Two Places You Aren't Looking For Summer Decor But Should Be

Monday, August 8, 2016

Secret revealing. It's happening today. Get excited.

Recently, I discovered Invaluable, an online e-commerce site that specifically caters to art, jewelry, and all other sorts of collectibles and antiques. (Think "Antiques Roadshow" meets Etsy. Super cool, right?) They recently posted about summer tips for finding antique and home decor and today I'm here to share my own.

There are two places you're probably not looking for home decor but SHOULD be. Like now:

1. Facebook groups. Many neighborhoods and communities have private groups you can join where people post home decor items, furniture, and antiques for sale. I cannot even tell you how many INCREDIBLE things I've found utilizing this tool. To find groups near you either: a) click on the "Discover Groups" link under your "Groups" heading on your Facebook homepage, or b) type any relevant keyword(s) into the Facebook search box and see what populates. Most people who are in these groups don't reveal their secrets since they want to keep all the good stuff to themselves - but today I'm spilling the beans. It's too good not to share. One thing to note: make sure you read and follow the rules of each page you join - as they will vary slightly. 

2. Clothing Stores - Look past all the back-to-school jeans specials at a lot of retailers and you will find some great home decor. A lot of clothing retailers have ventured into the home decor market and the results are awesome. My favorites are Urban Outfitters (SO much good stuff...even some vintage), Modcloth (yes, you read that right), Zara home, and H&M. Usually, these items are only found online, so grab your computer and go take a look NOW. Dig around a little. You'll be so glad you did. 

I also love that both of these are online, which, as a busy mom, I SO appreciate. Shopping without my children is a win for everyone involved, let's be real. 

Interested in reading more about Summer tips for home decor and antiquing? Check out Invaluable's guide to some of the Summer's best antiquing spots

Do you live near any of these hot spots?
What other tips do you have for finding treasures?

Arhaus Patio Design Challenge

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We're in the thick of Texas summer, which means I am eating copious amounts of melon and avoiding the outdoors as much as possible. Side note: Please never ask me to go camping unless it involves an RV with the best things the 21st century can offer.

David and I talked about covering and screening the back patio last year, which seriously sounds fan-friggin-tastic right about now. We didn't do it but - oh - the dream remains.

Arhaus, a high-end furnishing company with an emphasis on quality and sustainability (so much to love about this company), recently inspired me to design a dream patio that brought the warmth and livability of the indoors outside. Yes, please. 

Here's what I came up with:

To be able to actually use AND enjoy outdoor spaces, I need two things: practicality and comfort. With two boys, two years and under, and 2 labs, do I really need to explain? 

Our patio is actually quite large, we have a grill and a chiminea but NO seating. Zero. Well, we have an old bench David keeps promising to refinish and a couple of camping chairs we can drag out of the garage - but no. 

Key design piece: This dreamy patio starts with fantastic seating. Honestly, the moment I saw this giant sectional from Arhaus, I wanted it. The clean modern lines and teak construction mean I'd be perfectly satisfied with it for a long, long time. (Be sure to check out their other great sectional sofas here.) Positioned in front of our current chiminea, it is pretty much perfection. 
I also wanted a large dining table and couldn't pass up the value of this set from Ikea. It's modern, beautiful, and spacious enough to enjoy with guests or just as a family. 

Accessories: A fantastic tie-dye throw (technically a towel but they aren't the boss of me), a soft but unexpected turf rug, brass lanterns, doggy beds, and colorful dishes round out the design plan. All the love. 

Now excuse me while I go shut the blinds and try to ignore that my real-life patio is nowhere near as awesome as this. 

Less Serious, More Fun: How to Add Color to your Kitchen

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's no secret that the kitchen is my favorite room in the home. And, like most people's, mine is also the most used. While neutrals in the kitchen are classic and ever-popular, color can be such a small but powerful way to bring vibrancy into the space. Innovative home appliance company, Big Chill, recently contacted me about sharing ways to use a bold color, such as turquoise, to make this most beloved room sing.

