Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As I reflect upon the close of another year, I am reminded once again of that which is important to me. I think how my children have grown and had another birthday already, I think of my wedding anniversary and I think of my parents growing older.

There is so much to cherish in the here and now. And 10 years from now, I want to look back on my life as happy, contented, and full of love. I want to remember and celebrate my victories, and blur out the defeats. I want to remember this feeling. This feeling of being on the cusp on 34, already done with child-bearing. This feeling that I am just now getting into the prime of my life. This feeling that so much is still possible and every day I am molding my children into future adults.

What bits and pieces from their childhood will they remember? What funny little nuance will bring a flood of memories for them? What will they remember most - will it be the love and belonging they felt?

Will my husband remember me complaining that my closets are jam-packed and I wish we had a larger yard or will he remember the way we call him at work just to tell him we love him and appreciate the hot soup waiting for him when he comes in from work? Will he remember nights by the fire and our girls giggling or will he remember me stressed out because the floors need to be mopped and the fridge needs to be cleaned out?

I want to stop. it. all. right. now. I want to stop fretting about how my house looks all the time. I want to play more with my kids, and savor each sweet moment like frosting on a cupcake. I want to invite people over more, floors mopped or not. I want my home to be a refuge, both to those in my family and those we call friends.
I want to live, and laugh, and grow, and be a friend and have friends. Even if that means inviting people over when all I have to eat is pizza or chicken fingers and canned peaches for the kids. Preparing gourmet lunches and dinners is not what it's all about with 2 small children. I want to remind myself that money does not and cannot buy taste or class. I do not want to obsess about losing weight - I just want to eat healthier and do what I know I need to to be my true authentic self. I want to throw caution to the wind and take chances with people. And, being on the cusp of 34, I know that if I don't get the response I desire from people, or hope for, it's OK. I can still put myself out there. Because their reaction isn't as important as my effort. That's the beauty of 34. I want to relish each and every drop of 34, because it is a fantastic age. But most of all, I just want to remember how good my life really is.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Year in Review Party

Cindy over at My Romantic Home is having A Year in Review party, and I thought I'd play along. Although I've only been blogging a short while, it seems like I had hundreds of pictures to choose from to make my mosaic. Here are some of my favorites that represent me this year:

A big thank you to all the people who inspired me to start a blog, all those who continually inspire me with their creativity, and to all of you who have commented on my blog! Thank you!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

HGTV Dream Home Dining Room

I am so excited about the new HGTV dream home in Sonoma! Sonoma is just about 45 minutes away for me so I plan to visit if and when they allow visitors. If you haven't already, please check out this link for a full tour and pictures of each room:

I am especially in love with the dining room and guest room. I will talk about the guest room in a different post, but now I want to talk about this gorgeous dining room!

This is rustic elegance at it's best. It is earthy with it's henna colored walls, rustic accents, and distressed finishes. Yet it's elegant with the beautiful chairs and the wonderful tea parlor area. How I wish I had a tea parlor! And of course, you know I *love* the white plates on the henna wall.... kinda like in my dining room
Did you notice how they wrapped the wall color onto the ceiling and didn't use crown moulding? Now there's an idea I can get with. What a refreshing break from tradition. And check out this fabulous chandy:
There's a creamy china cabinet perfect for displaying your ironstone and serving pieces:
And the table setting is just gorgeous in it's rustic yet elegant simplicity. I like that they punched up the brown wood and white serving pieces with a little black in the chargers or placemats (or whatever they are). Very cool and unexpected and it ties in with the black table in the tea parlor area. LOVE that black accent.
But my favorite part is the antique grape collecting tool mounted to the wall and stuffed with olive branches. Divine!!!
I am so inspired!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Monograms - have you seen this???

So y'all don't like spray-painted lampshades. OK. Change of pace. Check this out! I just found this on Country Living's website. I am so excited! I didn't know JoAnn's sold stuff like this! I will definitely have to find something to monogram {or duogram, thanks Shabby Mama} in my home.

Here's what the CL site had to say about it:
Monogram Lamp
Actual monogramming can cost a lot — but the look doesn't have to. On silk chandelier shades from Target, a rich-looking result was achieved by using white iron-on embroidered letters from Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts ( The result: a deluxe, personal touch.

I think this is so clever! If you haven't figured it out yet, I am kinda obsessed with monograms. When my first was born, I had a Tiffany charm bracelet made for an anniversary present with my daughter's monogram, then added another charm with my 2nd daughter's monogram, and one duogram charm for me and hubs. It is my pride and joy. Here are some more initials & monograms seen around my nest:

Starting at my front door

Just inside the front door. Just a chipboard P that I painted and attached a sawtooth hanger to and hung it with some pretty ribbon around a vintage frame.

And of course there's a sparkly P. Never mind that my rooster's name is Percy. Gotta have at least one of those.

