Saturday, April 2, 2011

Great giveaway!

Just a quick note to let you guys know about a fantastic giveaway over at bryn alexandra!

The April Giveaway

If you love to sew or you want to learn, one yard pieces are a fabulous addition to your stash, and there are some really goregous prints included! I love that dusty purple ikat.

Check it out!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

After 10 months

The drapes for the living and dining room are sewn and ready to hang!

We'll be hanging them the next time we see each other, which will be either tomorrow or Saturday. I absolutely can't wait.

I actually bought the fabric last April with plans to reupholster the green chair (which, man, I've almost had that thing for a year now). But it didn't have the right weight for upholstery. I still loved it, and knew it would be perfect for the drapes. It's a gray and white linen stripe, almost exactly the same shade as the wall color. We actually chose the wall color based on the fabric. They really look great, and I can't wait to see them up. I'll just have to hang them and hem the bottoms to finish up.

Here's a picture of the fabric from when we were choosing the paint color for the room.

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I can't stand bare windows, so it's hard to believe I've been living without anything in this rooms since the summer. Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thrifting anyone?

Garage sale season has started hot and heavy here, and we're taking advantage. We prefer estate sales and moving sales for a few reasons. We don't have to deal with looking through tons of baby stuff and clothes (the clothes at estate sales are usually fun to look at, actually), and there is a much greater chance of good furniture. Prices are generally a little higher, but you get what you pay for.

In the past couple of weeks, we've made some great small purchases. No furniture, although we found some awesome mid-century chairs at one sale. Too bad they were already sold.


The painting is from 79 and cost us $15. We dropped it off to be framed last week, and chose a flat front white frame. I can't wait to get it back and figure out where to put it.


I also couldn't resist the little troll like dude in the brown frame for around $7. We didn't notice a $2.99 written on the back in pencil before we bought it, so we definitely overpaid, but I love it $7 worth, so that's what matters, right?

At the same sale, I also got two enamel bangles and we picked up a Mark Twain paperback.

Then last week, we found a couple of moving sales with great sales.


I got this little horse for $1 to add to our menagerie.


And his friend the donkey, also a dollar. At the same sale, I got an old sil scarf for a buck.

Then we found a sale with all the books you could carry for a dollar, and took great advantage. I don't know how many we ended up with. But it was a LOT.

I'm excited to see more sales as the season goes on. And maybe find some dining furniture!

Speaking of dining furniture and thrifting, I'm still looking for inspiration.

I was kind of inspired by today's outfit.

I love turquoise and red. And I loved the way my brown work bag and gray purse worked with the color combo. So I wondered if a deep, deep teal or turquoise could work on the china cabinet.

But dude, I'm trying to tone this thing down. Turquoise is crazy right?

When I use a picture of the china cabinet in the Sherwin Williams color visualizer, the answer is a resounding YES. It looks awful. I am not thinking the color of my sweater of course. I am thinking a teal so dark it's almost black. But that's hard to do right. And if I pick that, I have no CLUE what to use in the back.

But I'm kind of loving this paper for the back.

I think it would look fab with the white chine in front. But Brett is unsure about painting it black. It's a hard decision. I don't want to mess it up again!

The shoes I'm wearing in the above picture were part of my Valentine's Day present from Brett. I LOVE them! My Toms collection is starting to get a little out of hand. We did Valentine's a little late due to work/travel/schedule, but it was worth the wait.

Other than that, as usual, we went with home related gifts.

I also got this bookend from the new CB2 Spring collection (LOVE!)


So we rearranged our books a bit. It really makes me smile!


Even before we did gifts though, when I got back from my work trip I found these on the kitchen counter. Even though I wouldn't see Brett for a few more days, it was nice to know he was thinking of me in the middle of the week.


Side note, I am falling in love with our kitchen all over again lately. Especially on days when it's really functioning and then it's clean, but the light that we get on weekend afternoons just makes me want to hang out in there.

For Brett, I got a print framed that I knew he would like. He collects Legos, new and vintage, and we display some of them in the office. So I thought he would like this print to tie that in. I really love it too, actually!


We moved the concert poster that was here, but ti's still in the room.

We also framed the card I gave him because we both liked it so much, and hung it in the stairway.


Which I also realized I never posted about. We've started hanging photos/prints/whatever in the stairway in black gallery frames. The plan is to eventually have the entire wall just covered with frames and stuff.


Hey look, we still have to figure out how to cut in up there!

It's going to be a slow process but we really like it so far!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thank you Thomas Edison, for pretty much everything we enjoy today.

But most of all, for inspiring me to care about science, math, and how things work.

Happy Birthday.

Image from the fantastic blog Letters to Dead People

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gray and White

It's no secret that gray is my favorite color (I-i-i felt so symbolic yesterday).

Anyone? Anyone?