Many people make home design decisions out of fear. I - admittedly - am one. I have talked myself out of more than one choice in favor of something "safer." But now that I'm in my 30's I'm finally growing up - ha - and I say what matters most is that YOU love the space. So go with your gut.  Push yourself a little and don't be so serious.

Ok, so now that I'm done being bossy, LOOK at this amazing kitchen and that gray/blue tile backsplash.

Ivory Kitchen Cabinets with Gray Walker Zanger Mosaic Tiles

This kitchen is totally my style - with a few minor tweaks. For example, I'd prob trade all that silver/stainless in the cabinet pulls for brass. And I'd love to change the stainless range to a colorful gas stove from Big Chill like this one:

White - Satin Nickel

Want something a bit more punchy? I found this fabulous cement tile in this striking turquoise color. I'd style it similarly to the kitchen above but keep the appliances all white and maybe add some wood open shelves to add earthiness.

Tile Grouping - Traditional Malaga Cement Tile 8" x 8"

Ok guys. A moment. This hood. Let's chat...

Matte Black Brushed Brass

This just might be my FAVORITE OF ALL TIME.
So - little known fact - I'm a hood rat. Er, something like that. I hold hard and fast to the idea that range hoods are of of the most important - and least discussed - kitchen design elements. I have major aversion to most of the dinky hoods on the market. I am not a fan of the super modern hoods that usually are glass or stainless and tend to leave a lot of unsightly negative space on the wall.

I tend to favor styles like this that are big, commanding, and almost look like cabinetry. And that brass bar across the bottom - get out. This particular one comes in multiple colors!!
It is not exaggeration to say I've spent years looking for this range hood.
-heart emojis ad nauseam -

off soapbox


This blue range and white cabinet combination is everything. Still classic and sophisticated without taking itself too seriously. Totally dig it.

Rustic French Kitchen. French kitchen with wood plank ceiling over a barn board kitchen island topped with a white marble countertop framing a hammered copper prep sink and brushed brass faucet. #FrenchKitchen Dearborn Builders

While a little on the country side for me - this kitchen still has all the right elements - from the turquoise subway tile backsplash to the fantastic range and hood - swoon.

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer | Williams-Sonoma

If you're not ready to make that much of a color commitment, add fun touches with smaller appliances like this mixer. I own this one btw and it's my bff.

You can also add more vibrancy with fun tea towels, oven mitts, rugs, art, or utensils. I mean that's honestly where most of us land right? Like we can't all afford to rip out our kitchen - but we can start small and intentionally no matter our budget.

Color adds so much energy and life to spaces. Let's stop being afraid of using it in the kitchen and instead choose to have a little more fun. Matter of fact - let's make that our motto for life. Less serious - more joy. Yep, I'm in.

For more information on retro or colored appliances and inspiration, check out Big Chill. Or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Have a great day, friends.

Palm & Banana Leaf Prints: How to Make Your Favorite Trend Last

Monday, May 23, 2016

When it comes to trends I tend to stay off the bandwagon. If I can't see myself loving it for the long haul I'm usually not interested. But there's something about a great print that I can't say no to - the trick is using them in a way that keeps the longevity without sacrificing taste. The online design firm, Laurel &Wolf, urged me to share my thoughts on how to successfully use the palm/banana leaf print trend.

For me, the key in using any trend successfully is balance.
Take a look at this totes amazing removable wallpaper from Chasing Paper (all the heart eyes)
I seriously want this wallpaper in my house, y'all. I love it so much. This would be fantastic in one of my boys' bedrooms OR their bath OR the laundry room. swoon.

Bold? Yes, but unapologetically awesome without going cheesy-Palm-Beach-crazy on you. The black & white, the giant scale, the brushstrokes - it stands out but still plays nicely with others. I'd add some natural elements, color, and texture for one killer, unforgettable space.

