Friday, June 29, 2012

End of the Bed Bench

For forever, I've had my eye on the Colette bench from Crate & Barrel for the foot of our bed.  I love the sleek design, linen fabric, and nailhead trim, and the dimensions were perfect. 

But I couldn't bring myself to pay that much for it- $599 plus tax and shipping charges.  

So, I kept looking for less expensive alternatives.  I found some below and of course, pinned them to my Pinterest board.  

I finally chose a bench after seeing a reasonably priced one on Overstock, at just $250 including shipping!  It's the Renate Coffee Table Ottoman

It got good reviews for the fabric and I think the dimensions are right (18 inches high x 28 inches wide x 48 inches deep) since I didn't want one that was too short for our king-sized bed.  I'm thinking of painting the legs, but we'll see after it arrives, which should be Monday! I love fast shipping!

I'll be sure to show you what it looks like in person as soon as it arrives!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hostess/Housewarming Gift

Our super sweet friends were kind enough to host us at their home in Austin for a weekend visit.  I didn't plan far enough in advance to bring them a gift during our stay, but I was sure to send a little thank you when we got back home.

These perfectly packaged bar soaps were $5 at World Market and I know our friends (well, especially the wife) would love them.

Each soap is individually wrapped in a beautiful floral paper and they smell so good.  

Although I do believe our friends will enjoy this gift, I understand that it really is the thought, energy, and intent behind the gift that means so much.  The time to write a handwritten word of thanks is extra special in our face-paced and what can be, impersonal, world of emails and text messages.

I realized later that I could have been crafty and frugal and wrapped a less expensive bar of soap and labeled it myself, like I saw on Creature Comforts blog.

via Creature Comforts Blog 

Isn't that cute?! (By the way, Creature Comforts is a new-to-me-blog that I got happily lost in for well over an hour after popping over last night.  I think you might like it too.)

Do you have a great hostess or housewarming gift you've given or received?  I'd like to collect a few things and have them ready to go so I don't show up empty-handed next time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cupcake Pin Cushions

When I decided to take up sewing, I thought first of my Grandma, the handiest, thriftiest woman I know.   She said I should get a basic Singer sewing machine, so off to the store I went and came home with my first machine.  I've still never made anything other than pillows and curtains, but my Grandma encourages me.  Look at the adorable cupcake pin cushion she sent me- so sweet!  Using it reminds me of her and I love that feeling.

She also sent me this handy pin cushion/scrap pail.  The pin cushion is filled with sand so it keeps the pail from falling off the sewing table.  I adore the fabric- precious little flowers on a lively green background.  

My Grandma and I don't live close, so these tangible gifts help me feel near to her.  And she reads my blog daily- looking mainly looking for pictures of James:)

If you'd like to try making your own pin cushion, for yourself or a friend, you can check out the tomato pin cushion tutorial via Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Typically on summer nights our dinners tend to be a little lighter, and lately we've been enjoying a simple BLT sandwich.  It's absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare.  And cleanup is a breeze since you're not really cooking, rather, assembling.


Y U M M Y!

For these sandwiches I used a fresh tomato slices, thick cut bacon and butter lettuce.  French bread lightly toasted with a spread of mayo brings it all together.

I could eat these everyday! What's your go-to summer dinner lately?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

4th of July LINK Party!

The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer and lazier, and the beach beckons for a splash in the water.  Summer is officially here and July 4th is just a week and a half away.  Got any plans?  We're hosting a little backyard BBQ, complete with red, white, and blue decor, hamburgers and hotdogs, beer and margaritas, and inflatable swimming pools to keep the kids cool.

I've been collecting supplies along the way like mini flags, patriotic cupcake liners and those adorable little dollar pails sold at Target.  I have no idea how it's going to all come together, but I'm really looking forward to it!

via A Field Journal

I thought it would be fun to host an impromptu LINK PARTY to celebrate the occasion.  Link up anything 4th of July related- it can be a delicious recipe, a crafty creation, or a home decor item.  Anything to celebrate the red, white, and blue is invited!

