Friday, November 30, 2012

Hanging Christmas Tree

It's Friday folks and we're embarking on December 1st. I've been holding off on anything too Christmasy until December actually arrives. Since that happens this weekend, it's a fine time to show you what I've been working on...

A hanging wreath Christmas tree! This is the brilliant idea I had that seemed like an original, but evidently it's not. My friend walked in and immediately said, "Oh, I've wanted to do that for years. It's all over Pinterest." Ummm, I didn't see one when I looked. Oh well!

Here's a close-up of the ribbons. I used a sheer organza ribbon to accentuate the floating effect.

Don't look too close or you'll see the hot mess that's hiding under the big bows. Every ribbon is tied to the chandelier then 2 big bows, one on each side, hide the evidence.

The "trunk" of our floating tree is a vase filled with coffee beans and a candle.

While the ornaments hang, sprigs fill in the remainder of the wreath.

One last shot of the view from our front door.

I was a little concerned about the weight of the wreaths being too heavy, but so far so good. Wouldn't that stink to come home to a damaged ceiling, broken chandelier and crushed table? Yikes!

I hope you have a happy weekend, friends. Bryn and I are hosting our annual Blessings Brunch. I'm off to finish up my cleaning and planning.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Random Act of Kindness #58

My RAK helper and I were busy little bees yesterday. Want to see what we were working on?

Some handmade tags, a few little hugs and voila...

Our plan? Just like the picture says...visit an Oncology office and leave this bowl full of hugs at the reception desk. An oncology office is definitely a place where people need hugs. If we can't be there to physically share a few squeezes then we'll leave a sweet little treat instead.

Want to do it too? Here's what you'll need: 
Hershey's Hugs
Double sided tape
Bowl (buy one from the dollar store that you won't mind leaving behind)

Create a tag that reads, "Enjoy...Because sometimes you need a little hug!"
Print and cut out tags
Place a Hershey's Hug on the tag using the double sided tape
Fill the bowl then go deliver your RAK!

Okay, friends, it's your turn...go out and be kind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eclectic Mix Moodboard

First of all, I owe you all a big thanks for responding to yesterday's plea for help. Clearly, I'm up and running and all is calm in my little corner of blogland today. I love how eager other bloggers are to help each other out when someone's ignorant struggling with an issue!

So, next order of business is a new moodboard created around an Ikea piece. Have you seen the new gray turquoise malm dresser? Here it is in action...

I love the Lulie Wallace painting that helps set the tone and color story for the entire room. The clean lines of the Malm dresser help ground the room in color while not competing with the surrounding patterns and textures.

In person, the true colors of these dressers are a bit more vibrant. Time and time again when I'm perusing the aisles of Ikea, these 3 catch my eye. I figured it's high time I shared the goodies, especially since they're only $79.99. What a great price!

Okay, so here's the disclaimer...don't fall in love for the mirrored chest because for some strange reason it doesn't share the same $79.99 price tag. Ikea's really proud of this one, priced at $299. What?!?! Not cool, Ikea, not cool.

Just so you know, the "Lilac" dresser is way closer to eggplant. 

I've been working on a fun Christmas decoration in our entry. I thought I had created something original then suddenly "it" seems to be popping up everywhere. Literally, while I was assembling this creation my kids yelled, "Mom, we just saw that on TV!" So much for being unique and one of a kind. Oh well, one more Hobby Lobby trip required before I get to share "it" with you guys. What a tease!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anyone know how to fix this?

Yikes! Apparently I have no more space in my storage. I'm a little, okay majorly, technically challenged. Is it possible to delete files without deleting them from my blog completely? From what I can tell, this isn't possible.

Is this Bloggers way of making something "free" that's not really free? Must I now upgrade and begin paying for storage?

Hang in there with me while I figure this out. If you have words of wisdom to share...please do!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Magnolia Christmas Decor

I hope everyone is recovering from their food comas and ready to face the week. I'm curious how many of you spent the last few days fast forwarding into December and already have your Christmas decorations up? I'm guilty to a degree. My house is decorated on the inside, but the Christmas tree hasn't been selected/purchased and the outside lights aren't up just yet.

This season I'm crushing on wreaths and garland made from this beauty...

Magnolia leaves! 

We have a Jewel Magnolia in our front flower bed and it's my favorite. The blooms are so fragrant and quite possibly one of the yummiest scents. The leaves are rich green and the underneath are velvety brown.

I spent the weekend searching high and low for an affordable version of this magnolia goodness. Sadly, I came up empty handed. When I turned my search to the web, I came up with several options but none were in my price range. Oh well, it gives me something to stalk in the after Christmas sales!

Here are some I'll keep my eye on...

Here's an interesting fact, most magnolia products are sold live. Depending where you place them (direct or indirect light), determines how the leaves dry and what color they'll be. Then, you get to enjoy them for years to come.

