Monday, September 23, 2013

Custom Photo Cards from Ink361

My favorite site for viewing my Instagrams, Ink361,  is having a sale on Instagram photo cards - buy 10 for $20 (regular price would be $30, so this is a pretty sweet deal). This deal ends on 9/25, so act soon to get in on it.

Instagram Photo Cards
I plan on making several from the Instagrams I've been posting from this summer. Like this one of the boys at the beach in East Hampton. Such a great way to remember those days of summer that seem to fly by too quickly!

These 5x5 cards from Ink361 are the perfect way to send a unique, personalized card. Using the new apps - like Letterglow and Over - that let you add words and graphics to your pics before you Instagram - help you create the perfect little message for a card. These apps are a perfect compliment to Instagram and are especially useful for people like me who are not graphic designers!

Ink361's cards are printed on 100% recycled paper and ship within the US for Photo cards is just $1 or to Canada for $3 (other location shipping costs vary).

To take advantage of this offer, visit and use code 10CARDS20XT at checkout.

Check out their site for more info on the products or start your order.

Offer details here. 
Not valid with any other offer, valid only on 10 Cards from your own photos, expires 11:59pm PST Sept. 25

Hope you enjoy your photo cards!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Airplane Graffiti

Last weekend, the kids were outside and called for me from the deck. The pointed to the sky in disbelief over the perfect letter "X" that two airplanes had made in the sky. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my iPhone was able to capture it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

House Projects Update- Kitchen Wall Down!

Lots of progress is happening at the new house. We've repainted the entire main floor. We started out thinking Grey Owl from Benjamin Moore was the Holy Grail of paint for us, but it wasn't until we painted most of the house in that color that we realized that NOPE. It's wasn't! This color was very nice but had a strong greenish-blue cast that really turned us off. This color did not lay down as gray for us at all in this big space. We think it deserves a second chance, so we'll try it in the master bedroom. For the main floor, we decided to turn to the trusty Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. MUCH BETTER. It's a beautiful, classic gray that is warm, yet fresh and clean. We love it. Our furniture will look great with this shade of gray. The floors are being refinished this week. We've picked a red mahogany stain. We can't go back in the house to check it out until Saturday. I'm excited though!

Floor swatches! Decisions, decisions! 
As for the wall in the kitchen--it's gone for good, and wow, what a difference! We decided to keep one wall facing the living room, and only take the wall that is adjacent to the dining room down. This opens the kitchen right up to the dining room, yet leaves one wall for additional cabinets.

Wall demolition in progress
And, it's gone! Much more open!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The #Ink 361_Letterglow Challenge

East Hampton, NY
I can't tell you how many days go by where I wish I were a graphic designer, or had at least some sense for Photoshop. Well, I'm not, and I don't. And at this stage of my busy life, I don't really have time to go back and learn (I'm waiting for my kids to become experts, and then they can teach me :).

This is why I love innovative design/photography apps like Letterglow, a very cool app that I just learned about from @Ink361. Letterglow allows you to take your photos one step further, and enhance them with typography overlays. It gives you several fonts to work with, but if you have your own custom fonts you prefer to use you can add them to this app as well. You can also fine tune the image with other photography adjustments as well. Once you have something you love, you can share it to all of your social networks.

Letterglow is hosting the latest photo challenge on @Ink361, so I submitted one of my favorite pictures from the summer of the two boys at the beach in East Hampton. The challenge ends on September 11 at midnight.

I couldn't resist playing around with the app a bit more, and created this picture below of the kids today on the #FDOS (first day of school). I figure the interesting typeface on this picture detracts from the less-than-thrilled look on their faces!

First Day of School in Ramsey, NJ


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Home Redesign Update- Dining Room Progress

This is one of the few times where we've wanted to repaint our home, and have had luck with the first few samples we've brought home to try. There are so, so many great choices for paint color that it can be completely overwhelming! One of the benefits of house-hunting is that you get the opportunity to explore many homes where you can see how others decorate and the paints they choose. The lighter and brighter tones definitely appeal to us over the warmer, deeper tones. Our old home in Pittsford was mainly deep. I loved our deep red dining room with the white crown, but I think for our new home we will lighten everything up. Where the dining room is completely open to the living room, we think the lighter tones will make the rooms seem even larger.

Dining Room: Before and Progress Update- no more curtains and dark walls

We looked at many paint chips at our local Benjamin Moore paint shop in Wyckoff. The colors we were leaning toward were Revere Pewter, Gray Owl, Stonington Gray, Silver Half Dollar. Very subtle grays. Some with warm undertones, and some cool. We ultimately chose Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.  It has a beautiful lightness to it, but it's nicely grounded with a warm undertone and the slightest touch of green. You need to be in the right lighting to see the green but in most conditions it's just gray. We think it will coordinate really well with our existing furniture, and will give everything a more modern, updated feel. We intend to refinish the floors to a deep shade of walnut, which will look much nicer than the honey oak stain that is currently on the floors. I love how the light walls play off of a dark finished floor. All of the crown moldings in the house are currently painted a creamy yellow-y ivory color. We will paint it all a bright white, which will look amazing against the grays. Once the walls are painted, we can then tackle the ceiling in the dining room...also a yellow/ivory tone. Needs to be bright and white.

