Category: Tips + Tricks

Dates on the Cheap: Get FESTIVE

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. One of the many things that I love about this time of year is how lively a city can look decorated for the holidays. Syracuse sure does clean up nice with all the lights.
Ian and I were due for a mini-date and we like usual were a bit strapped for cash. We planned to be “out” during an afternoon and pretty much winged the whole date. Luckily we had a blast and I think you may too.

Find out where/when your city or town will have a decorated Christmas tree. Bundle up if you are in a chilly place [like Syracuse!] and pack a camera if you want. Syracuse is great because they also BLAST epic Christmas music right in Clinton Square – where the tree is set up. We could have also gone ice skating but we were being a bit lazy.

Stroll around linking arms. Talk about your Christmas plans. The key to this date is to talk & see. If you get cold have your significant give you a hug. Caution: I wouldn’t suggest this for a first day. Just sayin’! Now, I suggest after you freeze your butts off to make a trip to your local cafe and order a hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Since I was in need of a little caffeine boost before we saw the tree we went to the Downtown Cafe Kubal location and ordered the most amazing mocha and pumpkin spiced latte. Check out my Instagram feed for the fancy picture of our lattes. 

Alyssa from All Things Beautiful has some great cheap date ideas as well! [Today she’s talking all about exploring the historic district of your city – I love this!]

P.S. This is my last post using wordpress.com! It’s a little sad, but I’m onto bigger and better things. Stay tuned for the big reveal on Monday!

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This or That: DIY Succulent Pots

Does anyone else get into color kicks? Let me explain. You see a color and/or combination. You start to pin a bunch of things that reflect this. You start to buy things and notice, “hey, this is the same color I’ve been obsessing over!” Slowly, but surely you realize that your apartment, clothes, accessories are all orange, or blue, or black and you can react in one or two ways: 1. Change – you begin to say, “No more [insert color here].” 2. You embrace it. You realize you struck gold.

I am out of denial. I realized that a lot of my accessories are in this orangey-red color. I don’t hate it. I’m not sick of it. But, I think I want to transition to more of a classic look. The cycle is repeating and I’m gravitating towards white, black, and pops of metallics. Do I sound like a broken record? If I do I’m sorry!

So here is today’s dilemma. Do I take the first way: Change. Or do I embrace it? Today I present an example of this – my succulent pots.

This is what they currently look like:

DIY: orange + gold succulent pots

Cute right? Well, one got a makeover and now I can’t decide. If I add 1 more coat of paint there is no going back. So do I try for black + gold? Behold:

DIY Black + Gold Succulent Pots

What do you think?

this or that by bedsidesign

Help me choose! Leave a comment with your favorite color combo and the majority wins!

I would also like to state that I bought these succulents back in June. That’s right – they are still alive. I finally found an apartment plants thrive in! 

Dates on the Cheap: #2

Okay friends, when I came up with the idea for this mini-series I thought, “Sure, cheap, fun, creative date ideas will be a good thing to blog about. Let’s make this happen.” What I am now realizing is I LOVE THIS SERIES. Like for reals. Not only do I have an excuse to try out a bunch of new ideas and places but I also get to bring my PIC [partna in crime, aka Ian] along for the ride. My blogging buddy Alyssa from All Things Beautiful decided to linkup with the series too [so check it out!]. I’m thrilled because now we have both east coast [I’m gearing up for wintery dates] and west coast [she’s enjoying the amazing weather…I’m a little jealous] date ideas!

dates on the cheap series by bedsidesign

Where did we go on our next date? We both love beer, Syracuse, and affordable dates. That’s why we picked a local brewery’s free beer tasting! Yes, that’s right I said FREE. I can’t believe it has taken us 2 years to check out Middle Ages.

Dates on the Cheap

We were able to try out all the beers that they had on tap and relax. It was great for two people [like us] who are comfortable holding a conversation, but it would also be a great first date because you can try new things together. Plus, did I mention it was FREE?!