For the commitment-phobe, accessorizing is a safe way to play with the palm/banana leaf print without going in too deep. This pillow from H&M is a great example. I love the classy tropical nod with the tone-on-tone color scheme. This is great for someone who isn't ready to go full-on but still wants to have fun with this trend.
B-to-the-alance, y'all.

source: H&M 

Last but not least, let's not forget our girl Mother Earth. The ol' gal knows a thing or two about keeping things classy. If you want to get on the palm/banana leaf trend but don't know where to start - this. is. for. you. Keep it simple by framing giant fronds or even getting your own live plant (if you're good like that and can keep things alive. mad props btw.)

source: Coastal Living

Trends may come and go but classy interiors never will so don't be afraid to incorporate more of what's hot. You get to control how much of it is right for you.

What's your favorite way to use palm or banana leaf prints?

For more information or inspiration on design and trends check out Laurel & Wolf. You can also follow then on Pinterest, Instagram, and their blog.

**Right now Laurel & Wolf is having a Memorial Day promo and they're offering half off - yes, 50% - on their classic design packages.**
 You guys - this is amazing. So if you're stuck on a space in your home and need a little help - this is for you.
But don't delay - promo runs from Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 to Tuesday, May 31, 2016. 
Use promo code: MEMDAY 

Chairish Design Challenge: Woman Cave

Monday, January 25, 2016

My friends at Chairish recently contacted me about participating in another design challenge. The object was to create the ideal woman cave using one of their selected bar stools.

Here's what I came up with:

This board was so easy to put together. I knew immediately which bar stool I wanted (um, hello modern-industrial chic). I'm not really a glam-sitting-room or super-organized-craft-space kinda gal. No, my go-to room for relaxing and creating is the kitchen. 

The key is to A) know your style and B) how you function in the space. I like lots of white with accents of natural wood, black, gold, and fun prints so it was simple to pull together a few of my favorite things like the stools, rug, and crazy/fun sink. And since function is key, the magnetic knife strip and gorgeous light fixture marry beauty and utility perfectly.

This board me to a "T". I'm actually kinda bummed that the only thing I currently own here is the cookbook. Someone please send this to my husband. 

Design Necessities: A Rug Pad USA Review

Friday, September 11, 2015

Let's have a little real-talk, shall we?
There's nothing sexy about today's post. 
It's one of those design issues that nobody really talks about because it's never seen.
Annnd, on a scale of things that are boring - waiting in the doctor's office, watching paint dry; 5000 piece puzzles - talking about rug pads might just take the cake.
But hear me out.

Several months ago I was approached by
I'd never heard of them and truthfully didn't know rug pads existed beyond those off-white, sticky waffle-type ones.

I had no idea, for example, that:
  • 90% of rug pads come from overseas where they can minimize labor and production costs (i.e., they use cheap materials at a cheap cost)
  • they are usually made from pvc or latex which tend to be chemically heavy and full of harmful VOC's
  • The petrochemical oils in many pads can leech out of the pad and into your flooring causing discoloration and damage over time
  • most rug pads are not able to absorb or release moisture so in certain climates they can permanently damage the flooring underneath.
  • inexpensive fillers in some latex rug pads will break down over time and leave a residue on your floors

Anyone else feel like they've experienced almost all of these before? Weird smells, stickiness, staining, residue...and don't get me started about the sliding and bunching. Frustration overload. 

The kind folks at sent me a rug pad to review in hopes that I would like it and share with my readers. These eco-friendly rug pads are made in America using high quality materials, superior technology, and are supposed to be the best on the market. They claim to do exactly what a rug pad SHOULD do...keep your rug in place without damaging your home.
Cracks knuckles...let's see.

I decided to test it in one of our most difficult spots, the entry, where we've had rug issues ad nauseam. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. To hear that there was actually more to rug pads than the sticky plastic stuff was baffling. 
I was admittedly skeptical. 