I think the beautiful window needs nothing more than a fresh coat of white paint. It is designed so well, and has such great moldings and detail that covering it up with curtains is a crime! The room already is so much bigger and brighter without the curtains (even before painting). After the room is painted, we will replace and update the lighting. I have many ideas for chandeliers but I am strongly considering this one from Ballard Designs. I just don't know which size to get - petite or grande.

Coming along nicely!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Our CSA Program is winding down

When we moved to New Jersey, we were told by just about everyone in this area that Abma's Farm in Wyckoff is where it's at for pumpkins, Christmas trees, flowers, and food. We were really impressed by the place. Not only do they have loads of fresh veggies, they also have fresh eggs, and meats that are all produced right there on site. They have a great area for kids to walk through and visit with the chickens, goats, bunnies, and they even do pony rides. Abma's is literally right around the corner from us, and we love the idea of stopping in just to visit, because it's fun.

When we discovered they had a CSA program running this year, we got in on it. I have always loved the idea of investing in community supported agriculture, because local farms have so much to offer that the grocery store doesn't (freshness and variety, for example). Abma's program offered two tiers- a small (enough for 4 people) and a large (enough for 6 people) share. We chose the small share and paid $450 at the beginning for 18 weeks of fresh veggies. They start you out with a bin of veggies and then you return your bin to them on Friday, where they give you a new bin filled with that week's veggies (and recipes).

Every week, we get a variety of whatever is being harvested during that particular point in the farming schedule. Lettuces, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, fruit, beets, onions, carrots have all made rotating appearances in our bins. Lately, we've been getting a bouquet of cut flowers as well! I like the notion of not always knowing what you'll get in your basket, because it definitely leads to anticipation. The program is beginning to wind down now, with only 2 weeks remaining. I can't say for certain that we would do this again next year, but we may research to see if other local farms have a smaller share that we could order from. The bins always had too much for us to eat during the week. We don't know if it's because we have had such a busy summer of house-hunting and not always being able to make great veggies with dinner, or if it's just too much in general. Also,the next town over has a highly acclaimed Farmer's Market, so we will likely just go there and choose enough of what we want for the week and still feel great about supporting the local businesses.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Let the home remodeling begin!

Our new home is definitely nice, but there are a lot of things we plan to change to make it really feel like "ours". Painting, refinishing the floors, opening up the kitchen, and re-doing the first floor is going to be a lot of work! But, we are both really excited to start our projects. We've begun having different contractors come in for estimates and now we just need to get started. We hope to have most of it done in a month, but if it takes longer, we have our current rental through October (hopefully it won't!). My new mantra for this home is "yes, it's small, but every corner will be as beautiful as possible". Whether it's an area rug, lighting, doorknobs, or bathroom fixtures, we plan to choose and purchase the best and prettiest we can find. No more going to Home Depot and getting the first thing we see because it's easy and affordable. I want to love every single nook in this home and I have an idea and vision for every room. Some of the rooms will be done in no time, and others more complex and will require an architect.

The kitchen, by far, is my favorite room in the house and was what tipped me over the edge for this home over the others that we were considering. I love all of the choices that the former owners made. The cabinets are beautiful, the granite is awesome, and I love the floor. We are going to knock out the two walls to open it up and put an island in the middle with a couple of chairs. We need more cabinet space, and while the kitchen is technically an "eat-in" kitchen, it's a tight fit. Getting rid of the walls that face the dining room and entry way will make it seem much bigger for sure.
Beautiful Window in the Dining Room (with an outside view of our X-Large Shed!)
The dining room is a good size and I really love the Andersen window they put in. So different than what you see in most bi-level homes built in the 1970's. The dining room will stay a dining room (as opposed to becoming an office or something) because we love our dining room furniture and we were both brought up having a formal place to eat in addition to the kitchen, and we like that idea. In this house, we will use the table every day because the kitchen island we are envisioning will not seat all four of us all of the time.
I also love that the entire home (including hallways) already has beautiful crown molding, something that I wish I had done back in our Pittsford home. It really adds a great touch to every room. We are looking forward to painting all of the moldings a fresh, bright white.

The living room is also a good size, and we intend to have a TV upstairs as well as in the downstairs family room. We have been in a colonial for the last several years, and now we have to re-think our lifestyle to accommodate this bi-level floor plan. We always had a separate TV room from a formal living room. But now, we need a TV downstairs for the boys to use and we want one upstairs in the so-called formal living room for all of us to use. We are considering mounting it to the wall so that we don't have the crowded furniture effect along the wall that spans from dining to living room.
While we are in this phase of selecting contractors, we are doing a few things to get ready for them. Greg couldn't wait to take the curtains in the living room down!

A place to call home

What a great year! Full of transitions for each of us. New jobs. New schools. New town in a new state. New everything!! After living with much uncertainty, we are elated to have closed in on the last (hopefully for a good long time) important decision and transition. After a lot of searching around New Jersey, we've decided to settle in Ramsey and purchase our first NJ home there!

While the home is already lovely, we are excited to put our personal touches on it and do a bit of remodeling inside. It's a much smaller home than we are used to (like A LOT smaller than the one we've been renting), so figuring out where to put what is going to be a challenge for sure. We are hoping to begin our projects soon as we are still renting and having the benefit of a place to stay while remodeling is done is key! I can't wait to post all of the before and after pictures on my blog!

design + development by kiki and co. creative