Linen & Boxwoods giveaway!

Ahhh, Black Friday.  Have you been camping out in your tent in front of Best Buy all week?  I sincerely hope not! Christmas shopping need not be so brutal.  How about $100 to spend in the comfort of your own home and jammies?  That sounds so much better, right?

Today I get to give $100 to one lucky Better After reader to spend at the brand new online retailer Linen & Boxwoods!

Linens & Boxwoods is a family owned business that began as a modest flower shop in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1950. Today they have evolved into an online store brimming with all kinds of beautiful things perfect for gift-giving or prepping your home for the holidays.

You don’t even have to put on shoes or go outside!  Hooray! So hop back in bed, pull that blanket up tight and let’s talk about how you could spend $100:

 

Christmas goodies for the house?

linens and boxwoods stockings runner wreathBurlap Stockings    Chalkboard Table Runner   Boxwood Wreath in Pot

Accessories for your favorite galpal (or yourself!)

linen and boxwoods earrings tote trayChelsea Initial Tote    Glass and Filigree Footed Tray   Diamond Shaped Earrings

 

Cozy home accents?

linen and boxwoods throw pillow votive wreath  Cotton Wreath    Navy Embroidery Throw Pillow    Knit Throw in Navy    Capiz Shell Votive Holder

Essentials for entertaining with style?

linen and boxwoods tumbler artichokes napkin platterFez Cut Glass Tumbler    La Dolce Rectangular Serving Tray      PomPom Napkins      Artichoke Salt & Pepper Set

Those are just some of my favorites. It’s up to you!

Entering is easy.  Simply leave a comment on this post! That’s it!

linen and boxwoods

Good luck, I hope you win!

Random winner will be announced next Friday, Dec. 5th.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!


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Merry Makeovers! Three ways to give the gift of a better bedroom this year.

Christmastime is almost upon us. WOO! I love it, I really do.  But listen here, sometimes the gift-giving part is hard.  Not the actual giving part, but the deciding what the heck you are going to get so-and-so again this year part. That part is rough.  I always want to be thoughtful and sentimental and creative, but then I usually end up giving something like a gift card to the mall.  Lamezzzz.  (Although I personally love getting a good gift card).

But I think I can help if you are looking for a way to give something a little different this year. Something beyond the typical gift card/lotion set/fuzzy blanket type gifts. Something you can’t buy in a store.  Something that perhaps, means a little bit more. (Ok, disclaimer: you will probably need to buy some of it at a store).  Come a little closer and I’ll tell you.

 

CLOSER.

 

 

CLOOOSSSSEEERRR.

 

 

Have you considered giving someone you love … a MAKEOVER?

 

Not a personal makeover, but a room makeover! Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.  Transform a dull space into something that sparkles year-round, and your recipient will be thanking you well into next Thanksgiving!

Does dad’s home office need an overhaul? Could grandma’s laundry room use some love? Could your brother’s bedroom benefit from a boost?

Let’s make it happen! Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling from yours truly.

 

The Regular Ol’ Makeover

This is what I plan to do with my daughter’s room this year.  She’s already overloaded with toys and clothes and crayons and things. THINGS. EVERY. WHERE.

So I said, “What if we fancied up your bedroom for Christmas?”  And she’s totally excited!  Her room has been a sad, sad state of affairs for too long.  I’ve tried several times in the past to get some kind of makeover off the ground, and it has just never worked.  Part of the problem is my own insistence on what I think it should be. None of my choices ever enthused her all that much. Mint! Light pink! Gray! No, no, and NO.

So this time I started off by letting her pick out some bedding from BeddingStyle.com (all by herself, teeth grit) and luckily I ended up loving it too.  It mirrors her little personality so much – spunky and glamorous.

girl bedroom makeover pillowsFrom the Teen Vogue collection.

Here’s what we are working with.  Yeah, perhaps there is maybe some slight room for improvement here.

girl bedroom makeover before

girl bedroom makeover after teen vogue bedding |betterafter.net

The bedding makes a world of difference, even though we’ve definitely got a ways to go still. I want to recover her chair, and do something fun with the walls, and add a new headboard, although with the windows there I’m not sure. Curtains? With the shutters? Still thinking. But we’re off to a great start! I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out!

So there’s one idear for you: The Regular Ol’ Makeover. Merry Christmas!

