Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giveaway Winner and an Announcement!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Blogaversary Giveaway!  There were over 70 entries and so many sweet comments from all of my awesome blog friends. generated the lucky winner and that is Chari over at Happy To Design!  Congratulations Chari and thanks again to Kristen's Creations for providing the wonderful gift.  If anyone would like to order one of Kristen's beautiful creations, just click here to view the items on her Etsy store.

This week I'm going to be making a very exciting announcement so be looking for that post and have a very blessed week.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Your Blog On!

The wonderful Traci at Beneath My Heart just did an awesome post on how to grow your blog.  Traci was fortunate enough to attend the recent blogging convention, BlissDom, in Tennessee and was gracious enough to share with us some very good tips for growing your blog.  I encourage everyone to go check it out.  I'm so glad I did because I found some great resources for networking and connecting with other great bloggers.  You will see them added to my sidebar.  These sites are pretty easy to join and offer some very worthwhile tips on how to promote your blog.

In other news, I've been having problems with customizing my blog lately and am asking you to be patient with me during this frustrating time.  I've lost the buttons of some of my favorite bloggers and am experiencing trouble trying to move things around in my sidebar.

Additionally, my Blogaversary Giveaway is ending tonight at 9:00 p.m. so please make sure you enter here before then.

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trash Picking Thursday!

Today I'm linking up with two parties, the lovely Kendall at Finesse Your Nest for Trash Picking Thursday and the wonderful Leigh from Tales From Blogeritaville for Thrifty Thursday.  For these parties we are going down to the basement of the Bliss House, where you'll find many of my TP'd finds that are both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.  And for me, functional is the name of the game.  These days when I am out and about I try to look for things that have storage, whether it's a large piece of furniture, or an accessory.

At the very bottom of my stairs you will see this console table.

I found it on a curb in the neighborhood where I grew up, not far from here.  This neighborhood has been a treasure trove for trashpicking and our favorite spot to scour.  The neighborhood is still transitioning from empty nesters to young families and there is always good furniture.  We have NEVER come home empty handed from treasure hunting there.

I am assuming that this was the server part of the set.  It was an oak color, so I painted it black and added some rub'n buff accents on the sides and hardware for some pizzazz!  It makes a nice statement at the bottom of the stairs.

I use it to store all of my stash of used, slightly used and unused candles.

I needed a place to store some books and this was the perfect piece.  I can't remember what curb this came from, just glad I got to it before the trashmen! It just needed a little cleaning, but otherwise, perfect condition.

This cute bookshelf also came from my old neighborhood and Mr. Bliss uses this in his office area of the basement for storing the printer and other office supplies.  It's collapsible and a pretty walnut color, so I didn't paint it, just cleaned it up.

I got this picture on one of our all-time favorite trash picking adventures.  It was myself and my bff/trashpicking partner, Denise and this particular time, we brought another couple of friends.  We picked at a house that was sold and at that exact moment, the homeowner pulled up and greeted us.  He was as nice as could be and invited us into his beautiful home to see some other furniture that he was selling.  The four of us ended up pooling our money and purchasing quite a bit of beautiful furniture that day.  Here is the picture that I kept for myself!

He gave me this Pottery Barn bench for free.  It was pink and I just painted it black and it sits under our fireplace in the basement.

So that's it for this weeks TP Thursday bash.  Thanks to Kendall and Leigh for hosting and be sure to go to Finesse Your Nest and Tales From Bloggeritaville to see other curbside/thrifty treasures.

Don't forget to enter my Blogaversary Giveaway.  There is only 1 day left!

Also, I've been making some changes to my blog lately and need your help!  Since I switched to Updated Editor (which I love) I have had a hard time dragging things in my layout.  Also, I've learned that different browsers are showing my "Page Bar" and other elements in the wrong place.  And lastly, when I view my blog, the wrenches are visible, are they visible to you?  And if so, how do I remove them?  Ugh.  So frustrating!  I would appreciate any help you can give me.  Thanks and have a great day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giveaway Reminder and a New Gadget!

The snowmen and snowwomen have only their bottom ball left here in South Jersey and we are bracing for yet another big snowstorm!  I don't think anyone is more ready for Spring!   I just wanted to give a quick reminder to be sure you entered my Blogaversary Giveaway.  There are only 2 days left to enter and I would hate for any of you to miss out on the opportunity to own one of Kristen's Creations.

