Thursday, September 30, 2010

mini transformation

Ahhh, looks better doesn't it.  I think some of you saw my previous post and thought I painted this little sucker green and liked it(reading the text of a blog is important, although I know looking at the pictures is more I'll tell you what, if I was deserted on a dessert island to decorate  and could only take on thing with me, it would definitely be white paint.  Just saying.

Once I get to the guest room to paint the walls, I do believe this dresser will look adorable.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't tell my husband I'm in love with Brandon

{Pottery Barn}

We are in desperate need of a family room rug.  I must admit that I am just not that into wood floors right now.  I'm not crazy for carpet, but wood is being high maintenance.  The room needs some coziness and I need a dirt and dog hair catcher.  These samples are from Pottery Barn.  You can "check out" samples for 30 days, for 25$ each, refundable upon return.  I really appreciate the option because rugs are hard! Like super hard, and super expensive(although I think PB has some really reasonable prices), and who wants to cart a 9x12 rug home only to hate and cart it back to the store. 

So, I'm in love with the "Brandon" rug(the dark brown on the left).  Todd has the hots for "Hayden"(to the right), I think he's just being safe.  Brandon has more color, but seems more neutral to me at the same time.  I think it will ground the living area and cover up all the spills, barf and pee stains-there I said it and you KNOW it will happen.  Yuck-a-doodlebug, but it's the truth.

funny side note.  I was in love with a Brandon once a million years ago(or 12).  He was my room mate in Seattle-I know kind of a  predicament-I love drama!  He was a lawyer and just not that into me, I don't think I had the brain power to impress him.  Not sure what that says about Todd ;) Love you Toddy.  Brandon was like more boring than that rug- I promise.

Monday, September 27, 2010

distracted, busy, just plain crazy...

Excuse me while I blog and watch Dancing With The Stars.  Forgive me for not being around last week. 
Check out what I've finished. 

The basement is coming together.  Laundry is a bit more fun behind my pretty drapes. I'll give a playroom grand tour next week. *note* this hem is driving my mom crazy-she's fixing it when she comes

a great product
The hem. Not too shabby for "no sew".  Let me just say how much I admire you if you have a sewing machine and use it.
Tonight while watching "Dancing" I'm working on this little nugget.  A chest of drawers I snagged out of my in-law's basement.  I'm painting it white, maybe a little antique-ing, no doubt no matter what I do it will look better when I'm done. Love you people!  I promise to be back blogging more than last week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We had recessed lighting put in the basement(we are totally on a kick) and now I have painted the walls.  If you ever saw our house in Johnston you will recognize the color scheme.  the boys bedroom was green and blue.  We had purchased a blue couch while in that house to match.  When you buy a blue couch you commit, like there is no turning back, so now the basement is reminding use of our old house. 

My laundry hole, I mean, room is down there and I want it pretty.  the actual space isn't on our list to update anytime soon, but I found fabric to cover the doorway.The problem is I don't sew.

Enter  The Nester.  She has been made famous in blog land for her no sew window treatments.  If she can do it, I can do it. So, with my mother's over the phone instructions I am determined to get two panels made. 

No need to make a pocket for a rod, I'm using clips.  Iron on stitch witchery and I think I'm good to go.  I'll post pictures later this week.  I feel like I'm going on a major adventure.  Hopefully one that didn't just cost me 80$ for nothing. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

If you like needed a reason or something...

How much do you love TJ Maxx?  I know, me too! Head on over there to round out(or if your me, re-invent) your fall wardrobe.  Happy hunting!

My most recent TJs purchase, since I don't have to buy snow boots this year :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy love

I'm not sure which one I love more, Etsy or Craig's List.  While they are very different shopping, both give me joy beyond the mall ever could.  I have been stalking these pillow covers for a while, I have a mild obsession with pillows for sure. I usually find fabric and have my mom's "pillow lady" make covers, but I don't have access to these lovely prints.

