9.28.2012

Randoms & Happy Weekend

Happy Friday!

Pantry Progress, Phase 2, is done. I added these white bins from Walmart to house the canned goods, rice, peanut butter, granola bars, etc. It's working out great! See Phase 1 here.


***

Our blonde puppy, Rory, is a bit of a hoarder. She doesn't chew bones– she cherishes them. She doesn't shred stuffed animals– she carries them around and won't let them out of her sight. We often find her on her bed, surrounded by toys and bones and all of her other cherished possessions.

Her very favorite toy was Mr. Lion. (Scott named him that.) Rory carried Mr. Lion everywhere and had been known to sleep with him as her pillow. It was pretty adorable.

A few weeks my parents came to visit,  and they brought their golden retriever puppy, Sassy. Sassy proceeded to shred Mr. Lion to pieces while Rory watched in horror. (We weren't home, so I'm imagining that's what happened.)

I felt so bad for Rory. Her precious toy was gone forever. At least, I thought he was. We thought we had thrown away all of the shredded pieces of the stuffed animal, but I guess we forgot one. Rory has  been carrying this little stuffed leg everywhere she goes. She just can't give up on Mr. Lion just yet.




Is that not the most pitiful thing you've ever seen?! Breaks my heart! 

***

Last weekend I went to Houston for a mini-reunion with some of my college volleyball teammates. I had forgotten what it was like to walk around with tall girls en masse– everyone stares! It's so funny. I guess it is unusual to see a bunch of 6 ft+ women walking around the mall. (I'm not 6 ft. tall normally, but I had heels on that day. I was bringing down our height average because I'm the shortest at 5'9.)


***

My new favorite necklace is here. I'm totally in love! I bought it on Amazon, and it's made by Gauge NYC. You can see their full selection here: Gauge NYC for Amazon.

They also have an Etsy store where they sell jewelry and modern typography as cake toppers. Pretty awesome! It's my new everyday necklace, and I've gotten a lot of compliments. I first mentioned this necklace a couple of weeks ago, when I first fell in love with it.


***

• I want this pear tea towel. I love pears!

• I also want this polka dot notebook. It's right up my alley.

• Pottery Barn is having a clearance event right now, along with Pottery Barn Kids.  Lots of cute stuff there! 

***

Do you have fun plans this weekend? I'm going to visit the autumn display at the Dallas Arboretum– pumpkin madness! I can't wait. I'm throwing my best friend a dinner party for her birthday on Wednesday so I'll be running down the last minute touches for that. Should be fun!

* Have a great weekend! *

Best Blog Tips

9.27.2012

My Watercolor Botanical Prints for Autumn

So, the other day I was in this weird mood where I felt like painting something pretty. I hadn't been feeling artsy-fartsy in a long time, and out of nowhere I felt like I needed to draw or paint something right away.

When life gets busy (like right now) I tend to put away my art supplies, so I knew I needed to take advantage of this sudden artistic inspiration. When the mood strikes, GO!

I brought out the watercolors and started thinking about what to paint. I was glancing at the fall flowers I had in a vase nearby and thought,"Yes! I will paint some pretty fall leaves!"

Watercolors are the perfect medium for something like this because the beautiful colors on fall leaves just sort of meld into one another. I love that effect. It's just so gosh darn pretty!


So I ended up with four botanical prints in lovely fall colors, but I had no way to display them. I looked all over my house for frames, but we didn't have any extras in the right size. 

Of course I could have gone to buy frames, but who likes to spend extra money? Not me! The best part about painting my own pictures is that it is free, and buying frames would ruin the frugal fun. No bueno.

My solution? I taped them (very lightly, so I could remove it later) to four vintage books I had on my shelf. They happened to be in a complementary color scheme, so that worked out nicely. 

 
Then I set them on my picture ledge (from Ikea) in the dining room. I think they look pretty charming, and I love that they bring more seasonal spirit to the space for no extra cash!




