28 April 2011


My heart, my thoughts, and most of all my prayers are going out to the friends, family and residents of those southeastern cities and states that were ravaged by storms yesterday and last night. It's a brutal reminder that we, in fact, are not in control. Keeping a close eye on the radar this morning, as those ominous storm cells are marching east. This life we are given is truly a treasure!

Have a safe and happy Thursday, and keep those facing the devastation in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia in your prayers.

27 April 2011

Easter was good.

It was filled with warm sunshine, salty waves, home-grown food, and best friends.

What could be better than that?

(Yes, I totally misspelled rolling...and was too lazy to change it.)

21 April 2011

Good Eats: tomato, avocado + arugala sandwich.

So, yesterday a good friend stopped by to *try* and help me salvage my sad-looking tomatoes (thank you, Helen!), and with her she brought a handful of arugala, freshly snipped from her very own garden. Anxious to sink my teeth into the spicy green, I concocted a few homegrown breakfast sandwiches this morning with some staples in my pantry, garden and fridge.

Oh, arugala--please hurry and grow. You are so very dang delicious.

To make a sandwich like the homegrown one above, simply fry an egg or two, season it with salt and pepper, throw some grated parmesan on top along with a tomato and some arugala, and let it all sit in the skillet for a minute or two (until the cheese melts). Slather some spicy brown mustard on your choice of bread, and top it with what's in the skillet. Sliced avocado makes it especially creamy and delicious and really even out the spicy bite from the arugala and mustard.


Wallet-worthy: summer sandals.

If you're anything like me, you're more than ecstatic about freeing your toes from winter socks and shoes and running around town in some saucy sandals. I've been on the hunt for the perfect wedge for about two years now and finally found just what I was looking and hoping for: Dolce Vita's Pela sandal. The only downside? They're a bit pricey--at least for my wallet. But, being the bargain shopper that I am, I decided to do some sale-searching, and voila: bluefly.com had a deal worth jumping on. Yes, friends, the Pela is only $106 when they retail everywhere else for $160 to 180. Thought I'd pass those savings right along to you lovely readers.

ENJOY. Your wallet (and toes) will thank you.

19 April 2011

Dining room inspiration.

So, prep-work projects are slowing down a bit in the new house. Maple and I celebrated our one month of owning it last night with chipotle, garlic-grilled chicken, home-made tortillas and mango guacomole. Oh, and sangria, of course! Anyway, there's still a lot to do (painting, mostly), but we're starting to get to the point where we can actually think about decorating and what to put in the rooms.

Maple's been diligently working on building our dining table, as I mentioned before. I don't have any pics uploaded yet, but I'll get working on that soon. We majorly scored on a craigslist find: an amazing, 7-foot barn door that's weathered but in great condition and is the perfectly perfect size to sit 8 people. It's amazing. Maple's done the most incredible job constructing it. The base absolutely rocks and is way more perfect than any store-bought find. Plus, a table of that caliber would have cost $800-$1000, if not more, and ours will total out around $100. Yes, ONE-HUNRED dollars, for an incredibly amazing and long farmhouse table. Yes, I'm a wee-bit excited about this, if you can't already tell. He put the first coat of polyurethane on it last night...it turned the most beautiful color. It's perfect.

We're hosting dinner for eight this Saturday (eek), so we're pretty much hoping to have the table and built-in bench ready to go, which means I've been perusing the web in search of inspiration. We have a pretty good idea of what we want to do in terms of textiles, furniture and accessories (I've painted three chairs high-gloss black and the fabric on the bench will be a dark gray linen), but here's some inspiration I've come across that I thought you might enjoy:

Love them ALL. If only I were brave enough to upholster a bench bright orange, or clothe my walls in big, bold stripes. I'm just always finding new things or styles that I like, so I prefer to stick with relatively neutral walls and furniture, and punch them up with bold textiles and accessories.

But these photos are good jumping off points--to at least pick out the lines/textures/colors/patterns that speak to you and incorporate them into thespace in a less permanent/obtrusive way, through pillows, table linens, curtain panels...even artwork, lampshades and rugs. For example: love the bold, striped walls but can't commit to such a statement? Throw an oversized, striped pillow in a sidechair, or paint a large white, rectangular canvas with thick black stripes (so easy and inexpensive) and hang it on the wall. That way, it achieves the statement you're hoping for but won't be such a hassle (and the guilt will be minimal) when you decide you're over those stripes.

Okay, my pretties. Happy Tuesday. We're off to the farmers' market this evening and on to a beachside restaurant to celebrate the arrival of friends' baby that will be happening tomorrow. Sounds pretty perfect to me :)

15 April 2011

Finally...our color palette.

So...designing your house is horrible. It's terrible. It is so dang difficult. I can help other people with not even an ounce of hesitation...no problem...at all.  And I love doing that. But my own house? Ohhh has it been rough. I guess there's just too many things I love...too many design styles I love...to many fabrics, colors, pillows, rugs....you name it...that I love. It's been interesting...and pretty slow going. But I'm realizing patience is a virtue for good reason, and I have to be okay with the fact that snapping my fingers, no matter how hard I close my eyes and no matter how much sugar I plead to sprinkle on top...will not get the job done.