They sent the Eco-Solid in a 3x5 size (they cut a bit smaller so as to fit perfectly under my rug) and I am happy to report it has been perfection for both my antique Persian rug and hardwoods.

This product really exceeded my expectations. It gets beaten down with the amount of foot traffic it takes daily but hasn't slipped once. Not once, people.
No weird sticking. No sliding. No smells. No strange residue. No bunching. Nothing. 
Even David was impressed. 

I love this product so much I'm planning on buying some for the rest of the house. It's a glorious thing when a product works as it's supposed to. 

If you're interested in learning more about the difference in a quality rug pad, Go Here.

The best part is that has generously offered my readers a 15% off coupon. Just plug in "PR15OFF" at checkout. 

Disclosure:  I received the Eco-Solid rug pad with the hope that I would like it and share it with you in a post. I absolutely love it and that's why you see this review.  I only mention products that I love and I think you will too. All opinions are my own.

Oatmeal Double Chocolate Cookies

Friday, September 11, 2015

2015 has been a difficult year.
It all began in February when a sea of sewage flooded one-third of our downstairs only a week after we started a large renovation project in the kitchen.

Mass chaos ensued and for several months we waded through the rebuild process.
I was also newly pregnant and hormonal so you can imagine the sweetness of morning/all-day sickness amidst contractors, plumbing issues, missing walls, etc. 
tender memories.

June finally brought a bit of closure to all that nonsense. We were so excited to get our house back but then I was diagnosed with a fairly serious pregnancy complication (more on that later) and was put on modified bedrest until November.
Life had to adjust in an instant.

Then more tough news.
My sweet Grandpa's health took a pretty rapid decent and by the end of July time had come to say our final goodbyes.

I wasn't prepared for all the emotions in that hospital room early one Friday morning. And sure haven't been prepared for the wave of feels that unexpectedly come over me still.
Sadness is strange that way.
I know I've been guilty of assuming grief isn't as sharp when the loss is in the twilight years of life.
Grief if grief.

I don't know when it happened or why for that matter but I cannot get enough baked goods in my house.
Ok, well, I know why...
Because delicious.
But a lot of my baking is made to give away.
I bake for David's co-workers, friends, strangers. any one.
It's my way of creating beauty out of chaos.
Not surprisingly, I've been in the kitchen a lot the past month or so.
Baking in the prime of a Texas summer is pretty hardcore.
But it's comforting and I've needed a lot of that lately.

My Gramps in particular loved sweets, especially cookies.
And his wife, my dear Grands, is the author behind one of my most popular recipes Snickerdoodles (with pumpkin cream cheese).
We don't play in the kitchen.

About a month ago I was searching for a cookie recipe to make for a friend's birthday.
Unexpectedly, it became my new favorite.
It's my idea of the perfect cookie.
Big, soft, and full of flavor.
These cookies are all comfort and goodness
Perfect for sharing, laughing, celebrating, and remembering.

Tip: Follow my directions precisely then adjust the second time for yourself, if you feel such a thing needs doing.
Cookie secrets are going to be handed down so get your notes out and read.
The details are what make any baking recipe successful so this is not the time to wing-it.
Thoroughly annoyed with my disclaimer?
Good. Now read it again and get baking.
it. will. be. worth. it.
(I'm so bossy today.)

The original recipe is the 2015 Recipe of the Year from King Arthur Flour, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This post contains an affiliate link which means that Amazon offers me a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links, at no additional cost to the reader.

Here's my adaptation:
Oatmeal Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups old-fashioned oats (depending on how oatty you want them)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups semisweet chips (I use Guittard 46% semi-sweet chips)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided (I use Guittard 63% dark chocolate chips)

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2) Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each, about 30 seconds to a minute.
4) Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.
5) Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.
6) Stir in the chocolate chips, leaving some out to place on top of the cookies before baking, until just evenly distributed. Don't overmix.
7) Use a 1/4 cup scoop to make about 20 large, palm-sized cookies. (You can make smaller cookies but it will take much longer to bake as you cannot put these in more than one pan at a time and I prefer the large bakery style cookie for these. Either way is good though, just make sure to adjust baking time.)
8) Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" to 2" between cookies. Place remaining chocolate chips on top of the dough mounds.
9) Bake the cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until they're a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that's OK, they'll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.
10) Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they're set enough to handle (about 5 minutes in my kitchen), transfer them to racks to cool.
Yield: 20 to 100 cookies, depending on size.

