Friday, January 31, 2014

What I Wish I Bought in January

A Hammer & Heels: What I Wish I Bought in January

I cannot believe a whole month has already gone by in the new year! Usually I do a blog post haul sharing the items I purchased throughout the month, but I am kind of in no-spend mode so this month's haul only includes a set of midi rings. Not super exciting, but I love them.  I do however, have a few things on my wish list that I wish I bought in January.

Sally and Molly of A Piece of Toast had the best things to say about this Aveda Moisturizer and they have pretty great skin, so I am in dire need of trying it. One scroll on Pinterest and you probably saw these Sam Edelman sneakers at least once. Just like the rest of the world, I am completely obsessed with slip on sneakers. I love trying new makeup and this Ambient Lighting Powder claims to make your skin look flawless. So many great outfit possibilities with these Hunter Boots.  I need to buy less pink things for my apartment but this Pink Stool is so cute. I'm getting excited for spring fashion and these Stud Flats.

After a great chat about all things blogging, networking, etc. with Katelyn, I finally bought my ticket to Go Blog Social!! It's a blogging and social media conference in Kansas City on April 4th and 5th with  speakers coming from all across the US. I'm so excited to learn lots and meet bloggers -- let me know if you are going too! :)

Have a great weekend! Go Broncos!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Year Blog Anniversary + Giveaway

I can't hardly believe it. I have been blogging for one whole year! Whoa. In a way I feel like it's been a lot longer than that, but on the other hand, that year flew by. This time last year I finally built up enough courage and nerve to publish my first blog post. I toyed around with the idea of blogging near the start of the new year. It seemed like the perfect time to do something different. I played around with my site for a while, and tried to come up with clever and creative names that fit me before I settled on A Hammer & Heels. Turns out starting a blog is the best thing I have done!

I won't link back to my very first post to save you and myself the embarrassment. If you are curious, you can go check them out yourself. It's kind of funny going back and reading old posts, so I usually don't do it. Part of it is because I'm embarrassed at my photography skills and lack of visual appeal back then. The visuals I created were horrific. How did I think that looked good? Although, I'm sure almost every blogger feels that way when they look back at their first few posts. Somehow my very first post is still one of my most popular.

Anywho, to help celebrate this monumental moment, I put together a little giveaway for you. I am a huge fan of rugs and believe they completely transform a space. So, as its name implies, is the place to choose from a huge variety of rugs, is offering an exclusive giveaway plus a coupon code for all. Everyone wins! Enter to win a $100 gift card to anything at The giveaway ends February 7th so be sure to enter right away!

In the mean time, you can start shopping and receive 10% off your order with the coupon code HAMMER.

Thank you for reading!! This blog exists and I continue blogging because of you guys, so please leave comments and tell me what you like, what you don't like, what you want to see more, etc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Style to Steal: Wallpaper in Bathrooms

You all know I love me some wallpaper. I can't get enough of it, really. There are so many fun prints and colors that just make me happy, but I will admit, sometimes wallpaper is too busy. Too bright, too obnoxious, too much to look at all the time. That doesn't mean I don't like it, I just wouldn't want to look at it for 8 hours every day. You know what I mean? It goes with the saying, everything in moderation. Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts, but I certainly don't eat it every day (although I probably would if I was 10 years old again.)

That's the beauty of putting wallpaper in bathrooms. It's a small enough space so it does not cost fortunes, and it's separate from the house so you aren't looking at it for hours on end. Imagine wallpapering the biggest wall in your living room. That would be overwhelming for me and guests, and I would probably tire of it much more quickly. 

Let's look at some inspiration shall we...

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Recreate Lindsey Coral Harper's NYC Apartment

A Hammer & Heels: Lindsey Coral Harper

The other day I was browsing the House Beautiful website because 1. it's loaded with inspiration photos and 2. Bailey said the latest issue was sooo good. Boy, was she right. I mean, take a look at the photos above. Just wow. Interior designer Lindsey Coral Harper's NYC apartment was featured in House Beautiful and Elle Decor recently and she pretty much knocked my socks off with her beautifully curated pieces and bright colors mixed with lots of patterns. A home like this takes patience and time to gather the amount of unique, statement pieces she has sitting atop her dresser, let alone the rest of the house. I love a home that is perfectly layered with meaningful tidbits that tell a story. A story besides, "I picked this up at CB2 last week because I needed something to fill my shelf." Don't get me wrong, I love CB2 (and am definitely guilty of the prior statement), but a home filled with items that I can't automatically identify where they are from is special. I loved Lindsey's living room so much that I recreated it with affordable pieces so you can get the look yourself! But the beautiful accessories, that is up to you :)

Velvet Sofa | Lamps | Pillows | Zebra Rug | Coffee Table | Trunk | Side Table | Topiary | Ceramic Zebra

Friday, January 24, 2014

Style to Steal: Leather Accessories

A Hammer & Heels: Leather Accessories

Leather is the epitome of modern simplicity. I especially love leather in homes. It has an almost rugged appeal, yet it's earthy and sophisticated. You really can't go wrong. Often times thought of as masculine, I find it incredibly versatile and yes, acceptable for a bachelorette pad too.