So pretty and a nice alternative to traditional wreaths and garland!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Inexpensive Marble Alternatives

Happy Black Friday! If there's a single day that screams "Give me a deal!" it's definitely today. When I ran across these images and realized the deal to be had, I had to pass it on.  Give a quick look and tell me your first impression of what you see...

Really pretty, right? Any guess what material your seeing right before your eyes?...

Travertine Silver

Calacatta Marble

Bianca Luna

Plastic laminate over apple plywood with exposed edges.

Yep, you read that right...Laminate! I am so impressed with how pretty it looks. When I think laminate, I certainly don't think marble alternative, do you?

Wouldn't it be amazing to install countertops at a fraction of the cost and score something much more durable at the same time?

Laminate manufacturers stepped up their game and now offered several different edging options, just like granite and marble, bullnose, ogee and exposed. I'm a big fan of the exposed edge in the last image. So unique!

Last question, are you as surprised and impressed as I am? Now, for the even bigger question, would you be willing to install laminate in your own kitchen? I'm curious to know your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gobble up the Goodies

It may be too late to order these Etsy goodies for this year's Thanksgiving decor, but it's never too early to start planning for next year. Here's a handful of finds that are sure to add that special touch to your home...

Who may be lucky enough to score some after Thanksgiving sales and gobble up these goodies at fantabulous prices!

I'm thankful for those who read on a regular basis and give me reason to keep going. I'm grateful for the friendships that developed and even though we may never meet in person, I still cherish you all as friends.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

There are urchins on my walls!

I've been very patient and it totally paid off. I fell in love with the sea urchin trend but was too frugal to buy the real deal. I even posted a great way to make your own, but never did it. Then one day, I opened an email from The Foundary and saw these little urchins on sale. I was super excited since I had previously passed up the two larger sizes and regretted it ever since.

So fun and totally worth the wait!

This is the last piece of the puzzle to our Master bedroom's decor (if you can ever really consider a room "done"). Want to take a walk down memory lane with me and see how this room has evolved?

Our room 4 years ago...

Our room after I purchased the Kantha throw that suddenly injected color into our monochromatic palette. 

And, our room now. After an updated paint job, painted nightstands, new lamps and sea urchins!

Well, it only took 4's that for speedy decorating?!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Entry Moodboard

My client and I tackled their entry yesterday. Below is a moodboard to give you an idea of what we created. I was minus my good camera so there will be real pictures to follow in a future post.

You're not going to believe how fun this lamp is when it's turned on. The streams of light dance on top of the table and in the curvature of the staircase. It's so unusual and totally unexpected!

Hope your weekend is a fun one, friends.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Act of Kindness # 57

Every year I look forward to fall for one reason...soups and chili. Technically that's two reasons, but you catch my drift.

In today's Random Act of Kindness Challenge you get to whip of a batch of this yumminess and call up a neighbor.

We were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this RAK earlier this week. My neighbor and amazingly awesome friend, Katie, invited us over for soup and salad. Preparing dinner is somewhat of a chore for me, definitely something I do out of necessity and not pleasure. So, when Katie asked if we'd come over, it took all of 2 seconds for me to say "YES!"

Each time my mind wandered to, "Hummm, what am I going to make for dinner?", it was like a little treat when I remembered we were headed to Katie's and this chore had been removed from my plate!

Look, I'm even going to make this easy for's a recipe for your RAK meal:

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili
Servings: 10

1 onion, chopped 
1 16-oz can black beans 
1 16-oz can kidney beans 
1 8-oz can tomato sauce 
10 oz package frozen corn kernels 
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies 
1 packet taco seasoning 
1 tbsp cumin 
1 tbsp chili powder 
24 0z. (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts 
chili peppers, chopped (optional)
chopped fresh cilantro 
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Serve with cheese and sour cream.

Recipe courtesy of

Okay, friends, it's that time...go out and be kind!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Creative Storage Solutions

Storage is something we can never have enough of, right? In my opinion, storage is at its best when it's done in a clever manner. It takes a bit of creative thinking but is completely achievable. Here are a handful of examples where function meets design.

This idea is my absolute favorite. So often we limit ourselves to framed pictures in our kitchen solely on countertops, but that's not the case with this solution.

The perfect way to unclutter the countertops...shelves that slide in and out.

Isn't this brilliant? Don't get stuck thinking your tv has to be hung/stored in the traditional manner. With the use of slides and swivels your tv is stealth like in its secret home.

Ahhh, wouldn't it be great to slip your mail and the millions of papers that pile up right into their own spot then close the door?! Tiny space but huge solution.

Here's the answer to the never-ending question of how to hide all those cords. 

All you shorties out there will think this idea is brilliant! Storage plus stairs in cool.

Don't forget about the wasted space under your stairs. Why, yes, it makes perfect sense to turn that space into drawers!