So that's the story of how boredom turned into watercolor prints which turned into books on a shelf that weren't functioning as books on a shelf but as artwork frames on a shelf. Huh?!

* Watercolor Weirdness. That's all. *


Best Blog Tips

9.25.2012

Dress to Decor: Emmys 2012

If that dress were a room, what would it look like?

Would it look something like this?

Tina Room

Allison Room

Leslie Mann



Jessica Room


Julianna Room

Isn't it interesting to think about how our decor emulates our closet?

My fashion taste and interior design preferences are pretty similar. I like neutral, classic clothes with pops of color. I veer toward traditional with a touch of something unexpected. I guess I take the same philosophy in both home and fashion, which is pretty interesting. I never really thought about it before! 

How about you?

* Fashion Fun *


Best Blog Tips

9.24.2012

$7 Wreath Tweak for Fall

I absolutely love the wreath on our front door. It's from Hobby Lobby, and we bought several of them for the doors of the church during our wedding. It's very simple, and the scale and color are perfect. I like to keep this wreath up year-round and tweak it for holidays (ie: put a simple red bow on it for Christmas).


Since it's officially fall, I picked up $7 of faux flowers from the Dollar Tree to inject some autumn colors into my existing wreath.


The first step was to remove all of the price tags and cut off the extra strands of grass. I was left with these small, individual stems that I could place in the wreath:


Then I stuck these into the wreath, trying my best to space them out evenly so it would look like it was part of the original wreath, not some extra add-in. I ended up with the same wreath I've always loved, now with a subtle touch of yellow and shades of deep purple.





For $7, we have revamped my favorite wreath to last until Christmas. I'm pretty happy with that!

What do you think? Are you decorating for fall yet?

PS. I got a funny text from the husband this weekend while I was in Houston: "One of your squashes is LEAKING!" I couldn't help giggling when I read that, especially since he hates squash. Gross... I mean, no one likes a leaky squash!

* Wishing it were still the weekend *


Best Blog Tips

9.21.2012

Randoms & Happy Weekend

Is it Friday? Well then I guess it's time for more random thoughts!

***

I made these Buffalo Chicken Bites yesterday using Pillsbury crescent rolls. There was no way I was going to make my own dough like the original recipe! They were pretty tasty, but I felt so guilty eating them! I'm not really a buffalo wings person at all, but I still thought they were yummy. I think it's great "man food," which is precisely why I'm cooking enough for a small army for the post-game football party tomorrow night. Those hungry coaches will eat them up!


 ***
So remember the World Market Provence chairs we bought last week? Well, the husband started putting together the chairs when we realized we didn't have the hardware kit for the last two chairs. It came in a partially opened box, and I guess someone had removed the screws and dowels.

I was none too pleased because I didn't receive good customer service at my World Market store when I bought the chairs, and now part of the chairs was missing!  There was basically only one person working in the store, and they couldn't leave the cash register. It took twice as long to buy the chairs as it should have, and I was a bit peeved by the end of it. Add on the bratty teenagers who didn't help me carry the heavy boxes, and it just wasn't my best shopping experience.

When I realized there wasn't a kit and that I would have to drive 30 minutes back to the store, I was not a happy camper. I decided that when I did go to the store (which finally happened last night), I would speak with the manager about my bad experience. The manager was very nice and apologetic when I explained the situation, and she offered me a 30% discount on a future purchase. That future purchased happened about five minutes later when I purchased these simple linen cushions for the chairs. Hooray for discounts! I don't like having to complain about customer service, but I felt strongly about it in this instance and am glad I did it.



I know those pictures aren't great, so I'll try to take better ones this weekend when the sun is shining. I was a little worried about adding cushions (Natural Dasutti Chair Pad) and didn't want it to look too old fashioned, but I think these are interesting because they are ultra-tufted and have a low profile. 

