• Welcome!

    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

A Desk for Aiden

I have a confession to make—I am a junk scrounger.  If you leave your unwanted, beat up, misshapened furniture on the curb there is a high probability that I will be the one to scoop it up if you live within 50 miles of me.  It is a compulsion that gets me into a lot of trouble with the hubby. I just can’t stand the thought of perfectly sturdy furniture going to waste because of a few blemishes. In a way you could look at it as a rescue mission. No? It didn’t work on the hubby either.  Usually these items sit in my garage until I get around to fixing them up or giving them away. And I do acknowledge that it is slightly odd that I pipe up saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got the perfect thing for you!’ every time another mom starts talking about how she needs a desk or a chair or a side table at play group.

Well, this time I found something that we could actually use.

Great, right?  I know she doesn’t look like much, but with a little sanding, a little painting and the addition of the handles that were tucked inside the top drawer by the previous owner; this would the perfect little homework desk for my first grader.  I had been promising Aiden his own little space to do his homework for a while and now I could deliver with a desk makeover.

We had a desk in our spare bedroom, but was big and awkward and not his size at all.  And it really needed to go anyway.

So, back to our new (to us) boy-sized desk:

I called my handy sister, Claire, over to assist.  We made a quick supply stop at Home Depot to pick up some paint.  We picked a deep boyish shade of royal blue paint.  I already had some Kilz Clean Start primer.  It has low odor and zero VOCs so we figured it was best for a project with kiddos.

The desk was already sanded down pretty well all over except for the drawer faces.  so we gave the body a light sand and used an electric sander on the drawer faces.

We probably could have done a little more sanding, but we were tired and anxious to get things moving along.  Plus, we had the primer that I was sure would help the paint grip.  Next we used some wood putty to fill in any dents or grooves.  There weren’t many, so this went quickly.

That took about 5 minutes to dry.  Then we sanded the excess putty off.

Now we were ready to prime.  Please note that those are junky paint clothes.  I don’t regularly let my kids run around in Pj’s in the afternoon.

One lesson we learned a little late was DO NOT PAINT ON YOUR BARE DRIVEWAY.  Either put a tarp down or move it to a grassy area–in which case you should still put a tarp down to avoid getting grass stuck on your project.  We learned this the next day.

Although the primer’s label says that it can be repainted in an hour, we let it sit overnight.  Partly because we were being extra cautious and partly because it was getting late.

The next morning we started in on the painting portion of the project.

We let the first coat dry for a few hours while we went out for lunch.  When we got back we started in on coat number 2.

After letting that dry, screwing in the handles and replacing the drawers in their slots; we moved the finished product inside.

Overall, the project went well.  Especially with three little ones running around the whole time.  The primer did its job and helped the paint cling to the not-so-well-sanded drawer faces.  And now my Aiden is a happy little bug when it is homework time.  So, yay!!, for junk hunting.  We’ll put this one in the win column.  As for the 1970s headboard I found last week?  Eh, the jury’s still out on that one.



Handmade Wednesdays: Scrapbooking with Lindsey

As a picture crazy lady, I love to scrapbook.  And because I have had a lot of time on my hands lately, I have been trying to get as many of my memories and favorite family photos down on paper.  I figured since this is my current crafting extravaganza, I should share this scrapbook idea with you!

I absolutely love my little nephews (Bonnie’s kids).  They constantly amaze me and make me smile – though sometimes they can be little rascals.  I have a whole scrapbook dedicated to their little lives and fabulous memories.  Here are two pages of Bonnie’s middle son Asa.  He is such a bundle of energy and always getting into some sort of trouble.  I had a bunch of pictures of him doing silly things and wanted to put up a few pages showcasing his many adventures.  I’m sharing this page because it is a different layout, but super simple and easy.  It’s perfect for those pages where you have a ton of pictures that have cropping capabilities, but you don’t have a lot of pages in your book to spare.

Basically, I just found some papers that coordinated well, cropped the pics, used my Creative Memories wave cutter for the border and a punch for all the squares and I was all set.  Hope this layout helps with your current scrapbooking needs!



When Wedding Photos Go Wrong

Usually my wedding posts are happy and sweet about lovely things concerning brides and grooms and all that is the splendor of the day. Once in awhile though, I feel the need to poke fun at the seemingly perfect day. After all, no one is perfect and there are many more awkward moments than perfect ones. So, I happened to stumble across some amazingly bad wedding photos and decided that we should celebrate the best of the worst today. Here’s what I found. Enjoy!

 Blame the old trends of past decades, bad photographers or just bringing to light the awkwardness that is there, these photos are gems. I believe something really bad is as good as something really good, and these are proof. I hope  you got a good laugh, and if you have any awkward wedding stories, let us know below! If you like this, check out our other editions (twothreefourfivesix, and seven) as well as our awkward engagement photos and Worst Christmas Photos collections.

photos courtesy of the amazing site awkwardfamilyphotos.com


Claire - March 22, 2013 - 1:58 pm

@Courtney that’s hilarious! i’m glad we make the internet seem smaller and that we can all enjoy the photo

Courtney - March 20, 2013 - 8:20 pm

I just happened to stumble across your blog randomly, and what a jewel it is. I went to college with the couple that is the 4th picture from the bottom, the one with her parents stalking in the back ground. Actually I am pretty sure that my Dad officiated the ceremony for them. I thought it was hilarious that they were on here, especially because we have all laughed hysterically over this exact picture with her.