Pencil Cup Because one can never have too many desk organizers

Magazine Rack A sleek way to hide my stacks of magazines

Vanity Container Beautiful, simple and nice to look at when I'm getting ready in the bathroom

Pink Desk Accessory Set A productive day starts with an organized desk

Pouf You can't mention the word leather and not include a pouf. This one is actually a set of two for only $60!

Handle DIY For kitchen cabinets, cutting boards, doors...

Tray Everyone needs a catchall leather tray atop a dresser

Pillow Cover For my future living room, when it isn't full of pink

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Unexpected (Affordable) Art

I am always looking for new, clever ways to decorate my home. Preferably with affordable, unique accessories that tell a story or mean something special. Art is a great way to bring personality into a space, but let's face it, it can be so expensive. I'd love to have a collector's piece just as much as the next person, but with this college girl budget, that's not in the cards. So, I've done some online shopping and curated affordable options to bring art into your home using unexpected items!

A while back I saw this constellation print framed in a home tour online and I thought it was the coolest idea. I wish I could remember who's home I first saw it in, but I love that it is completely unexpected. I am not an astronomy whiz and probably couldn't name the planets in order, but I still love the idea of hanging this print somewhere in my home. When I first clinked on the link I found out it is actually wrapping paper for $5! You can't beat that. There are so many pretty scarves, why not hang up your favorite as art? This is one of my all-time favorite tricks. Instead of a headboard, I hung a printed scarf above my bed and saved hundreds of dollars! Another favorite is maps. I have a fascination with beautifully illustrated maps and hanging them as art. This Barcelona map takes me back to my days when I was traveling with my Spanish class in high school.

What are your creative ideas for bringing art into your home?

Constellation Print | Highlighter Scarf | Tea Towel | Sea Animal Print | Calendar | Barcelona Map

Monday, January 20, 2014


homepolish, amanda groski, redecorate, living room, home inspiration, interior design, interior designer

homepolish, amanda groski, redecorate, living room, home inspiration, interior design, interior designer

homepolish, amanda groski, redecorate, living room, home inspiration, interior design, interior designer

homepolish, amanda groski, redecorate, living room, home inspiration, interior design, interior designer

Part of my duty as a blogger is to share awesome stuff with you. Stuff I am excited about and think you would be equally as excited too. The other day I was catching up on my daily reads and came across the Design*Sponge podcast on Amanda Gorski, an interior designer in New York. First of all, I love the podcasts Grace puts together. They are so in-depth and are great learning opportunities for those breaking into the entrepreneurial world, interested in learning about design businesses, and so much more.

Anyway, Amanda is a young interior designer with a fresh perspective and great taste. I'm totally obsessed with her work. She works as one of 90+ designers for Homepolish. Homepolish is an interior design company that is completely changing how design services are traditionally available to consumers. They have eliminated markups and hidden fees and charge an hourly rate, making design services available for all budgets and projects. One of the coolest features of Homepolish is the huge variety of designers available. Type in your zip code and locate designers in your area to choose from based on your style. Right now Homepolish is available in 10 cities and 6 more are coming soon. I love the concept behind it and the fact that it makes design affordable. Pretty cool, huh?

1, 234, 5

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Living Room Inspiration

I have been wanting to redecorate my parent's farmhouse (where I grew up) for a while now. As a kid, my sister and I helped repaint the kitchen, select new curtains for the dining room, and decor for the living room. We didn't do anything major, though we have always wanted to. Our living room is a big room. It has nice bay windows, French doors and an open floor plan. There are endless possibilities but right now, it's not really making use of such a great space. Now with a little niece (and granddaughter) soon to be crawling/walking/running around, it's the perfect time to update the place and make it a little more kid-friendly. With much convincing, my mom finally decided to let my sister and I takeover and redecorate the house.

My sister and I talked it over and we decided to go with an airy, bright, and traditional country style. My mom has a lot of antique furniture with wood finishes she wants to use, so luckily we won't need to source much furniture. We have some really great pieces to work with, so we are getting creative and doing a lot of rearranging.