***
Have you tried the two-ingredient cake? Basically you take a box of cake mix and add canned pumpkin instead of the eggs, oil and water. I tried it this week and was happy with the results. The texture was slightly different from a normal cake, but not in a bad way. I used the cake to make cake balls and was super pleased with how delicious those turned out! 


*RAINBOW SPRINKLES! WOOHOO!*

***

I loved this idea from Emily Henderson this week. She needed to fill a huge shelving unit in an artistic way, so she made an art installation using paint and mason jars. Such a creative display! I totally want to reinterpret this idea somewhere in my house. We shall see...

photo from www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com
 ***

Do you have fun plans this weekend? Of course I'll be supporting the husband at his game tonight, but tomorrow morning I'm hopping on a jet plane to Houston for a little volleyball reunion. I'm so excited to see some of my old teammates! Can you say *slumber party time*? I feel sorry for my friend's husband this weekend. He should probably evacuate the house before we get there!

* Happy Friday! *


Best Blog Tips

9.20.2012

Touches of Fall


So, yesterday I went to Kroger to buy some crumbled blue cheese. You know, the cheese for the buffalo chicken bites I was making for dinner (yum).

About 20 minutes later I emerged with crumbled blue cheese AND a cart full of gourds. I mean, how did that happen?! I basically blacked out and woke up when I was smashing my finger with a heavy gourd as I was loading them into my trunk. #decorator problems


Thanks to the unexpected gourd jackpot at Kroger, we now have some touches of fall around the house. They found a home on the hearth by the fireplace.






I really love the washed out colors and the oversized scale of the gourds. My plan is to dry them out, like I talked about on Friday. I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

Sidenote: Painting the fireplace was one of the best things we ever did. It provides such a neutral backdrop for everything, which is so convenient. 

We also have a touch of autumn in our dining room, courtesy of this new table runner from Target. Isn't it awesome? Even the husband thinks it was a good purchase!







I layered the new runner on a piece of white burlap so it would *pop* against the dark wood table, and then added the DIY gold leaf bowl and some mercury glass candled from Target (last holiday season).

These little changes make me happy! It's subtle, but the seasons are definitely shifting inside our home. Summer is being phased out, and autumn is on its way in. You know what that means– cozy knits and boots and rich colors. I love it!

Have you found any good places for gourds or pumpkins? I'm not sure which grocery store has the best selection. Any suggestions? 


* Falling Leaves *

Best Blog Tips

9.18.2012

Pumpkins? Yes, Please.

I haven't started to bust out my autumn decor, but I'm definitely feeling the itch. I lingered by a bin of gourds for a long time at the grocery store last week, but I'm holding out a little longer. Meanwhile, I'm planning out my decor scheme in my head using these beautiful pumpkin images!


Pumpkins!


Have you started to decorate for fall yet? Do you do the same thing every year, or do you like to switch it up? Websites like Pinterest have my head spinning with ideas, and I need to narrow it down before I get started! I'm starting with a new Fall Festival board and picking my favorites as I go along...

* Gourdgeous*

Best Blog Tips

9.17.2012

DIY Gold Leaf Bowl

So, it turns out I'm not very good at gold leafing.


It also turns out that spraying your gold leaf project with clear shellac will result in a clowdy, weird residue. Awesome. 


I was about to throw this bowl in the trash, but the husband said I should wait to see if the cloudy residue would go away when it was dry.

Sure enough, the shellac dried clear. Win!

He's so smart.



Look at how sparkly it looks as it reflects the light from the chandelier! And when filled with my favorite pears, you couldn't even see the fact that I'm completely awful at gold leafing. I think I'll actually keep it.

* I don't have any steps for this project– I simply followed the instructions on my gold leaf kit from Michael's. I sprayed it with shellac at the end to finish it off, which wasn't part of the instructions. I like how that turned out but I'm not sure others would advise it!