Corinne Rodrigues - July 20, 2011 - 7:11 pm

These are absolutely hilarious. Trying to decide which my favorite one would be….I think it’s the bridesmaids with the matching curtains!!!

Lindsey - April 11, 2011 - 1:24 pm

Oh my…. Movie Star and I just spent a few golden moments mulling through these and laughed and laughed. I believe his favorite was the little girl being checked or perhaps it is the one with the shirtless dancing man. It’s such a hard choice!

Featured Wedding of the Week: A Classic Autumn Country Affair

This week’s wedding is a little more spectacular to me than it may be to most, because it is in Colorado, not too far from where I grew up. This gorgeous event took place in the famed town of Aspen, Colorado. Although the municipality is renowned for it’s slopes in the winter, this wedding shows off the beauty that’s present in Autumn as well. As someone that’s grown up in the Rocky Mountains, I believe this is the most beautiful season of them all. This wedding is teeming with rich colors and wildflowers along dirt roads, streams and in barns. It’s romantic simply by it’s colors, but old-fashioned country touches make this a charming occasion that won’t be forgotten.

Unlike most weddings I see, there is not a thing I would change about this one. It is perfectly done rustic and old-fashioned Autumn and it is an inspiration for others planning their wedding.


Bridal Dress: Amsale ~ Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale ~ Makeup: Fiore Beauty ~ Hair: Marilee Albin ~ Wedding Photography: Aaron Delesie ~ Wedding Cake: d’Elissious ~ Catering: The Little Nell ~ Wedding Production and Design: Oh, How Charming ~ Wedding and Floral Design: Mindy Rice ~  Wedding Design, Lighting, Furniture, Floors and Dance Floors: Barker Decor Service


photos @ Style Me Pretty


John Kamen - April 20, 2011 - 7:03 pm

Wow, what a great wedding! I am from a ski town too, and love spring weddings in the mountains. How much do you think Diamond Price figures into the purchase of the wedding rings?
Thanks, John

Fabulous Etsy Finds: Doggy Gear

Even the toughest guy around enjoys spoiling his dog a little.  Admit it, there is a joyful satisfaction in seeing them wag their tail and jump on their hind legs in anticipation of something great—whether you’re tossing a tennis ball or sliding them a few scraps from the dinner table.  My dog is so loyal and undemanding (a refreshing break from the kiddos) so I like to keep him happy and healthy.  Here are a few things that I found on Etsy that can make life with your dog even better.  Some of them are pretty, some of them are practical and some of them are both. **Please note that you will not find any doggie outfits on this list.  I am not a fan of dressing up furry critters unless they live in the tundra.  It makes them look creepy and miserable and its just not right.**


We all know the ‘cling, clang’ sound of your dog’s tag banging against his collar.  I personally think its cute, but do acknowledge that there are situations where it might not be ideal.  For instance, your baby is a sleeper or your landlord is anti-pets.  Whatever the reason, here is your solution.  These tags slide right on to the collar for a noise-free dog…well, except for the barking that is.  This seller also has a variety of super cute ‘noisy’ tags too!


You know the drill: put on your shoes, leash the dog and ball up a plastic bag for the scoop of shame.  Instead of clenching that bag in your sweaty palm,  try this.  Here is a little monster pouch that attaches to your leash and holds bags for you.  So when your dog does the deed, you can casually slide your bag out with style.


Have you ever tried to pick up a large dog?  Not very graceful, is it?  Niether you or the dog wants your hands down there.  This dog sling helps you lift your dog with ease.  It made me think of my mom’s dog, Lady Bird, who in her older years is taking more spills that she needs help recovering from.  but you could also use this on your young sprout who just needs a little boost getting into the car or whatever.


Dogs get dirty.  Its what they do.  And after a particularly muddy romp outside they occasionally need some wiping.  This towel is made specifically for that purpose.  It is even equipped with a loop so that you can hang it right by the door.


Dog treats are another burden that dog ownership requires you to carry around.   And once they’re gone, your hands smell like bacon for the rest of the day.  Well now you can relegate that bacon-aroma-snack-toting duty to this handy little pouch.  It clips onto your pants for added convenience.


There is nothing super special about this leash and collar set.  I just think its pretty and its a great deal for a leather set.  That is all.


This seller has so many splendid pet dish mats.  And they are all made of oilcloth so they wipe right up.  Clean floor,  clean mat, happy owner.


Did you know that not all dogs appreciate frequent washing?  In fact, several breeds get dry, itchy skin when they are washed too often.  My Buster is one of those breeds.  So I love this product.  It deodorizes and protects against fleas in between washes.  You can just shake it on and brush, or you can even sprinkle it on their doggie bed and let them do the work for you.


Now that their coat is in order, it is time to do something about that breath.  Dogs are notorious for stank breath.  These yogurt and parsley flavored snacks are just what the dentist ordered.  Give them a biscuit a day and soon they will be the envy of the bark park.


Everyone gets a boo-boo once in a while, even Fido.  This therapeutic salve is naturally anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal.  It relieves dry or damaged skin, and will help speed the recovery process because of its beneficial properties for the outer skin tissue.  It is a gentle, cooling, and soothing balm with a calming Lavender-Peppermint scent.  Its great for  raw/sore/inflamed skin; softening split or brittle nails; discomfort due to cracks, calluses and scratches; or tender paws after long walks on the hot pavement or salted snow.


Lindsey - April 8, 2011 - 2:54 pm

OMG I am going to make some of these

F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r
P i n t e r e s t