Anyway, Maple and I have accomplished a great feat that will *hopefully* help pull the rest of the house together a bit more easily: a color palette. And my gosh, was that a task. But we did it...and I love it. And yes, I am second guessing it...but maybe that's because there is nothing in any of the rooms but paint, and looking at looming bare walls of paint can be a bit overwhelming. So, anyway, we wanted warm, cozy neutrals that were still a bit daring. (Yes, that sounds like an oxymoron.) As much as I love white walls, we wanted to step outside that comfort zone. And, we don't want our house to look like everyone elses...or the trends of the time. So, we went with warm browns and grays and are accentuating them with white, black, and some random pops of color through textiles.

So, here you have it...the color palette we've finally decided upon that will be incorporated (somehow, someway) in every room of the house. The walls won't all be the same color, but we'll be pulling in each of these hues to give the house a good, free-flowing feel. By no means do I want every room to look the same, but I also don't want it to be distracting or too busy by not being cohesive.

There you have it: the three main hues we're working with...each from *Sherwin WIlliams.  And below those colors are a few inspiration photos I've pulled to give you a good idea of what I have in mind for those shades of gray and brown! What do you think? Can't wait to show you how it's all panning out. So far, our living room/dining room/entry way combo is painted curio gray. The kitchen cabinets are getting coated in urbane bronze, the hallway is worldly gray, the laundry room is white, and the den will be a combination of white and urbane bronze. Oh, and several of our interior doors are getting slathered with urbane bronze. I kind of, sort of, maybe really love that color :)

*Yes, Sherwin Williams can be a bit expensive, but they've been running amazing 30-40% off deals on all their paint the last few weekends. If you've got some painting projects lined up that you're wanting good-quality paint for, it's worth looking into when their sales will be and planning your paint-buying around them. And, another hint--you're paying for the paint itself, not the colors. So, if you're undecided on paint colors but want to take advantage of the discount, buy the untinted paint and simply have them tint it (there's no cost for that) when you're ready!

So...it's Friday. I hope it's perfectly lovely for you. Mine will be busy, busy...but so fun. Maple and I are gearing up to build (yes...I said build) our dining table and built-in bench and finish up some much-needed painting, as we're hosting a dinner group at our house next weekend.

Eeek. Anyhow...happy Friday, and happy weekend.

14 April 2011

h.i.m. (happy, in the morning)

A random assortment of the pretty finds I'm loving this morning:

Hope you have a wonderfully-inspired day yourself :)

I'm off to the garden...
Maple and I built and filled a raised garden bed the night before last.I planted my tomatoes and rosemary yesterday morning in hopes the leaves would somehow change from a not-so-good yellow to bright green once their roots hit that good, mushroom-compost soil (erasing all evidence of my horribly brown thumb). It hasn't happened yet. Sorry, maters...someday you will be properly loved. (Oh, and did you know planting rosemary around your tomatoes wards off squirrels? Awesome...I know).

Anyway, now I have to get the rest of my herbs into that good ground. So excited--we'll be growing cilantro, basil, rosemary, mint, sage and thyme. Oh, and lettuce greens. Gosh I hope I'm not being overzealous and wayyy overestimating my gardening skills. This should get interesting :)

So...happy Thursday.
Yes, it's almost the weekend.

11 April 2011



{ Dolce Vita Pela Wedge;  Ray-Ban aviators;  Urban Outfitters canvas carry on;  
Urban Outfitters geometric shirt;  loft photo via Pinterest }

May is already around the corner (where has this year even gone?) which means I'll be packing my carry-on and headed to NYC for a five-day, big-city escapade. That National Stationery Show is the reason behind my trip, but I'll be squeezing in some much-needed time with NYC-dwelling friends, networking (I hope) amongst other creatives, photographing the bustling sights of the big-city streets, sipping espressos in eclectic cafes, eating the most delicious of fare, and missing my hubby something terrible. But I. AM. SO. EXCITED. And already planning what to pack, of course :) Can't wait to show you all that I get into!

Anyhow, happiest Monday,
Hope it's a wonderful start to your week.

08 April 2011



And all because we finally got the internet company over to our new house. Who knew it took so long to get your appointment setup?! Anyhow...I know you thought I'd left you. I didn't. I've been swallowed by this new house...as busy as I've ever been trying to juggle work, moving, unpacking, painting, cleaning, finding furniture, deciding on decor, planting a garden before it gets hot, getting all the workers over to our house that need to do things...and...we've had company in town.

But it's fun. And amazing. And wonderful. I was so over living in tiny little apartments in other people's leftover filth (those old spaces with so much "character" just never really feel entirely clean). So here we are, in our very own house, doing our very own things, our very own way. It's slow-going, considering how busy we are. Maple and I both thought each project would go pretty quickly and smoothly. We're quickly realizing that's not the case. But that's okay--it's a work-in-progress, and I'm so excited to keep you updated with all the projects and ideas we have swirling around in our heads.