The party will go live on Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. central time, July 1st.  I'll keep the party open until Saturday July 7, in case you want to post how you celebrated July 4th this year.  I can't wait to see what you've got to share!

Feel free to grab a button for the link party below.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

my lil sweetie

Part of the fun of having kids is getting to watch how yours interact and play with your friends'.  Our 2 year old son, James, is pretty lucky to be one of the only little boys in a neighborhood full of adorable little girls.  Our good friends have the sweetest daughter and we often grab a quick bite together or sometimes catch each other walking around the neighborhood in the evenings.

The other day, we ate dinner at a local restaurant that has a huge outdoor deck where the kids could play nearby.  Aren't they just the cutest?!

And I die when James goes to hold her hand!  He loves to give hugs and kisses too, that lil heartbreaker.  

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway WINNER!

Thank you all so much for the blog birthday l o v e !  And thank you for checking out my Joss & Main Curator Collection.  It was really exciting to partner with them and I appreciate your interest and support:)  Now . . . I've been dying to see who won the $100 Visa gift card.

And the winner is  . . . 

Carol Ann, I have emailed you requesting your mailing address, so please email me back:)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Homemade Cookies in a Gift Jar

Gifts created with our own two hands are often the best kind of gifts to give and receive- especially the food kind!  I'm reminded of one of my best girlfriends, who happens to be a great cook, bringing us  a very tasty homemade lasagna after James was born.  It was such a beautiful gift, so very needed and appreciated at the time, and I could feel the thought and heart she put into making it.  And it didn't hurt that it was delicious!

My dad is a very generous and giving man, but not so big on receiving gifts.  My brother and I know he much prefers to be the gift giver, and would only want to spend time with us on Father's Day, so we decided on making dinner for him at his house.  My brother and his wife prepared the meal, and I brought dessert- homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Who doesn't love those?!  Made straight from the back of the Nestle's Tollhouse bag of chips.  That recipe never disappoints. 

I wanted my Dad to feel special, even though I was only bringing cookies, so I delivered them in a pretty gift jar.

I got my glass jar last minute at The Container Store, but I know you can find great deals on jars of all shapes and sizes at lots of other stores or online.  

I printed out a label with my heart's sentiment and included a pretty ribbon. I fell in love with this lace ribbon tape I found at Paper Source- isn't it sweet?!  I thought it added a nice touch to dress up the lid. 

I hope your weekend was fabulous!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

$100 GIVEAWAY (2 Year Blog Birthday!)

In celebration of two years of blogging (that's 607 blog posts!), I want to give back to my readers who make this blog worthwhile, in the form of a GIVEAWAY!  

I'll be giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card to one lucky reader!

My 2 year blog birthday serendipicously coincides with the launch of my curator collection on Joss & Main.  When I began this blog, I had no idea the people I would meet, the connections I would make or the opportunities I would have.  The offer to curate a collection for Joss & Main caught me completely by surprise, but I sure had fun browsing through their offerings and choosing goodies for the sale.  You'll be able to find things like the chandelier in my closet or the pendant lights in my kitchen.  There are also natural fiber and colorful rugs, gorgeous pillows, the coolest lamps and mirrors.  I can't wait for you to see!

In case you aren't familiar with Joss & Main, they are an online retailer that sells designer home decor items for up to 70% off.  You need to be a member to shop the site, but it's FREE to join, you just need an invitation.  I understand there is a wait list, but if you use my invitation, you can bypass the wait and sign up immediately. 


You've got several chances to win- just come back and leave a separate comment for each.

  • Visit Joss & Main and view my collection and tell me what your favorite item is (the sale starts on June 14, 2012).

  • Tweet, Blog, Pinterest, or Facebook about my collection on Joss & Main.   