  • Use the best quality ingredients you can find. I've shared my personal favs above. 
  • Use the best quality chocolate you can find. Please, please do this. It makes a huge difference. My personal favorite is Guittard which I'm able to buy locally at World Market and Whole Foods. You can also purchase online here .
  • When it says "room temperature," it means it. Put your ingredients out at least an hour before you start baking. This requires some planning but it's worth it.
  • Make sure you properly measure your ingredients, especially flour. For more info on how, check out Joy the Baker's post HERE.  
  • Use parchment paper. 
  • These taste better a few hours after they've cooled through the second day. Properly kept in an air tight container they will keep several days (but I think they definitely start loosing some of their softness and flavor on day 2 to 3.)
  • Milk chocolate, in my opinion, does not work well with these cookies. It just doesn't have enough flavor to make a statement.

For you, Gramps.

Kitchen Update

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I seldom get on the computer these days.
It's way harder than phone internetting.
But worth it.
So hey, there old friend.
Let's catch up, shall we?

Rewind to February. We had saved enough to start renovating our hideous 90's kitchen. I was pumped. I was ready. Pinterest was about to pay off in a big way.

Enter the frightening "Before"

Just days into our renovation, however, our main sewer line backed up and flooded the house.
{insert puke-face emoji}

Three. Months. Later work started back in the kitchen.
Sadly, however, our budget had taken a hit.
My wood floors would have to wait.
No nice shiny new appliances either.
Budget cuts out the wazoo.
Real life. Real adulting.

Our kitchen reno is going to be more of a two-stage process now.
As in this year
and maybe-if-we-get-to-it next year.
Because (surprise) we're having another baby!! 
Yep, timing is everything.
And morning sickness during construction carnage is just as awesome as it sounds.

Here's where we are now. Completely unstaged and real-life-d up for you.
 Because who reads blogs to see pretty pictures?

To be honest, it drives me bananas having to wait to finish the project. 
Looking at those floors every day is like a perpetual stab in the eye. 
but I deal.
adulting is still hard 
but perspective is a funny thing. 
you get a little and a lot changes.
so I choose to see what's awesome
and you know what,
I think we can all agree we're off to a good start. 

David hated the brass pulls at first but
I think he's starting to get it now.
The man wore pleated, tapered pants when I met him. 
Sometimes these things just take time. 

One day I'll use my real camera but for now I'm just jazzed that I remembered how to type with both hands.

progress is slow, my friends. 

White to Bright: Entryway Style Board

Monday, February 9, 2015

Internet dust-bunnies.
It's totally a thing. And I have them. 
I also have real ones but who's looking.

We're making slow but somewhat steady progress on the house and I'll eventually get around to showing you.
But today I have a fun entry style board to share.
Because inspiration is good. And style boards are easier than rooms. 

I'll admit: I'm on a white walls kick right now. 
White walls, black accents, neutral wood. 
It's my jam.
I'm afraid of color. 
and commitment. 
and color is commitment soooo I stay clear of it. 

But I was challenged to take a room from white to bright using one of Chairish's gorgeous rugs as inspiration. 
Have you heard of Chairish? I hadn't either but boy I'm sure glad I know now. It's like the best estate sale you've ever found and it's all online.
Which we can all agree is amazing because you don't have to wake up super early on a weekend to battle crazies.
Dreamy for any design-lover. If you're into cool vintage/used pieces that is.
Which, uh, yea, you should be. 