My gold leaf bowl turned out OK, but the technique was a little tedious for an impatient girl like me. I didn't really know what I was doing, and you can tell! Yet I like it enough to keep it, so it's all good.

Project like this remind me why it's smart to try a new technique on a $1 thrift store bowl instead of something valuable– because sometimes the project doesn't turn out as well as you planned. When you're fiddling with a cheap object that doesn't have any sentimental value, you don't end up crying into your gold leaf kit when you don't like how it's turning out!

* Go For the Gold *

Best Blog Tips

9.14.2012

Randoms & Happy Weekend

Friday is here again! Yay! What do you have planned? We have football, football and more football. And also a wine festival. Should be pretty fun!

***

So, I've been using the MyFitnessPal app for about six weeks now. I'm down four pounds! I'm pretty happy about that number at this point. I'm going to keep it up and see what happens. The best thing is that I'm so much more aware of what I'm eating and making much healthier choices. I haven't had headaches or stomach aches, which I used to suffer from all the time. It's becoming a lifestyle change for me which I think is fantastic. I highly recommend the app– it' free!

***

How cute is this baby outfit from Old Navy? They are having a big baby, toddler and maternity sale this weekend. I'm going to stock up on the cuteness because I feel like I have a million friends having babies right now!


Like I mentioned yesterday, World Market is having a sale on dining furniture, dishes and tableclothes. I love this cheery set of napkins!


***

Are you ready for Autumn? I know I am! I'm already planning my fall decor, and I'm taking inspiration from my Fall Festival Pinterest board.


I've been searching for some fake gourds to use around the house, but then I found this article about drying out real gourds. Then you can use them for years and years! I think I'll be trying that this year. 

***

I tried out this skinny pumpkin spice frappe recipe and it was really yummy! I also tried this water that's supposed to boost weight loss. I don't know if it boosted my weight loss, but I loved the refreshing taste of the mint, cucumber and lemon combo– definitely a nice change from regular water!

***

Have a lovely weekend!

* Friday Night Lights *

 
Best Blog Tips

9.13.2012

Final Chair Choice!

Last night I bought some new dining chairs! Woohoo!

Two days ago, I presented you with a bunch of options I liked. They were all over the map, from vintage to modern to traditional and just plain funky. What can I say, my style is eclectic!

As I was looking at my options, I realized World Market was having a pretty awesome sale on dining chairs and tables– 50% off! That got my attention.

And so I hopped on the World Market website and picked out my top 5 favorite options:

First is the Linen Lydia Dining Chair, which is on sale for $130/chair.  It's almost the exact same as the Safavieh option I found on Craigslist, but these would be brand new and have tufting for extra detail.


And then there's the Kooba Side Chair, on sale for $65. I love the grey wash and thought the texture might be a nice touch for our dining room. 


Next option: Grey Tufted Chair, $100/each. Very classically beautiful and elegant. 


Here's another really pretty grey-washed chair, the Provence Dining Chair– $65/each. Nice price, nice classic look. 


 Last option: Cocoa Ella Side Chair, $160. Traditional shape, but somehow modern. I liked it.



Last night I headed down to my local World Market to give them the tush test. How do they feel on the tush? Are they comfortable? Sturdy?

So.... Which one did I choose?


...
...
...
...
...
...
...


This one!


The winner is the Provence Dining Chair!

It turns out they have two finishes, driftwood and pine. I picked the driftwood finish, the one on the left. You know I love me some driftwood!

In the end, I couldn't ignore the winning combo of low price + grey finish + comfortable seat. I snatched up four chairs for the dining room, and I can't wait to see them in action. Of course the husband has to put them together first, so we'll have to find a time to do that. I'm sure we'll get them set up this weekend, and I'll be sure to post pictures next week!

Thank you for your awesome input on the chairs. In the end, we just went with the more affordable option that I knew would be sturdy and versatile and classic.

Do you think we made a good choice?

* Chairity *


Best Blog Tips