Also, I just added a new gadget to my blog - my very own button!!  I'm embarrassed to admit how excited I would be to see my button on one of your blogs.  So grab it from my sidebar if you want to, and share a little BlissLove!!!  It was custom made by the good folks at The Cutest Blog On The Block and I just love it!

Oh and one more thing, I just switched to the Updated Editor in my settings and it is awesome!  If you haven't done it yet, you should try it out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sharin' Tips With My Peeps & Giveaway Reminder!!!

Since I started MDB, I've received many comments from people wanting to know how I am able to find so many incredible bargains for my home on such a regular basis.  I developed a list of tips I've learned from my experiences to share with you.

We are fortunate to be decorators in a time where there are so many valuable resources for frugal home design - yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales, auctions, moving sales, Craig's List, and my all-time favorite - the curb.

* Some of my most valuable treasures came from someone's trash.  Trash-picking is not only acceptable these days, but with so much concern about the environment, it is also responsible.   I have gotten out of my car in broad daylight, dressed in my Sunday best, and sorted through trash.  I'm not talking about digging through bags, but rather "piles".

* Look for the "For Sale" signs.  That is a good indication that the pile is just extra stuff that the movers don't want to bring with them.  I have found beautiful urns, garden decor, planters, frames, lamps, stationary, gift wrap, gift bags, chandeliers, antique furniture and much, much more, all in perfect condition, and all in someone's trash.  Don't be afraid to try it.

* Scour Craig's List!!!  Do not waste your time with bidding on Ebay.  There was a time when you could find a good bargain on Ebay, but not anymore.  Ebay has become saturated, but Craig's List is all about timing.  If you scour the ads on a regular basis, you can find bargains on anything for your home - furniture, materials, lighting, rugs, paint, fixtures and more.  But being the first to act is key.  If you see something you think you may be interested in, Bookmark it.  But if you see something you can't live without, respond immediately.  This is especially true for Antiques.  And don't give up.  People are busy and may not get back to you right away.  That doesn't always mean that your item is sold.

* Yard Sales are the number one resource for finding accessories for your home.  People are constantly switching out there accessories.  It's the cheapest way for them to get a new look for a room without replacing expensive furniture pieces.  So let THEM buy the accessories at full price, and when it's time for them to switch out, being at their yardsale is your chance to scoop it up for much, much less.

* Be prepared!  Map out your route the night before and if you can, bring a GPS.

*  Don't be afraid to haggle at yard sales, it is expected.  And don't take it personally if you get                           rejected.  Just move on to the next one.

*  Moving Sales are a great place to score decent furniture on the cheap.   People get transferred all the time, and can't always take their furniture with them from place to place, so let their loss be your gain.

* Estate Sales are an excellent resource for antique lovers.  Rather than wasting your money at antique stores where the pieces are way overpriced (chances are, they got their stuff from an Estate Sale anyway), scour the ads for Estate Sales in your area.  Depending on who is running the sale, you may have to wait in line.  But don't be intimidated.  Just be patient, and if you see something you like, pick it up and hold onto it until you check out.

*  Do a google search for auctions in your area. It's easy to get intimidated if you are not familiar with the inner workings of an auction.  But there are different types of auctions.  Some are very informal and others are more hard core.  Either way, they require nothing more than getting a number and throwing your arm up in the air when you want to bid.  Easy peasy!   You may want to try an informal auction first just to get your feet wet.  Be sure to stay alert and if you see something you like, just stay with that piece, no matter where the rest of the auction goes.  The more wandering you do, the more likely you are to lost out.  Also, be aware of the fees included at your auction house before bidding

* Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, don't be a forcer.  Nothing wastes more time and money than "forcing".  This is a common decorating mistake that many people make, whether it be a piece of furniture, an accessory or a design trend.   If something doesn't work or flow in a space today, it probably won't feel any better tomorrow. Trusting your instincts will help you to make better design decisions, which in the end will save you precious time and money.  So whatever it is, RETURN IT!  That's what receipts are for.

If you haven't already entered to win my Blogaversary Giveaway, you have until this Friday, Feb. 26th at 9:00 p.m.  You just may win a treat from the lovely Kristen of Kristen's Creations

Friday, February 19, 2010

Real-Life House Tour Party!!!

I'm in day 3 of the stomach flu and in between bites of Saltines and sips of Ginger Ale, I try to blog. I'm linking up with Danielle at Transforming Home for her first ever Real-life House Tour Party. This super party showcases the real homes of real bloggers and is chock full of decorating ideas from real people. Some are designers and some just love design. Either way, you are sure to be inspired.