Better than Pottery Barn any day. Visit Elegantouch on Etsy. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

This is my brain on clutter

My friend and fellow blogger Jenny had a post last week about her messy desk and trying to organize the ridiculous amount of papers kids bring home from school.  I decided to take the challenge and photograph my space from table level to see what the madness really looks like too.  Yep, pretty bad. 

Papers sometimes don't bother me although if I don't keep sifting through them all week it can get insane by Friday.  What drives me really wacky is the hodge podge of toys, broken parts and trinkets that end up here and homeless.

I have used these to organize myself for a couple of years.  Just 2 inch binders. One for the kids stuff and one for bills.  I actually have several more for decorating ideas, insurance papers, financial reports and recipes.

I love these pocket binder thingys.  In the kids binder every child has their own pocket folder for important school reminders and announcements.  I also have pockets for copies if their health forms, craft ideas, community and sports events and classes...

In my bills binder I keep important contact info.  I have pockets for stamps and return address labels, bills, receipts and passwords...This is how I try to stay sane, I would love to see the method to your sanity.

One pretty little organizer I saw in BH&G and then in real life at Target was this. You know pretty just makes organizing that much better. I'm not a big fan of spending money to stash things away in a drawer, but these were really lovely and there was a butterfly print that I think I might have to as well. Just a thought :)

I'm leaving you with pictures from our trip to the zoo.  We go to the zoo often, but this time Todd was with us(as he usually lucks out by being at work), so it was special.   The boys had a great time showing him all their favorite animals, and we saw some new things too. Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I heart: simple crafts and good lighting

Now this is a Halloween craft I can get excited about.  Every year I love seeing what can be done with just pumpkins, it is really the only thing I like to decorate with in October. I try to make myself buy Halloween decorations every time I walk into TJ's or Michaels, but in the end I just buy lots of (real) pumpkins.  This project couldn't get any easier. Step 1. Carve hole in bottom of pumpkin,scoop out pulp, return cut pieces. Step 2. Print out house template at Resize on copier to fit pumpkin. Step 3. Cut out stencils as directed on the templates and affix to pumpkins with masking tape.  Trace on the designs with a felt-tip pen. Step 4. Remove stencil, then carefully carve along the drawn lines of the houses' windows with an x-acto knife. Fill in the designs using a fine tip brush and black flat acrylic paint; let dry. Affix a battery-operated votive candle in the base of each pumpkin with adhesive putty.

Do you ever read People magazine.  There is a goofy page where you try to find the differences between two of the same celebrity pictures.  I never get all of them, I'm telling you it is actually a little hard, but scroll down and play the same game :)

We have recessed lighting in our 1980's kitchen! Hooray! I'll tell you what, it has given me hope that someday this kitchen will be really pretty.  I can just almost feel the beauty of white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and light counter tops-almost.  This is the first of many improvements to take place in this kitchen, although not for months, and not all at the same time.  I'm leaving you with a few more pics, because I know that curiosity is killing you,'s killing my mom :) This should give her design mind lots to think about!

 Isn't it nice of me not to even style(clean) this kitchen for pictures :)  Pleeeeese, I hardly ever clean it, it's the up side to having a kitchen you want to remodel-you detach-not a bad place to be sometimes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Heart: food

1.Don't you agree that September is a difficult month to cook. Well, I actually find every month difficult to cook, but when summer has ended, and it is still warm outside I find myself wondering what food season we are in.  I am looking forward to cooler days, pumpkin bars and chili, but it is still 90 degrees here and my summer basil just doesn't sound good.  I headed over to The Pioneer Woman for some inspiration and found some! Her tasty kitchen blog is yummers.  Real food, good food, food fit for a cowboy and that works on this frontier.  The other night I made this. Get on over there for some ideas for dinner.