The major issue we need to tackle in the living room is seating. The current couch and love seat are worn, not very comfortable, and not all that appealing. We have a large and growing family so we need all the seating we can get. In such a big room, a sectional works perfectly and divides up the space. Since we already have a couple recliners, TV stand, and a buffet, all we need is a sofa table, coffee table, an end table and accessories.

Audrey put together a floor plan that visually shows the arrangement of the room. We even have a piano in our dining room that will work great in the new living room. The second half of the living room will be a kid play area with a mini table and chairs, a bookshelf, and toy storage. More on that later!

I started putting together an inspiration board and this is what I came up with so far. We really want to keep things neutral and traditional, bringing in pops of color with fun accessories. What do you think?

My sister and I are not actually at my parent's house during this whole process, so we are doing a lot of online shopping and link sharing! Next, we have to create a to-do list before we can start bringing in the new furniture and accessories. Hope you are ready to get to work, Mom :)

We are also tackling the dining room, kitchen, bathroom, hallway, and bedrooms! Stay tuned for more inspiration photos, style boards, and "after" photos!

Sectional, Rug, Curtains, Metal Side Table, Trunk Coffee Table, Light Pendant , Sofa Table, Coral Pillow, Metallic Pillow, Throw

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Werk It

I have always been a pretty organized person. My closet is usually in good order, my desk is tidy, and I have many storage totes and bins so I know exactly where everything is. I never had to work at being organized, it sort of came naturally. Lately as my schedule keeps filling up with work, school, personal projects, e-mail, etc., I notice that it's easy to forget about an item on my mental to-do list. In the past I haven't been much for keeping a calendar or planner and writing down my to-do items. I remember my high school handed out planners to each student every year and I thought I was impressive because I didn't use one. But really, my schedule consisted of going to class, then sports practice, then home for school work so it turns out I didn't have much of a schedule. Now that it's a new year and I have a to-do list that involves real stuff, I think it's time to find a system that keeps me organized.

This week I have been testing out the app, Todoist. It's an app that let's you create to-do lists and organize and filter tasks by labels. So far I'm really happy with it and love that I can create one giant to-do list and categorize each task in "blog", "art history", "Social Stylate", and so on. Keeping everything in one place is so helpful and the color coordinated categories help me prioritize visually.

Besides my to-do list, I need a better way of organizing new ideas. Currently anything that pops in my head like a blog post idea, potential project, or anything, I either type in my notes app on my iPhone or I type on a sticky note on my computer desktop. Neither are outstanding tools. I like the idea of having a notebook to write down all of my thoughts.

I use Google Calendar for work, but that's it. I don't know how I feel about using an online calendar for  everything just yet, so I want a planner to write down appointments, meetings, due dates and more. Plus it can double as my notebook for my thoughts. These planners by Julia Kostreva are perfect. I would find every excuse to pull this marble planner out of my bag, and if that means I am staying organized, even better.

My thoughts are if I stay organized and am aware of my daunting to-do list, I will stay motivated during the day and work even harder to tackle it. Hopefully it works.

What are your favorite apps and tools to stay organized? Do you prefer paper or electronic calendars? Do you carry a daily planner?

Images via

Monday, January 13, 2014


via Waiting on Martha
It's officially two weeks into the new year and I am already feeling behind and playing "catch up." I was thrown a couple curve balls this year already and I as a result, I am not on schedule like I hoped. Do you feel the same way? I am trying not to dwell on it, but rather use it as motivation to keep focused. Jess Lively spoke on a similar topic and I loved her take on it. Instead of setting specific resolutions for 2014, I decided to focus on one over-arching theme for the entire year. You can read more about it here.

I have been thinking a lot about what I need to do to bring me closer to my new year's resolution. Sometimes we think it's best to take in knowledge and hope the right answer comes to us, but in reality I think it takes trial and error. We need to take action. The article by Lindsey Saletta for The Everygirl really hit home with me. 4 Questions Everyone Should Ask Themselves challenges us to think about what we are actually doing with ourselves. My favorite of the 4 questions was the first, "How much of your day do you spend consuming what other people have created? How often do you create?" One of my challenges is getting caught up in learning and consuming other's content rather than creating my own. I have a handful of blogs I visit daily and my inbox is constantly filling up with newsletters and e-mails that I turn to for answers. There comes a point when I need to experience it myself, and try it on my own. I am so concerned about keeping up with my Bloglovin' feed that I forget to just write what's on my mind, instead of reading others' posts to figure it out like I usually do.

It's like that time when I had the opportunity to take an internship a year ago. I contemplated the decision for days, and then finally decided to take the chance and go for it. It turned out the internship wasn't for me, but I would have never known had I not taken the chance. Now I have a better idea what I want to do for my career. It's funny how something good can come in the most unexpected way.