White to bright?
Take a risk? Use color?
I can do this. 
Because it's on paper, er, internets. 
I can be brave on the web. 
Be brave with me, won't you?

I selected this gorgeous vintage rug. 
I love kilim. 
But my scared-brain got cold sweats with the bold pattern and COLOR.
so much scary color. red. orange. gold. green. ahhhhh!

I did it anyway. 
Listened to my gut. 
I picked this rug and made it my bestie.
So brave.
Go ahead, paint my face blue. 

Here's what I came up with for an entryway:

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 9

Like the rug, I chose things I'm drawn to that I might otherwise talk myself out of.
It was a BLAST! For real.
Bravery rocks. An imaginary, unlimited budget was pretty awesome too. 

Here's the breakdown:

1. removable wall paper in this great black and white speckle. Yes, I said "removable". A non-committal's favorite words. Wallpaper doesn't have to be scary anymore. I love how it's both modern and ballsy without being crazy in-yo-face. I also love the b&w. And how it the smaller scale works with the rug. I'm seriously gonna get this wallpaper for my house. Love, love, love.

2. This crazy blue and white vase with a gold base. I love how the pattern flows as opposed to being rigid and geometric. The cobalt blue is such a fun punch of color. Also, every entry needs fresh flowers. Word to ya motha. 

3. You know what else every entry needs? A mirror. And this crazy cool one has me swooning. It has a beautiful antiqued feel without being stuffy. It's shape and finish are a nod to the vintage rug without being stiff and heavy. I love the eclair shaped columns. Yes, I said eclair. I watched The Great British Bake-Off earlier today. I see eclairs everywhere.

4. I'm obsessed with throw blankets. I think every  house should be stocked with blankets. And this one is lovely with the fringe and mint. I love me some fringe. I also think the color is a lovely contrast with the reds in the rug and helps balance those saturated, warm colors. 

5. This tribal basket is another must-have piece for any entry. I love how it marries a modern silhouette with beautiful black and white weaving. Modern and classic. Can't go wrong. Drape that mint blanket over the side, toss your shoes or an umbrella inside and it's a beautiful yet functional piece.

6. I was so drawn to the teal and terracotta on this planter. And the hope that one day I too can grow a succulent. People say those are harder to kill. People are wrong. But still, I dream. I love how the cooler blue/greens help balance the reds and oranges in the rug. Such a great contrast.

7. Agate art. Um, yes. Sign me up. The organic shapes that are somehow both natural and geometric. And all of those beautiful, rich colors. Art is a great way to experiment with color and this one is a show-stopper. I'm feeling less afraid of color, y'all. It's coming. 

8. This amazing geometric light fixture is a perfect balance to some of the more rustic and vintage aspects of the design. I love how it brings black to the ceiling in a very clean and modern way. The fixture has both a modern and vintage 70's vibe but its smooth clean lines are such beautiful contrast to the busyness of the rug.

9. This console table is a thing of dreams. When I saw it my heart fluttered. The natural wood is stunning and the detail on the legs is complete perfection. Understated yet bold, I think this piece pairs perfectly with the rug. I love everything about it. It's the perfect piece to unite the entire design: classic, rustic, chic; vintage.

Boom. Nailed it.

I really loved not worrying about my usual design fears. It was so fun. I'm thinking I might not be as afraid of color as I was before.

Be bold, friends. Go with what speaks to you. If you design with things you love, it'll all come together in the end.
Preaching to myself.

If you'd like to see more of what Chairish has to offer by browsing their fantastic rug collection, I've attached a link HERE.
It might be my new favorite online design shop. I almost didn't want you to know.
But I'm a giver.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

sporadic everything-ing

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm hoping to turn sporadic blogging into a thing.
like sporadic workouts or shaving in winter.
i kid. i totally shave all winter long.