Middle Ages Brewery Syracuse NYWe didn’t take any pictures inside because we didn’t want to operate any machinery while drinking. Make sure that if you go on one of these dates you take a cab, walk or other transportation since I do not endorse drinking and driving. Also, since it is free please give a generous tip to the happy people working there. After we left Middle Ages Ian looked at me and I knew what he was thinking. He blurted, “Yeah, let’s do this every week.” And that’s how traditions are born.

Search the local breweries in your town or city to see if they offer a free tasting and check it out!

Looking for other cheap date ideas? Why not take a photography date?

DIY: 2013 Geometric Calendar

Before we know it 2013 will be here. In an effort to be prepared for the new year I would like to share a simple & quick [took me all of 10 minutes] DIY geometric calendar. We are working on our office and I’m sticking with a black and white theme with metallic accessories. I fell in love with this 2013 printable calendar from Natasha Mileshina‘s etsy shop. The first step would be to purchase the calendar.
geometric 2013 calendarOnce you have the calendar you can print it out. You will also need to gather some supplies.

supplies to make a DIY calendar

Cut the calendar months into the size that you would like. Use the ruler to keep your cuts straight. Secure the calendar month to the cardstock with strips of electrical tape [washi tape will work too]. I wanted the tape to look a bit more thrown on together but you can use precise pieces if that’s more your style. Use both sides of the cardstock to conserve paper. I put Jan/Feb on one, March/April on another and so on.

DIY geometric calendar

Look at all the shapes! Once you tape all your months together use your lil binder clip to fasten them together. Behold:

DIY geometric calendarIt is as simple as that! 2013 you lookin’ so fly!

P.S. If you make one I would LOVEEE to see it.

Dates on the Cheap: #1

Let’s face it, unless you are a high rolla [don’t we all wish?] sometimes you don’t have a ton of money to spend on a date. That doesn’t mean you can’t go on one. The hubs and I are pretty creative when it comes to “dates” and most of the time prefer these outings vs. the typical dinner and a movie. Believe me, we love to eat and watch movies but we also like to change it up. Well, we are going to share at least 4 date ideas over the next few weeks to help when extra cash is stockpiled away for holiday presents! We present:

Date idea #1? Go on a photography date. Note: This date can also double as a chance to be creative, could turn into a DIY project [more on that soon!], and hey you might even get some new pictures for your blog!

What you need:

A camera – this could be a digital camera, a disposable, a hipster [like my fisheye and holga film cameras] camera, iPhone, whatever you have!

Your significant other.

A favorite place.

Optional: a cute outfit, one that you are comfy in from multiple angles. I always opt for a classic button-down and jeans or cords. But if you are going out in public you should probably wear some clothes, just sayin’!

Task: Go explore your favorite place. Have fun, who cares what you look like. Take pictures of each other, take pictures of the grass or water or fire hydrants, whatever floats your boat. The point is not to be a professional photographer – unless you already are. I got lucky and Ian does this for reals, but all you need to do is let loose, bond and have fun. It’s okay if one or both of you aren’t creative, you can crack up at the pictures later on! <–Believe me, we do this a lot!

If you have no idea how to pose, create a pinterest board about photography and try to recreate the shots. Instagram your photos later or print them out. Make them your new profile pictures or do nothing with them. The point is to be out, doing something. Feel free to take cutesy pictures like this:

Or be a creeper [coughlikeIancough]:

Or if you are feeling camera-shy feel free to take pictures of the surroundings:

The only cost will be if you decide to have your photos printed – which is totally optional! We picked a few spots that we wanted to take photos so you can really plan it to be as long or short as you want. I can’t show you all the pictures because I will be using a lot for my redesign and I’m desperately trying to be patient and wait until the new design launches. But, if you wanna snoop a little more check out Ian’s tumblr.