So, what can I do today that will help me reach my path/goal?

What goals did you set for the year? What do you do to keep motivated and stay on track? What are your biggest challenges?

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Girl and Her Pouches

I love pouches. Any kind, any size. I don't know what it is about them -- maybe it's because I feel extra organized? Traveling with them is essential and a complete dream. All of my jewelry, make up, lip gloss, hair accessories, trinkets, and anything else I need quick access to but I don't want floating around my suitcase, go in pouches. Do you do that too? There are so many cute pouches to choose from, which doesn't hurt my little addiction either.

I had way too much fun putting this post together, you guys. I already had lots of pouches pinned and favorited in Etsy, but now I found even more I want! Etsy alone has a huge selection of pouches. A couple of my favorites are Zana, handmade in South Africa, and Pamela Barsky Shop which have hilarious sayings. Another great brand is Truffle, which have multiple sizes with a clear front so you can see what's inside!

Ooh La La, Snakeskin, GoldClear, Clear red, Anchor print, Ta-da!, Important things

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Worth Stealing: Wood Slab Tables

 A Hammer & Heels - Worth Stealing: Wood Slab Tables

Today I have a heavy heart as we lost my grandpa last night. Actually, we called him Opa. He would have been 96 today. He was a loving, stubborn German that will be missed by many, but I know he is in a great place now. It is today we also wait the arrival of my niece.

But this is my happy place and I hope yours as well, so I'm bringing you one of my favorite things. Oh, how I love me some wood slab tables. They combine my love for natural elements with a mid-century design. I think they are simply beautiful and toughen up the pops of pink I tend to bring into my home. The organic shape and hairpin legs are two of my favorite things and combined, make one amazing piece of furniture.

Can you believe the last photo above is actually a DIY? Leave it to Blair to wow us with savvy skills. You can find the full tutorial here, and she gives a great resource for buying slabs of wood online. I don't have any more room in my tiny studio apartment for another table, but you can bet I'll make room in my next place.

p.s. My girl Emily was featured on Houzz the other day showing us how to hang a gallery wall using a clever tip so be sure to check it out!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Animal Print Shop

I'd call myself a moderate animal lover. As a kid I spent hours playing with my kittens on the farm and I like my fair share of trips to the zoo. So when it comes to sweet, precious, animal photos, that is something I can get behind.

Sharon Montrose is not new. Her amazing photographs have been spotted all over the Internet and in homes for years. But after clicking around her website I found myself loving them ALL, so obviously I had to share them with you. I mean, who doesn't like photos of baby animals?

Sharon's amazing photos are commonly spotted in nurseries which might be the cutest thing ever. They would be perfect for my niece's safari themed nursery, who was actually due yesterday and we're still waiting to meet her!

A Hammer & Heels: The Animal Print Shop

All images are available for purchase at The Animal Print Shop

Friday, January 3, 2014

Make It : "Would You Rather" Conversation Coasters

A Hammer & Heels: "Would You Rather" Conversation Coasters

This DIY was made specifically for a Christmas present for my sister and brother-in-law. Initially I saw the idea on Emily Henderson's blog taking the game Would You Rather and creating conservation coasters, as she likes to call them. The idea was super fun, but I wanted to find a prettier way to make them. The iron-on method just didn't look very neat. That's when I saw this coaster DIY on Design Love Fest. It was cute and doable so I couldn't mess up too bad! 

The Supplies:
cork coasters 
matte Mod Podge 
paper designs

I combined Emily's version and Bri's version and came up with my own DIY. 

Step 1
I made the design in Photoshop and printed them on regular printing paper. Bri printed her designs on photo paper, but since I didn't have any on hand I just used printing paper and it worked great.

Step 2
After you print your designs and cut them out, it's time to adhere them to the coasters. Start by applying a thin layer of Mod Podge to the coaster. Then add the circle design and make sure it's lined up evenly. Gently press down so it's secure and all bubbles are removed. Let dry.

Step 3
After it dries, apply another thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the design. Make sure the entire surface is covered. Let dry. Apply 1-2 more coats of Mod Podge, always letting them completely dry. I did a total of 3 coats on each coaster. 

Bri also added felt to the bottom of each coaster, but my cork coasters already had a built in bottom so I didn't see the need for felt.

I love the way these turned out! The best part is you can customize them any way you'd like. I got a few of my would you rather questions from Emily and I looked up the rest. The Comic Sans or Papyrus is hilarious and absolutely perfect for my brother-in-law who is a graphic designer!

These are one of my favorite DIYs I have done yet, and seriously they are so simple. The longest part was waiting for the Mod Podge to try in between coats!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...