So, friends, I hope your creative juices are flowing now. Look around your house and think outside the box. Evaluate your empty space and repurpose it to make your life easier and less cluttered.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marriage and Resentment through the lens of Transparency

How often do you think about your wedding day? If you're not married, you may think of it often as you dream of the details and relish in the anticipated gushy feelings. But if you are married, do you ever let your mind wander to your magical day?!
Isn't it hard to believe that those gushy feelings will subside one day and may be replaced with scary feelings like, "Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I even like this person anymore."?

It's Transparent Tuesday, friends. My transparency today has to do with a sticky topic...the 7 year itch. Guess what?...I experienced it like no other. I vividly remember desperately crying and telling John that, " I wasn't sure I even loved him anymore." Yes, those words actually escaped my lips!

Let's rewind the clock 7 years and take a peek at that phase of life for us. Bryn was 3y.o. and Reed was  15 months old. Enough said, right? I had toddlers draining every last ounce of my being. I was being physically touched all day long. I was giving, giving, giving all day, both emotionally and physically. By the time John arrived home from work, I was really tired of giving and resentment set in. 

Instead of talking about these feelings, I let them take root and begin to take up space in my heart. Hence, the conversation that horrible night when I uttered the worst words ever to be spoken throughout our 14 years of marriage. How did John react? Honestly, I think God put earmuffs over his ears because to this very day he swears he's never heard me say them. My ugliness would have crushed him, yet the sound of my voice didn't even register during that tiny second of our conversation. How is that even possible?!

Once I shared my feelings and let go of my resentment, our marriage was finally able to begin healing. John made it very clear to me that divorce was NOT an option between the two of us. Pretty sure he informed me of this within the first month of dating. He had lived it as a child and didn't want to live it as an adult.

Can I just tell you how happy I am that he was so convicted with his feelings? His ability to hold steadfast has carried us through to where we are today. When I was running yesterday, I was praying for him as I typically do. I thanked God that he created a man that I love more today than I did even on our wedding day. Our ups and downs and bumps and bruises have molded us into the couple we are meant to be. Are we perfect? Heck no! We're just willing to put in the hard work that marriage deserves and requires.

If you're feeling the itch or realizing that resentment has its ugly hold on you and your marriage, please allow me to pray for you, friend. Leave me a comment or send me an email: Prayer is an amazing weapon during your most difficult times.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Magazine feature

Want to see something funny to kick off your week? I'm in a magazine. This one to be exact...

Can anyone translate for me? I don't even know how to pronounce the name of it!
(ignore my lack of technical skills and inability to get the menu bar off this shot)

Hummm, I really hope they like my work because for all I know they could be featuring me in the section titled, "Designers who think they know what they're doing but really don't." ha! Under that silly menu bar is John's smiling face. So fun that both our pictures made it in the spread since he's the muscle behind this duo.

When I first received the email from the Ukrainian editor, I totally thought it was spam. I decided to dig a little deeper before completely blowing it off and I'm glad I did. Come to find out, several other bloggers, whom I really respect, have had their work featured in the same magazine. How fun!

The editor promised to send me a hard copy. Won't it make a really funny conversation piece hanging out on the coffee table?!

Thanks for indulging me in this quirky bit of news today, friends.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Random Act of Kindness #56

This week's RAK challenge is a no-brainer. Crazy things have been happening to our friends on the east coast and it's high time we do what we can to help. I was sad to hear winter storms are plaguing them today. Nothing like making a difficult job even more difficult.

Don't let yourself feel helpless...donate to the Red Cross today. Every little bit helps.

Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation

I've experienced the aid of Red Cross first hand. When I was in high school, our town was hit by a tornado. Our house only had a couple thousand dollars worth of damage but our neighbors weren't so fortunate. Their house was demolished! I'm talking nothing left but the foundation. It was crazy!

The morning after, Red Cross volunteers set up their truck in our neighborhood and handed out breakfast. Such a simple act but much needed and much appreciated. They offered hope and a sense of comfort. 

Praying for those affected. May you be blessed by those around you and get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rugs that break the norm

One easy way to bring a room's design to the next level is to find the perfect rug. Rugs often set the tone for an entire space so why not find one that's killer!

The norm is to think of rugs in traditional shapes...rectangular, round and the occasional oval. But what if you thought outside the box and went with something crazy!...

This one speaks for itself. What a statement! This isn't a shape you run across everyday.

Lasercut and felt...definitely not words that come to mind when you're thinking about rugs. Maybe they should. Quite the fun combo, right?

What about edges? Guess what, they don't have to be straight! I love how the simple pattern above is perfectly complimented by the funky edge.

Doesn't this one scream, "Please take me to your cabin in the mountains!"? I see a snowflake design but it also has a hint of Aztec. Do you see it?

So, friends, next time you're looking for a "wow" factor, don't forget to look beneath your feet.
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