What do you think? Would you ever go on a photography date?

I’m thinking of using these photos for our holiday cards [isn’t that crazy to think of?!] I’m not-so-secretly keeping my fingers crossed that I win the “Year in Review” giveaway from Amanda Jane Jones <–hey, look another Jones!

DIY: The Beginnings of a Gallery Wall

I love gallery walls. One of my all time favorites is from Young House Love – their hallway gallery has the most amazing collection. Definitely check their post out because they also offer an amazing tutorial on how to hang all those frames. By using the same color frames all the artwork and displayed items look cohesive. I picked out a wall in my living room/dining room and it has stayed unharmed.

I was mesmerized the first time I saw this. I have an awesome Rothko print that will live on the other side of the wall so I wanted that to mesh well with my collection. I settled on unstained wood frames. We picked up 5 frames in rectangles and squares from A.C. Moore for $1 each.

unstained wood frames from AC Moore

Now the hard part…what to I put in them? I’m planning on making this wall a mixture: pictures of us, quotes, odd graphics and bold colors…totally us. I’ve been collecting scraps of paper and paint chips so I threw together 5 (almost free) pieces. I used a bit of washi tape too. If you are planning on making a gallery wall you can pick a theme and find variations of it. Since we are more eclectic I didn’t want to take it too seriously.

gallery wall DIY by bedsidesign

Before I committed to placing them on the wall I put them on the table and started playing with the arrangement. Have fun with this! I changed it up a ton of times.

DIY gallery wall by bedsidesign

Since our walls are nearly impossible to drill holes into [concrete + brick] and we live in an apartment I used Scotch adhesive mounting tape – this also makes it easier to change-up later if needed.

DIY gallery wall by bedsidesign

Each frame is slight irregular so we didn’t worry too much about whether it was straight or not. Now that we have a core we can branch outward as we add photos and frames. It was so easy and I’m so happy we got started on it. What do you think? What would you put in a gallery wall?

Calling All Bloggers!

a call to bloggers

Can you believe that September is almost over? How crazy is that? Since October is RIGHT around the corner I wanted to let you know that if you are a blogger or shop and would like your button featured [FOR FREE!] please feel free to shoot me an email bedsidesign [at] gmail [dot] com along with your button. I have a few spaces open so if the spots fill up before I receive your submission you will be added to the November waiting list.

Important Specifications!

Please note: Button Size for bedsidesign is 200 x 200 px, will consider 200 x 100 px
Please also include a picture of yourself in at least a 500 px width.

Along with submitting your image & button code please answer the following questions:

What’s your favorite thing to do in your city (or about your city)?
Why do you blog?
Can you share a recent favorite read or find (could be music, a blog etc.)?
What is an interest, or something you’re passionate about (this could be a cause that you support)?
What is on your bedside table?
What are five things you couldn’t live without?

The answers, photo, and button will be featured on bedsidesign in a blog post where I will introduce you as a new sponsor.

Deadline to be considered for October is by Saturday, September 29th at 12:00 pm EST.
*bedsidesign will review submissions and make sure that the blogs featured will mesh well with the themes, topics and ideas discussed. You will be notified if you are or are not chosen.

PLUS!

If you would like to featured bedsidesign on your blog feel free to grab one of the 3 blog button options!

The Retro:

bedsidesign- retro button

Ombré Confetti:

bedsidesign-confetti ombre-button

Christie Jones (that’s me!):

christie-jones-bedsidesign button

VLOG #1: HOBSTR AIR PLANT TERRARIUM!

I am so pumped to share today’s post with you all because it is my first ever vlog! Drumroll please…

The Hobby Starter kit is courtesy of Hobstr. You can order your amazingly cute Air Plant Terrarium and it will come with everything you need to get started.

What you need:

A glass bowl

Rocks/pebbles for drainage

Orchid chips

Moss

Air plant(s)!