But I love, love, LOVE the combo of gray and white. Take gray of pretty much any shade, put it next to something white, and I'll swoon. There are a few examples of this in our house already. Gray walls and white trim, obviously. A charcoal piece of fabric framed in a white frame. Charcoal gray glass tiles surrounded by white subway tile (both set off with medium gray grout).

When we moved in almost two years ago, the second room we made over was our bedroom. The first was the guest bathroom, which we've already completely redone again. Honestly, we made some decisions in our bedroom that we wouldn't make again. But this is a much bigger room, and these decisions involve a lot more expense. So we're going to work with them.

We do love the paint color we chose, truly. It's what started the color inspiration for our entire house. So I'll give us an A+ on that. But the trim color is not so great. I would have already redone it if not for the French doors. And I'll eventually do it anyway. I originally chose a muslin color when we thought the common rooms were going to be a tan/brown. But now I want all the trim to be BM Simply White. It's going to be a bitch of a job.

The furniture? Meh. The style is okay. We wouldn't choose it today, but it's not bad. We're just not into matchy matchy anymore. We would not buy a matching set today, and we would rather have a medium wood tone. And really, we would SO rather have smaller scale furniture. But the biggest mistake by far was the brand. We bought from Ashley Furniture, and we are SO unhappy with the quality. We have known people who had Ashley stuff they were happy with (not heirloom quality, but we didn't expect that). But I would NEVER buy anything from there that had moving parts. Our drawers are awful. We've had to replace the tracks on two drawers in a year, and several won't stay shut.

We'll be replacing this a lot sooner than if we'd just saved a little more, and went with something higher quality. Or even better, waited a little longer and bought estate pieces or shopped in Houston where we had better, and cheaper, options.

I also chose bedding, art, accessories, etc. that I liked at the time, but looking back they just aren't my style. I do like certain pieces of course, but the whole neutral earth tones palette just wasn't working for me anymore.

So with some Christmas money, thanks to the grandparents, I started what will be a slow process: making our bedroom look like a part of the rest of our house. First on the agenda was injecting some gray and white, in the way of bedding.

With my money and a West Elm coupon code burning a hole in my pocket, I gambled on whether I should wait for the Spring Collection, or go ahead and buy on sale. I decided to take a chance and wait, and it paid off.

I got the new Stripe Duvet Cover with Euro Shams. And we also got the Flame Stitch Blanket (it's hard to navigate to their blankets, even though they have a couple. Put blanket in the search bar).

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Love that texture. And you know I'm a sucker for anything chevron.

That first pic was taken with my phone. Here's a truer to color, and truer to life picture of how the bed looks.

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Come on, like you all have perfectly made beds with throw pillows every day? We both love how much BRIGHTER the room looks from this change alone. It's so refreshing and just feels cleaner.

I do plan on covering a couple of throw pillows, but I have to choose fabric first. My instinct is very graphic, black and white, but then I think I should bring in some very bright color. Like a flame red, the color of my dutch oven? I love the contrast of the color with gray/blue gray.

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(making a big pot of red beans and rice this weekend. it means the beginning of Mardi Gras in our house)

Gray and White is really the perfect color scheme, I'm convinced. I've yet to find a spot it doesn't look good in. I have gray and white curtains in our office. A gray and white letterpress print in the upstairs bathroom. And now this bedding.

But there comes a point where an obsession can go to far, and I think I've reached it.

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Meet Moe. Short for Mowgli, his shelter name. He's about three months, or a little older. He's got long hair that we think will stick around, and blue gray eyes that we think will go away with age.

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He has two modes: running around like an insane wild man, or snuggling up as close to one of us as he can be. We already like him very much (you might even say love) after knowing him just two weeks. Charlie, our tuxedo cat, alternates between playing with him and ignoring him, and Sadie's coming around. All in all, he's a great addition to our family.

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Of course, we didn't pick him based only on the fact that he matched our house. But it didn't hurt.

Christmas 2010

Since it's been exactly a month since Christmas Eve, it's probably about time to post about what I got for Christmas, right?


Well, I was majorly spoiled, all around. First, from family.

My parents started it off with this insanely gorgeous bag. This picture does NOT do it justice at all.

They had it custom sized for the laptop I'm getting in a couple of weeks (for work, nothing exciting, but if I have to carry it home every day, I might as well carry it in something beautiful), and I LOVE it so much. It might be the most beautiful (fashion related) item I've ever owned.

Also fashion related, I got a pair of Tretorn for J.Crew Citron canvas sneakers. No pictures, because they're sold out, but they're pretty awesome. Definitely an attention getter.

My brother and SIL got us the new Donkey Kong Country for Wii. This is a sentimental gift for us, because I have plenty of fond memories of playing the original with my brother as a kid.

Also from my parents, you've seen a sneak peek but here she is in here glory.