2.A new obsession of mine is Greek Yogurt.  Yet again, I have Becca to thank for expanding my horizons.  She was munching on it the other day(back in August), then I spotted samples at the fair from the local Iowa dairy, and now I have a full blown addiction.  It's finally yogurt that eats like a meal.  I was never a huge fan before the Greek rage.  It has way more protein and I swear less sugar than the regular, the thickness and flavor just make me feel good.  The boys even heart it too.
{My new favorite breakfast}

3.  In my struggle to find my place in Knoxville, my sister recommended that I start to bake for people. People I don't know.  She said it would be good "energy" to share(myself) with others and I decided to listen to her wise advise.  I love to bake, and she was right when she said food brings people together and will provide an opening to start relationships. 
The dog had been roaming the neighborhood a little and well... scarring a neighbor two doors down who had not met him yet.  She put out an email asking who's it was.  I answered saying it was my precious(by precious I mean preciously annoying), big, black, bouncy dog.  She was very understanding which I appreciated, and this was my chance to  manipulate-I mean-bake for her.  This is one of my favorite cookies, and although it always feels a little Christmas-y, my kids heart these year round.

I call them Molasses Cookies.  The official name is Holiday Gingersnaps:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar, (plus more for rolling)
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.  Combine flour, spices, salt, soda in a bowl.  In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and egg at medium speed 2 minutes, until fluffy.  Add molasses, beat 1 minute; slowly add flour mixture; beat to combine

Using a rounded teaspoon for each cookie, roll dough into balls, then roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet.

Bake  8-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden(I prefer these cookies a little under done).  Cool 1 minute, transfer to wire rack.

So I walked two doors down and rang the door bell of my neighbors.  She wasn't home, but I left the cookies on her porch. She called me the next day and we had a really nice conversation and I am looking forward to getting to know her better as it was a surprise to find her young and fun..  I guess I really have my pesky pup to thank, but I think the cookies really helped ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Heart: the tuesday edition

I am loving this bathroom that 320 Sycamore showed on her blog.  The designer even let her know of a comparable color from the home store so she/we can have it too.  I am picking up a sample, and although my bathroom has only one component of this design-the white toilet- I'm adding it to my idea book. 

{design by Margot Austin}

Thursday, September 2, 2010

appreciating the arts

Last year Holden came home with a beautiful portfolio(really, that's what his art teacher called it), full of colorful and fun projects that I just couldn't wait to display. I had eyed the art work frames at Target, but just couldn't stomach the 25$ price tag.  Becca had reminded me of a Martha Stewart project that would be great for kids art work as well. 

Martha used these plastic frames(straight out of the 70's-you know you had them) as almost shadow boxes.  They come in several sizes and cost no more that 4 dollars at the craft store.

Martha covered the sides of the cardboard insert with craft paper.  That would be fun, but for this I sprayed them.

I used chalkboard paint because that's what I had and there was no reason to buy more black spray paint.
I like the flat finish as well.

I can't wait to get them hung in the boy's craft room.  They will be easy to change out as I didn't even need to tape/glue down the art work.  The only down side to these frames is the plastic seems to scratch easily and in weird places, I think that just might be the nature of this stuff.  Inspect them carefully before you buy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

random bits and pieces

Asher started school yesterday and it was a big success.  He said it was a GREAT day! Thank goodness for that because he had spent all summer telling me how he was not going to like his new school.  I think watching Holden helped change his attitude and when the first day rolled around he was pretty darn excited.  I think it helps that he has a very pretty teacher-you know Asher, he has fabulous taste(just ask Jenny and Bec-his two favorite moms).
This guy turns 5 in a couple days. He sure is one special dude.  Nearly everyday he teaches me more about the person I want to become, just by being himself. like?  I like. I think it's going to work.  Sloan and I spent some of the morning rearranging the furniture(umm...he didn't help move the couch), because we could have spent the morning at the library but what fun would that be.  He is just so darn helpful, constantly reminding me not to put anything on the side tables that I don't want stuffed into the couch cushions ;)

I am moving this dresser from our bedroom down to where the blue table was in the sun room.  Do you think Todd will mind getting his underwear and socks on the first floor? haha
Who knew! There's a magnolia gardenia bush in our yard. I was giddy when I spotted this bloom, it made me feel so southern.
Hair by cream cheese toast.

No story here, my husband just loves to put babies in baskets.