*Personalize it with a cute figurine – we are currently searching for a plastic bear so that the terrarium looks like a forest.

You can add each of the items into your glass bowl rocks first, orchid chips, moss and then your air plant! Hobstr also provides a great step by step tutorial for you to follow.

I have Ian Jones to thank for making my ideas a reality. It sure does help to have a talented husband by my side.

Behind the Scenes + 5 Tips to Spruce up Your Blog!

Today I’m dishing the behind the scenes details and inspiration that led me to spruce things up a bit over here! Did you notice the new header,  social media buttons [to your right] or maybe you saw my new twitter, facebook, and pinterest profile pictures, or the 2 new blog button options! I see amazing blog designs on a daily basis and I am always wondering how the blogger came up with the concept. I am using a wordpress.com theme so I am very limited to what I can actually change. I’ve been thinking about switching over to a self-hosted site for 2013 and I am currently crunching numbers. In the meantime, I decided to change some of the things I have control over. Here is a moodboard that I created to keep me focused while making the changes.

bedsidesign blog inspiration moodboard

Here are the steps that I took to give my blog a new look. These steps may be helpful for those of you limited in what you can change on your blog!

Step 1: Pick a new font. Although I love me some Lobster 2 for the past month I feel like it has popped up on every blog [nothing wrong with that!]. I just needed a change and wanted to pick something that was a bit more straight forward. After testing our over 30 fonts – seriously no joke – I decided on spinwerad. Do you like it? Another top contender was Kristi so I included it in this moodboard. I will probably use this as an accent here and there.

Step 2: Pick a color theme and stick with it. Most of you know that I LOVE color! This was even harder than picking a new font! I really wanted to stay in a more monochrome palette. Check out this amazing design guide on color with Chelsea Fullerton and Emma Robertson. I also knew I wanted to take the monochrome palette one step further by keeping it in an ombre style. I pinned that amazing table runner by LEIF a while back [16 weeks to be exact – thanks for the accuracy pinterest] and picked the colors right from it. Now I’ll clue you in on a little something: I also struggled picking the colors. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Yeah – it took me a while to make these decisions which I think is perfectly normal and okay. So if you are getting stressed take a deep breath, it’ll be okay. Something I was considering was whether this color palette was “too girly” or not. I rationalized that I am in fact a girl, and there’s nothing wrong with being a little girly.

Step 3: Pick a design theme. I’ve been obsessed with confetti lately [so much so that I requested some of the leftover confetti from Brooklyn Bride had after The Cream Event]. That awesome gold confetti is courtesy of Brooklyn Bride. Doesn’t confetti just make you want to party? Well it does for me and I want my blog to be where the party is at! I found an awesome brush tool and went to town! Let’s be real it was either confetti or sea otters everywhere and I feel like that may have been a bit over the top…but I totally considered it!

Step 4: Design, rinse and repeat… It’s important that whatever I design is cohesive and duplicated where necessary – first I created the blog header, next came the blog buttons. I decided based on some great readership survey results to put a little more focus on Christie Jones [that’s me] so I added a photo of myself in a similar color palette. I designed a blog button that would be straight forward – just my logo, then added that to a second version with my photo so people would know who is behind this little blog. I also wanted my social media buttons to have the same feel so I designed them with a same feel repeating patterns, and colors.

Step 5: Finalize and upload! My finalizing process was taking a break from looking at everything and coming back to it later. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes make all the difference. I also showed Ian and he approved so I made it concrete and hit upload. That’s it!

What do you think?

With a little help from my friends: Survey Time!

blog typography in letterpress typset
[Photo credits]
I’ve thought about putting together a survey for about a month and I finally decided that it would be a good idea. Since I am in planning mode for 2013 [it really is just around the corner] I would love to hear what you think about bedsidesign. I welcome your opinions, suggestions and feedback. There are only 10 questions so it shouldn’t take too long. Thanks for taking the time out! Please click here to take the survey!