Here are a couple more suggestions.

 

The Surprise Makeover

This is a fun approach, because they’ll never see it coming.  Just be sure of a few things:

1. Make sure your recipient is currently unhappy with their space.  You don’t want to go repainting someone’s mauve bathroom that they truly love even if it is absolutely abhorrent in your eyes.

2. Have a plan well before you start.  When I did the Better After Gives Back makeover for Jessi a few months ago, I had prepared as much as I could before I ever stepped foot in her house.  I had the artwork, headboard, and furniture ready to go, and it still took almost three days to finish up everything else, from painting the walls to sewing curtains and pillows, and that was with an army of help.

3. Enlist some help! Not only will you need some extra hands to make a makeover happen quick, you will also need someone to make sure that your recipient is kept away too.

4. Be sure that you can sneak in and out without upsetting anyone, triggering an alarm, or worse, meeting up with an unfriendly dog. You’re going to need all your fingers.

5. Remember that your project could snowball into something bigger than you expect. For example, in Jessi’s room, the curtains I had were too short, so we decided to sew an extra panel on the top.

betterafter gives back headboard makeover | betterafter.net

Then the corner looked empty, so we had to run out and hunt down a thriftstore chair to fit the space AND give that a makeover as well.

better after gives back bedroom makeover |betterafter.net

Then her old dresser looked shabby compared to everything else, so THAT got a new coat of paint in the meantime.  None of these things were planned on initially!

BETTER AFTER GIVES BACK | betterafter.net

Oh, but the feelz are WORTH IT!

 

jessi surpriseSurprise! You get a makeover! Merry Christmas!

 

The ‘Trading Spaces’ Makeover

This is a super fun idea, especially if you are a bit tired of the typical “draw names” routine that many families do (mine included).  This works best if you are lucky enough to live close to your loved ones, and you trust their taste.  Basically, instead of a regular gift exchange, you swap room makeovers!

I have a friend who did this one year with her four sisters, each redoing another’s bedroom, and it turned out great.  I love that idea. Just having someone come over and paint a room for me would be a gift in itself. Here are some tips:

1. Set a budget. No one wants to go overboard and get under-served. Decide on a max and stick to it.

2. Make sure to go over some do’s and don’ts beforehand.  It’s helpful knowing that your recipient loves purple and hates burlap for example.

3. Feel free to incorporate thrifted and/or handmade items. The fun part is being creative within your budget boundaries!

4. Take the ‘Trading Spaces’ theme all the way! Record the big reveals and have a viewing party later!

girl bedroom gallery wall |betterafter.net

 

girl bedroom makeover

Special thanks to BeddingStyle.com for partnering with me for this post.  Hope we gave you some fun ideas!


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Dream Team

Do you remember last week when I was talking about something crazy cool that was happening that had nothing to do with blogging or DIY or before and afters?

Well, I’m telling you about it today! (You might have seen some sneak peeks if you follow me on Instagram). So sorry if you are came here looking for makeovers, because I don’t have any, but this is a pretty cool story, so I think you will like it even better.

Ok, settle in.  Here goes.

Around this time last year, my BFF Shanell invited me to a 3rd Eye Blind concert in Vegas. I’m always down for a good time, so I said sure, and lugged my eight-months pregnant self to this show.

3rd eye blind concert

The opening band was called Team, and they caught my attention right away.  Normally, you can’t wait for the opening band to wrap it up so you can move on to the main event, but not this time.  I was an instant fan.  I went home and looked them up online, turns out they were a fairly new band and the Vegas show was only their 12th show ever.  I love discovering new music, so I downloaded everything they had released.

And I freaking LOVED it.  I listened to their EP every single day for months.

a3446354368_2

I actually forced myself to stop listening to it for awhile, because I was afraid I’d get tired of it and I didn’t want that to happen, but then I couldn’t help it and I started listening to it again, and good news, I never got tired of it.

If I had to attempt to describe their music, I’d call it a perfect blend of indie and alternative rock while still managing to avoid all the cliches of each genre.  Indie can often be a little too twee for me, and a lot of alternative music these days just sounds like mopey high schoolers, but Team was none of those things. Catchy without being ‘poppy,’ hard enough but without losing a melody, really interesting arrangements and lyrics, and the lead singer/songwriter Caleb just has such a unique, cool sound. Every song seems to take a little twist at some point and give you something unexpected.  I couldn’t get enough.