December slammed into us messily.
case in point: i have pumpkins proudly displayed on my front porch.
our neighbors have synchronized lights and nativities and holiday swag.
we have pumpkins. 
i don't know either.

hopefully i'll get a wreath and a few lights up in time for the new year. 
sporadic holiday-ing.
another thing i'm totally rockin'. 

here's our Christmas card photo.
that i ordered too late. or at least that's what the Christmas card people told me... after they were purchased. sad day.
so enjoy a peek at our new years(?) picture. 
at least the boy is smiling.

so there's been some developments in the house that i hope to share soon.
soon (as we all know by now) is a completely relative term. but still.
we have gallery walls and hanging rugs and paint and, okay, really it's not so grand but updates are updates gosh-darn it.
i'm jazzed about the result and can't wait to show you.
plus, we've got some new projects in the work. eeeck!! (that's a happy 'eeck!')

also, i had every intention of sharing Lucas's first birthday party with you...but I dropped the ball pictures. yea.
who forgets to take pictures of their kids first birthday?
the mom who's never done this before and oh, it's freezing outside, and oh the sausage burned, and oh the fireplace won't start, and oh we have to pick up the coffee...etc ad nauseum.
morning parties leave little time for back up.
side note: my grandma is a rock-star and helped me pull the day off. seriously would have been lost without her. 

i'm kinda heartbroken about the no picture thing, though. i won't lie.
mother fail #187.

i'm going to be a cookie-baking fiend this weekend so i might...if i have time and think about the recipes next week. {chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, macadamia and peanut butter chocolate chunk} woot!
if i don't though, there's a good chance I'll have something on Instagram so let's be friends there too, mkay? i'm better at that anyway.

Baby is awake now. gotta run...
Happy Friday, friends!!

Rustic Floral Baby Shower

Friday, November 7, 2014

My kid is napping. Let's see if I can knock this post out before the monster awakes.

A few weekends ago, two friends and I threw a baby shower for our sweet friend, Natalie.
Usually, I like to work alone. I'm a crazy type-A person who has lists for my lists. A real fun gal to plan with, clearly. But my friends Megan and Jenny were amazing. They're each so talented and we pulled off a beautiful afternoon celebration.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day:

Disclaimer: I did NOT take any of these photos. My friend and co-hostess, Jenny was the photographer and sweetly let me borrow her images. 


Jenny is also a crazy-talented artist /designer and made the invites, a video for the special mama, and this crazy gorgeous door sign.
I'm so glad she didn't get a shot of my peeling front door paint.

Megan made all the rosettes and poms. My fingers hurt just thinking about it. Also, my sanity.
basically Megan's a rockstar.


I made this menu. and then spent the day staring at it wondering why I write like a boy.
can i have pretty handwriting for christmas?

i was in charge of food and drinkage: simple catered sandwiches, an easy recipe for apple spice caramel corn, a cookie bar and other treats.

I also washi-ed the heck out of the cups and made glitter arrows for the straws.
i'm obsessed with straws.

I made the floral heart with carnations and, you guessed it, more washi tape.
i kinda love how it turned out. i kept it up for days until the flowers totally wilted and dried. even then i might have kept it up longer if david didn't threaten me.

I made homemade salted caramel sauce for favors. honestly I was a little nervous about how they would turn out. I made them in the crockpot and couldn't taste test since I pre-sealed the jars.
personally, my jar could have used some extra salt but overall i thought these were so cute.

clearly, the above two were taken by yours truly on my cell as I realized i never got a good shot of them. but i loved the adorable monogram gift tag from tiny prints.

i have a love/hate relationship with this fresh apple cake. it's like crazy delicious but every time i make it {or any bundt cake for that matter} i can't get it out of the pan. this was no exception. the guests arrived and, like any great hostess, i was in the kitchen banging on the pan and cursing like a sailor.
fortunately, jenny called her husband {who's got mad kitchen skills} and his suggestion saved the day.

To check out Jenny's full image gallery, go HERE

Happy Friday, friends.
I'll be back soon with updates on the house and other life things.

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