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I hope to show you all the organizational goodies inside if I can remember to take pictures. We fit everything in all of the drawers from the cabinet we replaced and both towers in like half of this thing. I love it. The red accent is exactly what we needed to wake up the room. I can't WAIT until we have a) curtains, b) white shelving on either side of the fireplace and c) a chair that's been reupholstered in the charcoal and white chevron fabric I bought and am 100% obsessed with.

It will be AWESOME.

My in-laws got me a gorgeous J.Crew sweater. I've been wearing it like twice a week! It's so soft and the smoothest knit. They also got me some lotion and soap, and various other bits and bobs.

My aunt and uncle were so thoughtful, getting us several owls (favorite below, made of a found rock!) and a giftcard to Lowe's, and one set of grandparents got me a beautiful scarf.

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But then, there's my husband. He, without a doubt, rocked it.

First, I got Casablanca on DVD in my stocking. It's one of his favorites, and I've never seen it. I guess he just couldn't live with that anymore. I also got some hard candy to fuel my sugar addiction.

But there were four differently sized boxes under the tree for me. I honestly thought it was new bedding. It was the only thing I could think of that would be remotely the right size, and come in different sized boxes.

But not, the different sizes were just to throw me off.

I got four (four!) beautifully framed Sharon Montrose prints. Guys, my husband and I don't always see eye to eye on art. I know this would not have been his first choice, to say the least. It makes it that much more thoughtful that he chose something that I would love SO MUCH. He's a keeper, dudes.

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It's really difficult to photograph photographs and do them justice.

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So here are his choices in all their glory.

A silkie chicken, to go with my extremely well loved little chicken dish I keep by the sink. Perfect match.

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A piglet, who obviously is smiling. Look at his little tail!

A little innocent lamb. Such a lovely pose.

And although my favorite changes almost daily, the most consistent has got to be this little porcupine. JUST LOOK. I want a real life one. Now.

This was a lovely way to bring the (not so) subtle animal theme we have going into our living room. Our kitchen almost screams it, our guest room has started to whisper it, and our upstairs bathroom is definitely in on the act. Now our living room fits right in to the menagerie.

A post on what I got for Brett is coming up. I'm pretty proud of it, if I do say so myself (it's also home related. What can I say, we're well matched in terms of house crazy).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Let's ignore the fact that it's been a month and a half since I last posted. Okay?


Life got busy. I got busy. Excuses, excuses. Let's jump in.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! The weekend before the big day, I got to host our family Christmas for the first time ever. It was wonderful to have my parents, brother, and sister in law in our home for some family time and a wonderful meal.

And we did a great job hosting if I do say so myself.

We served a traditional-ish meal of fried turkey, turnip greens, sweet potato casserole, English peas (a must passed down from my great grandmother for any holiday gathering), roasted potatoes and carrots, and cornbread (using Brett's great grandmother's pan and recipe). We also had Christmas candy and derby pie (regular and gluten free) to finish it off.

The house was decked out for a celebration!

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My favorite ornament acquired this year, the stegosaurus:

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We even got our sheepskin in on the action.

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(Stack of library book are not a Christmas decoration :) )

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But my favorite, favorite thing about having people over for a Christmas meal: I get to do a Christmas table!


I started with some black and white fabric I've been wanting to use forever, and some charcoal gray chargers I got on clearance for $1 each at Z Gallerie.

The original look was supposed to be black, white, and brass. With maybe some glittery thrown in. My original flower plan was white poinsettias. But then I realized I really wanted some red thrown in. So I did that with flowers, candles, and the napkins.

The brass was brought in using my vintage candlestick collection (never pay over 50 cents people) and a couple of containers for flowers bought at Goodwill (also 50 cents each). Then I added our china and an assortment of red and white tulips and daisies, along with some green mini hydrangea, and it was finished.

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The candles are all from Target. They offer these column candles in a few different colors every season, and I always grab a few. My gray ones (on the mantle in an above pic) are my favorite. They look so much nicer than tapers to me.

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The napkin fold came from Martha Stewart Weddings, and was super duper easy.

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I thought it all turned out beautiful, but still fun and not too stuffy? Maybe?

The only other project I've really been working on is this one.

I've still got to stain the bottom but the weather is not cooperating. We are having a freakishly cold winter! (cue tons of people laughing at my complaints) But I can't use water based stain if it's going to be under 35F within 24 hours, or if it's going to rain anytime soon. Plus it's, you know, kind of a busy time of year. I'll finish it sometime.

I'll do a post with nicer pictures soon, but here's a sneak peek of a couple of my Christmas presents. I took these with my phone in the dark.

Oh yes, oh yes that is a red, metal Ikea cabinet.

And that is a photograph from the one and only Sharon Montrose!!!!!!!!!! And those are picture hangers for three more photographs!!!!!!!

I'm way spoiled.