They came out with a new album over the summer called Good Morning Bad Day, and I downloaded it right away, but I didn’t even listen to it for a couple of weeks, because what if I didn’t like it as much as the first one?!

 

team album

Guess what, it was twice as good. I loved every single song again! I kept looking to see if they were ever touring again in this part of the country, but they never did any shows west of Texas for a long time.

 

Finally they announced some new tour dates a few months ago, and Mesa, Arizona was one of them. Of course I was going to go, and I even planned to get there early to see if I could possibly run into them for a minute and just say hi.

Then one day, I noticed a tiny little link at the bottom of post on their Facebook page.  “Would you like TEAM to come play in your living room? Contact J.R. for house show availability.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT? I could have my favorite band come and play for me at my house? Stop it.

So I emailed their manager J.R., thinking there was probably no chance of this being real. I was in the worst part of my recovery from my eye surgery at this time, and wondered if I hadn’t imagined the whole thing.

Turns out, it was real.

And that’s how my favorite band Team came to play a house show for me in my backyard last week.

 

teamShanell, Caleb and me

team3

Not only did they come and play … they actually stayed the night.  We have a little guest casita at our house that we rent out on airbnb sometimes, so they crashed there after their concert in Mesa. They woke up the next morning and hung out and ate lunch with us, then played an awesome acoustic set for me and my friends in my backyard.

It was the coolest thing ever ever ever.

team4

They are the nicest guys. SO talented. They even played my very favorite song “Am I Alive,” which apparently they never perform live.  James actually had to go learn it in the casita an hour beforehand.

team5

They all have been in bands before. Jared on the left was recently in a band called Dresses, so he played a couple Dresses songs for us, which I also loved.  He has a beautiful voice and is an amazing songwriter.

James on the right was also in another band called The Background, and Caleb and Rico (left in the below pic) had a lot of success in their previous pop/punk band Forever the Sickest Kids.

team8

 

Such a tragedy that I didn’t get any pictures of Rico’s magnificent hair.

I had no idea what to expect, I don’t often host rock bands at my house, and they actually had never done a house show before either, so I think we were all collectively happy that it  worked out so awesomely and none of us turned out to be murderers.

I couldn’t let them leave empty-handed, so I had Meredith at Lemon Bliss Bakery whip up some custom cookies for me. She did an awesome job, no surprise there. They turned out so cute.

teamcookies

It is totally non-crazy to give your favorite band cookies with their faces on them, I swear. I think. They really liked them anyway.

 

So. Now you must download TEAM and tell me if you like them as much as I do.

* You can get their EP right here for THREE MEASLY BUCKS. Deal of a lifetime alert. Do it. Tell them Lindsey sent you.

* You can download Good Morning Bad Day on itunes, worth every penny.

* My favorite Teams songs are: Am I Alive, The Man in a Suit With His Eye to the Sky, Sinking, Come To My House, I’m Just Like You, and I Like It, and I’ll stop now before I list them all.

* Also, check out Jared’s band Dresses, my favorites are Sun Shy and Painting Roses.

 

team logo

Cool story, huh?

 


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File Sharing

Did you know file cabinets could be stylish and awesome?  You probably did, but did you know they can also be terrifying?  True story: years ago I was visiting someone in their office, and brought my preschool-age son along.  He wandered around the room while we were talking and found a tall file cabinet, and somehow managed to pull open every single drawer.  I turned around just in time to see the cabinet tipping forward, weighed down by all the open drawers, and inches away from crashing down on him.  It was super scary.  So FYI, that can happen.

But let’s go back to the realm of happy, non-terrifying file cabinets, like this stunner from Charlotte at Ciburbanity. Before: an office-approved clunker the color of Metamucil.

After: a purple ombre partay! It makes me want to FILE STUFF, like, fiercely.

 

brown file cabinet before

 

Purple - Ombre - File Cabinet - Makeover | betterafter.net

And here’s another from Tami, the wood whisperer I featured yesterday. She worked her magic on this oudated cabinet, and the result blows my mind! What? How?  She reveals her tricks on her blog Curb Alert.

 

dark brown cabinet before

 

Brown - White - Card Catalog - Makeover | betterafter.net


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