Welcome to the Domestic Bliss home. Come on in!

What you see when you walk through my front door.

My Wall of Fame! If you look real close at the one picture towards the left, you'll see my favorite picture! My Grandfather and The Babe! Yep. Grandpa was a professional golfer and actually played golf with Babe Ruth.

The view of the foyer from the vantage point of my Dining Room.

To the left of the Foyer is my Living Room.

As you can see, my tastes lean towards the Traditional side. I love old things. Old furniture. Old pictures.

The Living Room is also my "office". And this is where I blog.

Taking these photos in the afternoon wasn't the brightest idea, no pun intended.

To the right of the Foyer is my Formal Dining Room. The color on all of the walls you've seen so far is pale yellow (Baer Paint in Havana Cream). I just think that so many things go well with the color yellow. It's also very bright and cheery, which helps in this area of the home where there is little sun exposure during the day.

The beautiful china in the display part of my china cabinet is Royal Ducal that I purchased at an auction.

The blue and gold colors go nicely in the room.

The china we received as wedding gifts I store in the bottom part. I got tired of taking china out of the cabinet every time I needed to use it, which is more often than you might think. So I decided to make it more accessible.
And my "treasure" - the chandelier I rescued from someone's curb.

Another favorite of mine is this little artichoke table I got at a local thrift store.

Now let's head to the back of the house, where most of the living takes place.

The Rec Room walls are painted a soft brown color (Baer Paint in Harvest Wheat).

Last week I joined a Decorating Dilemma party and this room was my dilemma. I tweaked a few things since then and here's the result.

The concensus was unanimous. Lower the mirror a couple inches. But, I didn't. Only because they are anchored into the wall and I just didn't see the point in lowering it just a few inches. And actually, in person, it actually doesn't look so high. The real difference was moving the end table and replacing it with a plant and trunks. The end table was too small to the scale of the sofa and looked awkward in the space. I couldn't put a larger one there because of the basement door being so close. I think this looks better.
Here it is with the table.

And how it looks now.

And into my kitchen.

Mr. MDB and I redid our kitchen a couple years ago with only a $7000 budget. We were able to put in hardwood floors, granite counters and a tumbled marble backsplash. The walls are a pretty olive color. It's Ralph Lauren Lincolnshire Olive.

We also switched out the window treatments and now I have white faux wood blinds which I love. A new ceiling fan and that was that. No stainless steel for this real family. Maybe somewhere down the road. I'd love to hear your thoughts on SS. Does it show alot of fingerprints?
Moving on. More shots of the kitchen.

One of my all-time favorite Craig's List finds, my baker's hutch.

Here she is all decorated for Christmas.

Looking into the Dining Room.

A peek into the Mudroom off of the kitchen.

Let's head upstairs into the master bedroom.

It's quite a departure from the rest of the house - a little coastal cottage/shabby chic/romantic.

Mr. MDB and I designed the beadboard headboard ourselves. It's attached to the wall.

Another view.

This room is so relaxing to me.

And here is a peek into our Sitting Room.

The rest of the bedrooms upstairs are taken by our two daughters, MessyThing1 and MessyThing2. So I will spare you any pix of their rooms. The fourth is the playroom, one day to be my craft room.

For the finale I will show you the funky basement remodel. We just recently finished refinishing this portion of the home. It was actually finished several years ago, but the a flood led to having to refinish most of it. We love to hang out down here.
The bottom of the stairs.

Here, we used a granny smith apple green color on the walls. It's called Asparagus, also from Baer.

The rug I'm not so crazy about, but I'm gonna keep it until I find the one I want. I was gonna go zebra, but do you think that would be too much with the pillows?

Mr. MDB's big screen. Does anybody still go to the theater anymore???

The back portion of the room is Mr. MDB's office as well as the kid's hangout. Oh, and sometimes we workout down here too. Ha!

Looking in from the back room.

Some close-ups.

And lastly, my beautiful custom frame from the lovely Kristen of Kristen's Creations.

You could win your own frame or one of Kristen's other amazing creations by clicking here and entering my Blogaversary Giveaway. If you haven't already entered you have until next Friday, February 26th, 9:00p.m. Eastern time.

Thanks for visiting the Bliss house. Now go to Danielle's for other amazing tours.