and used as part of their imaginative play.  As crazy as it can get, I love that they use this space for such creative and playful activities.  What I don't love is how my lovely quatrefoile rug (purchased from Garden Ridge) is often the casualty - lifting on corners, getting slid all over the place, and being folded and bunched.  Waaah!

I thought that rug tape would be a solution, so I gave that a try.  The sad result was that it did NOT work (didn't hold up to the traffic, and the rug continued to lift and slide), and worse, left this gooey residue on my beautiful hardwood floors:




Now that you can understand my daily frustration, you can imagine how excited I was when I was presented with the opportunity to review a rug pad from Rug Pad USA.  Could this be my chance to find a solution that actually works, doesn't damage my hardwood floors, and (bonus) is an eco-friendly solution that is actually safe for my boys and dog to play around?

The product I tried was the Premium-Lock pad (get yours here), which is supposed to be ideal for wood floors and the humid climate in Texas. One side is more textured and grips the rug, while the other side has more of a rubber surface that safely grips the floor.  After using it for several weeks, I am so happy to report that this is indeed the solution I had hoped for.  The rug has honestly not so much as budged.  The boys' very active play on an around the rug has not caused any movement, bunching, folding, or lifting of the rug.  There appears to be no negative effect on my wood floors, and (another bonus) the rug is now much more cushioned and soft to step on.  I also personally really love that it is made out of recycled materials. 

Now I don't know why I didn't look into this kind of solution sooner!  I now will look into this for sure for any other area rugs I have on the wood floors.  If you want to check it out yourself, Rug Pad USA has several rug pad options in good price-points, and lots of sizing options.  And check this out - there is also a 20-year warranty, which, along with my honest review, should give you some more peace of mind in this product.

So, long story short, this is a way to preserve some of the fabulous in your everyday life. It was for me at least - one part of my living room décor can now remain intact despite the everyday efforts of my two wild and crazy sons!

Thank you, Rug Pad USA for providing this product for my review.

7.22.2014

Travel Tuesday: Summer Vacation Fashion

We are just a little over a week back from our fabulous trip to Thailand, China, and Los Angeles, and I am still feeling that wonderful, refreshing feeling you have after a good getaway. 

Next week I will post my tips and reviews from the trip, so stay tuned for that in next Tuesday's Travel Tuesday post.  Today, I am sharing some of the style looks I put together for the trip.  You will see that a lot of the accessories are re-used in these different looks, which helped with packing.  I hope it inspires you as you shop for your summer vacation wardrobe!

 
Here's a great travel outfit. Was really comfortable for about 24 hours in airports and on planes.  Jeans and fringe cross-body bag from Express, top and necklace from Forever 21, and sandals from Ross.
 
 
Here's the look in action (pardon the hair and makeup... this was really early in the morning while on our first of three layovers).

 
Here are some mix-and-match pieces that work great over swimwear.  From top, left to right: tote bag from Neiman Marcus Last Call, necklace from Target, chunky-heel shoes from JustFab, top and necklace from Forever 21, one-piece ruched swimsuit La Bianca from Macy's, shorts and split-back top from Express, and necklace from Nordstrom Rack.
 
 
Here's one of the looks together. This was my travel outfit from Bangkok to Phuket, and for the first day at our resort in Khao Lak.
 
 
This is another set of mix-and-match pieces that go well over swimwear.  The two-piece swimsuit with high-waist bottoms and bandeau top is from American Apparel, the tops are from Forever 21, the sandals are from Ross, the shorts are from Express, and the heeled shoes are from JustFab.
 
 
Here is an example of how one of these looks came together along with a tote bag.

 
This outfit features a Fashion Web romper and sandals from Ross, and a hat and necklace from Forever 21.
 
 
Here is how this look came together along with the fringe cross-body bag from Express.

 
The first look can work for a nicer night out. It includes a crop-top and floral high-waist skirt from H&M along with pumps and a necklace from Forever 21.  On the right is a maxi-dress from Express that work nicely with the Ross sandals, which I used as a comfy travel outfit on my way back from LA to Texas.

 
Another option for a nicer vacation outfit is this silk shift dress from Cusp by Neiman Marcus, which I wore with these JustFab laced wedge shoes and Forever 21 necklace for an evening of shopping in Bangkok. The fabric made it breathable in the humid weather.
 
 
Here are a few views of this outfit.
 
 
These mix-and-match pieces include a black tank top from Express, Forever 21 necklace, JustFab wedge shoes, a long pleated skirt from Neiman Marcus Last Call, and a pink top from Forever 21.
 
 
For our day of travel from Thailand that included a long layover in Beijing with a tour of the Great Wall, I needed something comfortable but also versatile for the various situations in which it would be worn.  I came up with this look.  Striped tank, white shorts, and gold infinity scarf all from Express, and gold non-skid slip-on Dr. Scholl's shoes from DSW Shoe Warehouse.
 