So, I'm going to be brave. I'm going to let you in on the before photos. Please be forgiving...because it needs work (and because these are the raw, unedited images straight from the camera). But it has such good bones. And it will *hopefully* be amazing. But for now,  here's a peak at what we have to work with:

Our yard is giant. I'm standing about halfway to the street, here, and ohhh does it need work! Which, actually, we've pretty much done the initial phase of. See those leaves?! Gone. See those azaleas?! Trimmed. See that hideous carpet on the porch?! Still there. Yep...there's astrotruf underneath (of course there is). Oh, that will be a fun project. Anyway...I love the paint colors. She just needs a bit of landscaping and some porch love and she'll be great :)

Try to ignore that dark line etched into the gleaming hardwoods. Yes, it winds through the house and leads you all the way to the kitchen. So, that means some brilliant someone dragged a fridge through the house? Or maybe a keg? I mean, Frat House LLC did at one point own our place. Yes, that is real...and I am thankful for the invention of rugs.

So, the entry/livingroom/dining room are essentially one big L-shaped space. This is the angle you see on your right as you make your way through the front door. Those apartment blinds were my worst nightmare (and the first thing to go), but that picture window is pretty much my dream.

Looking back toward the entryway and the bedroom wing of the house. See that upside down sconce the precious owner hung right against the crown molding? Nice. Also...gone.

I didn't love how these rooms flowed together at first. I've decided I like boundaries, I guess. But this was only the second house we saw, so the more we checked off the list, the higher this one rose in stature. So, I have a solution. See that huge, bare wall on the right? Well, we're doing a built-in bench on it. Maple and I bought a huge barn door that's in really great shape, so we're in the process of making a base for it to serve as our dining table. That means no decisions will have to be made about how to walk around a table. It will be a cozy eating nook butted against the wall, giving me plenty of room for a sideboard on the opposite wall. 

The window looks into the backyard. Someday it will be replaced with french doors *swoon.* The door on the left looks into our awesomely paneled den/4th bedroom. We're sticking a cozy couch and the TV in there. The perfect space to cuddle up in for a good movie (or...as begrudged by the hubs...some HGTV...which I finally have). Oh, and that door on the right leads to the kitchen/garage/laundry room. Oh, and that stunningly handsome thing at the window is my hubs :)

Huge. Awesome. Amazing. Glorious. I obviously love it. Just look at that huge picture window. There are actually three more of them in here (not quite that big, but still...). Just look at that tile--it's beautiful, rustic terra-cotta (I'm super picky about tile). Just look at those cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling. They are simple, but I love them. And, there are two walls of cabinets. TWO. And room for our butcherblock as an island (which I am sitting at now with my coffee in hand). Do you see that weird little cabinet next to the window in the top photo? I used to hate it...now I love it. So entirely strange...but so entirely cool. That's what I love about this house...character. Anyhow, we have big plans for the kitchen. I want to work with what we have and the character of the space. But it's pretty much my dream.

The laundry used to be on the other side of that wall, in a dingy, cobweb-filled room off the garage. No more, friends. Hubby and dad drilled through the wall for the hoses and the electrician installed a dryer hookup. This room is dreadful now, but it will be painted white and hubby is building me a butcher block top for the W/D to make it more of a built-in look. There's two huge windows on the opposite wall, and they will have a bench with storage underneath. I see it all being very simple and industrial in feel. Anyhow, welcome to our mudroom/laundry room that's just off the kitchen.

Is giant. 
And one day it will have a patio, raised garden beds, an outdoor fire place, eating area,
trellises with vines spilling over, and a man hut. 'Nuf said.

Which we're turning into our den.
I kind of like the wood panelling...
is that a faux pas?

 The Master Bath.
Can you even call it that if it 's maybe the smallest bathroom of all time?
It's cute. And perfect for Maple. I've already painted the vanity and mirror. We're building some rustic shelves for a wall you can't see. Oh, and that horrible light fixture is gone.
And the little shower is actually pretty cool.

The Master.
That high gloss black trim against dingy white walls is my worst nightmare. It's all been primed and is ready to be painted (this weekend) the perfect shade of gray. We installed a modern, white ceiling lamp and I'm building a headboard and installing linen roman shades on the windows. Can't wait.

And the dog :)

A cozy little space well-suited for our antique brass bed and friends and family staying over.
It's a bright little space that's draped in sunshine most of the day.

Or, what will be at least. Love the two huge windows and how bright and airy it is. Sadly it falls to the bottom of our priority list, but I guess there's always that one room. It's pretty decent how it is, though. 

Oh...yes...complete with a pink and gray tile floor and a gray bathtub. Okay, I actually really love the tub. She needs some work, but all-in-all she's a pretty great space with lots of potential. Can't wait to show you the simple fixes I have up my sleeve!

So there you have it, friends...our house: the project that's swallowing our time (and hopefully not our money). What do you think? Are we crazy? 

We think it's pretty wonderful, and perfectly well-suited for me and Maple...and our little pup. Maple and I have so many ideas for the space--most of them consisting of simple, inexpensive DIY projects. I hope you don't mind, but they're sure to be making an appearance on the blog. 

Again, so sorry I've been MIA for such a long time. And thank you to the internet for finally gracing our lives again and connecting me back to you :)

See you Monday (yes, really...I promise).