The WINNER will be announced on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shellac French Manicure

So, you might remember back in January I decided to do away with my acrylic nails and let my own nails grow naturally.  Many of you suggested I try Shellac- and I did!  I love it and just learned that I can get a Shellac FRENCH manicure!!  I thought you had to go with one of the pre-selected colors only.  The good thing about the Shellac is that it's actually helped me keep some nail growth and the color does stay shiny for about two weeks!

The French paint you see in the picture below has been on for 4 days, so it's pretty recent.

Pretty huh?!  Have you tried it? What colors do you like best? 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Joss & Main (My Curator Collection Going Live June 14)

Are you familiar with Joss & Main, the online site that sells fabulous name brand merchandise for your home and lifestyle at prices well below retail, we're talking 70% off?  Everyday, they offer new sales that last for a limited time.  For example, right now the following sales are happening:

I check out their sales every day and often find items I'd love to have.  In fact, I just ordered this cart last week!

You need to be a member to shop the site, but it's FREE to join, you just need an invite, which I've included for you HERE

I was recently given the very cool opportunity to curate a collection for one of their sales (seriously, pinch me!), which will go live on Thursday, June 14, 2012.  I was careful to chose items that I had in my own home or would love to have in the future.  I hope you'll check out the sale and order some new goodies for your home:)  Feel free to spread the word as the sale doesn't last long.

Joss & Main also has an online magazine, Plume, chock full of great decorating and design ideas.  I recently talked to one of the editors, Donna Garlough, about how I like to keep things organized in my home office.  You can read the article here.

See you at the Joss & Main sale on Thursday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Crazy for Kate Spade

Have y'all seen Kate Spade's line of technological accessories?  They are super cute! 

I indulged in the fun, diagonal striped iPad and iPhone cases.

I dig the surprise bright pop of pink inside.  

What's your screen saver?  Mine is always James, but I change out the pics. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Master Sitting Room Makeover

Don't ya just love to see spaces "before" and "after"?  Sometimes progress is really slow-going and very small changes happen along the way, almost imperceptible until you add it all up and suddenly you end up with a result you're really happy with.  Case in point, our sitting room.  Not that it's "done" but it sure has come a long way.  One of the bookshelves is still bare, but the other one is styled for the time being.  And the shelves under the windows have been given some life with books and plants.  Let's take a look!

BEFORE- pretty much a blank slate.  The framed photo over the television was a birthday gift to my husband of a New York bridge, but the dark black didn't fit in with the look I was going for.  Originally, I thought it fit that area perfectly, but later I kept thinking we really needed something round there to break up all the hard lines. 

DURING- The addition of the Martha Stewart mirror from Home Depot helped lighten up the space. 

NOW- The colorful books added personality and the Made By Girl LOVE print is much more appropriate here than it was in our half bath.  The plants are really thriving here.  I water them when they start to limp and it seems to be working.  

I keep James' little chair there because he uses it to read or watch t.v. 

I picked up some books at Half Price Books and chose them by color and subject matter.

Here's the view from the master bath.  Looking at this view has me wondering if we should add drapes here??  

And we've definitely changed up the tall bookshelves, beginning with painting the cabinets and lining the backside with fabric.  



I just used things we already had on hand to fill in the shelves.  I probably could still use a few more books . . . 

My girlfriend got this statue for us when James was born.  So sweet. 

The woven basket holds our remote controls and keeps them where we can find them, out of James' hands.  I think I found it at Crate & Barrel.  

I didn't have a good place for this large canvas print of James, so I decided to try it in the bookcase and I like it there.  He was just two months old in those photos.  

I tried to find a few interesting pieces to add to the shelves, including the woven vase from Michael's and a decorative ball from West Elm. 

And, again, more books from Half Price Books, except Bloom, by Kelle Hampton, which I devoured in two nights!

And I've decided to keep some magazines in here too since I frequently like to read a little before bed.  

Eventually, I think I'd like to change out the big leather chair, and I still need to style the other bookshelf, which currently remains empty.  And on my nagging "to do" list is lower the two photos over the leather chair.  BUT, isn't it nice to just enjoy what you've accomplished so far, helping turn a blank space into a room that you enjoy being in?  

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