 
Here I am at the Great Wall!  The scarf was great for both keeping me warm on the plane, but also shielding my shoulders from the sun as needed at the Wall.
 
More pics and info on the trip next week! 
 
Pin these looks if you love them, and feel free to ask me any questions about any of the outfits either in the comments, on the Everyday Fabulous Facebook page or on Twitter @ramonaruby.

7.18.2014

Casual Friday: Today's Outfit - 7.18.14

 
 

Happy Friday!  Today's Casual Friday outfit consists of a Portofino shirt and jeans from Express, necklace from Forever 21, and BCBG Paris shoes from DSW.
 
As always, don't forget to share your OOTD on the Everyday Fabulous Facebook page, tweet me at @ramonaruby, or tag us @everydayfabulous on Instagram so we can share fashion inspiration!
 

7.15.2014

70th Birthday Party Planning


Back from Thailand and China!  Stay tuned for reviews and photos from the trip.  For now, here is a sneak peek at one of my big party projects for the year... my dad's 70th birthday celebration! 
 
Here's the save the date that just went out (how adorable is that baby pic of my Daddy?):
 
 
Lots more planning info to come for this one, but I am still in the early stages.

7.01.2014

Travel Tuesday: Summer Travel Tips

Just days away from our vacation (a return visit to Bangkok and Khao Lak, Thailand, and a quick stopover in Beijing, China), and we can't wait.  Since we will be out experiencing the world and eating delicious Asian food, we won't be posting for a few weeks.  In the meantime feel free to follow Everyday Fabulous on Facebook for some vintage popular post highlights.  If you follow @EverydayFabulous on Instagram, and me @ramonaruby on Twitter, you can see some real-time posts from the trip as well.

Today's Travel Tuesday post is a set of tips compiled to help you get through your summer travel.  Bon voyage!


Avoiding Stress

  • Book your ticket ASAP. If you must book last minute, remember, you have options. The key to securing the best deal is flexibility in travel dates--ask your ASTA travel agent to check into special fares or consider flying into an alternate airport and renting a car. If your vacation includes international travel, make sure you have a valid passport. Your travel agent can advise you on the new rules and how to apply.
  • Arrive early. Difficult airport parking, long lines at security checkpoints and the possibility of the airline overselling the flight and bumping passengers, should all be considered when deciding what time to arrive at the airport. Give yourself plenty of extra time. Need some incentive? Keep in mind that those who arrive earliest for an overbooked flight stand the greatest chance of staying onboard.
  • Avoid getting bumped. 1) Get an advance seat assignment. Passengers with seat assignments are typically only bumped if they arrive late and their seat assignment is released. 2) Check-in online...

Read more of these tips for Stress-Free Summer Travel at TravelSense.

Traveling with the Family

  • Pack One Change of Clothes in Carry On: Pack one extra change of clothes for each person in their carry-on bag. Twenty-nine million pieces of luggage are lost or delayed/misplaced every year. If your bag is one of them, having a set of clothes to change into while you are waiting for your luggage to be found is a lifesaver. (Remember, if you luggage does get lost and you have a Travel Guard plan, call for 24/7 assistance in finding your luggage).
  • Pack Old Underthings? Packing light might be one way to bring home extra souvenirs, but so is packing your oldest undergarments. As you and your family wear old undergarments throughout the trip, throw them out the next day. This lightens your suitcase and/or makes room for cool souvenirs along the way.
  • How to Keep Kids Occupied: If your destination is hours away, pre-make binders for each child that include a coloring book, blank paper, crossword puzzles and activity sheets. Also include a zipper bag of crayons and writing utensils. Free printable coloring pages, stories and activities can be found...

Read more Family Summer Travel Tips at Travel Guard.

Saving Money

  • Save on: Lodgings.  How: Look beyond hotels: Especially if your family or entourage is too big for a hotel room, you can find better rates by renting a house, condominium, or apartment, or by exploring home swapping. For vacation rentals, visit vrbo.com, homeaway.com, and villasintl.com. For home swaps, check out homeexchange.com, homelink.org, and intervac.com.
  • Save on: Airfare and hotels.  How: Research package deals: Psst: Airlines and hotels are willing to offer incredibly low prices to fill their rooms and seats. But because they're reluctant to publicize these low rates, they sell some rooms and seats to companies that put them together as package deals. Before you purchase a package, deal, take a look at the hotel's website and rates and research what the airfare and hotel would cost if you booked them separately -- that way you'll know you're getting a good deal.
  • Save on: Rental cars.  How: Get a free upgrade: Book the cheapest rental car you can live with and arrive early in the day, before most customers have returned their cars. Result? The agency may not have any cheap cars to give you, and they are obligated to give you a bigger model at no extra charge. If they try to sell you an upgrade, say no. If it turns out they haven't run out of cheap cars, politely ask for a free upgrade...

Read more of these 8 Ways to Save Big on Summer Travel at Huffington Post.