And you've seen this P. Just made this one in Word and printed it on tea-stained brown paper in the same font we used on our wedding invitation for our names, and threw it in a shabby little frame. {excuse the terrible lighting}

And my recent duogram. Scene of a who goes first debacle 2 posts down. Click here to read about it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spray paint your lampshades. What!?!?!

First I have a confession to make. I am a serial night photographer. I cannot seem to take pictures during the day what with a 4.5 year old and 18 mo. old pulling on me demanding sippy cup refills and playdates and yogurt covered raisins. So after my chickadees are in bed, I secretly take pictures. {Oh, this sounds so ominous. It's totally not like that. I'm photographing lamps for pete's sake.}
In my recent "everything must be black" phase, I decided that some gold lampshades a friend had given me {notice how I never say no to taking other's castoffs and that I use lots of parentheses?} MUST be black. Now.

Now your average Joe {or Sue} would have gone to the craft store, researched fabric paints, paitently painted their shade, yadda yadda yadda. Actually, they would have gone and bought a black shade. Not me. I went out to my garage at 11:00 pm, killed a cricket on the way, and spray painted my shades. I am *super* impatient so I think if I would have done several thin coats it may have been more even in it's coverage. However, I only use these lamps occasionally as accent lighting {they're there more just to look cute} so I don't care. Just being honest.
Part of the "spottiness" is the other lights in the room and my bad photography, so don't think it's such a terrible thing. It's totally not as spotty as it looks! It actually works. It makes your fabric a little stiff to the touch, but how often do you touch your lampshades? Maybe you have a shade that is the right shape and scale for a lamp but the wrong color and you don't want to spend $25 on a new one? Spraypaint it! Then add a little pom-pom fringe with your hot glue gun and wha-la. Instant cuteness.

If you had any doubts I loved you, now you will know for sure I do. I just went in my master bedroom, turned on the light, told my husband {who was in bed} to remove his water glass from his night stand {which I stole the runner off of earlier and have yet to replace so excuse the shabby top} and snapped a picture. He thinks I'm deranged. Hhhmmmmm. All so you can see another spray painted shade on a different base. This one is sans fringe cuz hubby wasn't really diggin' that too much. What, a grown man doesn't want pom-pom fringe on his bedside lamp? The nerve!

P.S. Is it a design "no-no" to have two lamps so close to one another? To the left of this little sitting area is my girls' play area and I don't want them knockin' over the lamps. So they're shoved in by the seating area. Just felt the need to explain that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a door and a platter

I was so inspired by The Nester's latest project of putting a door on her wall that I started racking my brain about what I had lurking in dark corners of the garage. Unfortunately, no bifold doors. I have a few shutters but that seemed too complicated to paint with all the louvres and whatnot.

But I did have a {insert my Dad speaking in an authoritative tone here} "150 year old pine door from a cabinet that i will kill you if you paint!"

OK, so no robin's egg blue door for moi. But, I decided it is really cool and have been meaning to hang it in the house anyways. But, it needed a little something. This "needing a little something" seems to be a pattern. Anyways, I decided to hang an old ironstone platter from the door, using none other than upholstery webbing {halved}.

Cute, right? But not the pop of color I was wishing for after seeing Nester's blue door. So I *happened* to be in TJ's {that's Maxx} tonight and stumbled upon a robins egg blue platter for none other than $2.99. Score. I have been incorporating this color little by little in with my rust, green, cream, wheat, and black color scheme. It appears in my draperies, which I will show you later.

By the way, I just staple-gunned {that is so not a word} the upholstery webbing to the back of 150-year-old-pine-door that I so badly wanted to paint after stringing it through a plate holder. Now I can change out the platter on a whim without undoing the whole shebang.

And here it is. It is more vibrant in person.

And with the chair I recently recovered with a remnant of Waverly fabric on triple clearance that I tea-stained.

It's the same robin's egg blue so it looks cute with the door/platter thing above it. And it really looks so pretty against my rusty red {Spicy Cayenne by Behr} accent wall behind it. One of these days I'll actually show you the whole room. Imagine that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Husbands, Monograms & My $14 Clock

So I got this darling black frame at Ross yesterday for $1.49. Decided it was the perfect size for a little monogram. Made up a little monogram in Word. Debated on who's initial to put first, me or hubby. Decided that since my Tiffany monogrammed family bracelet had his initial first on our charm, I would go out on a limb and put my initial first.

2 minutes in the door from work and hubs is already talking about how his name isn't first and this "speaks volumes" {insert giggles here}. He was joking but I knew it was actually bugging him.

So what's a girl to do? Go open up that monogram in Word and reverse the letters, that's what. I decided I wouldn't have his last name at all if he didn't have it first and just because my initial is second does not make me inferior. Now don't go all women's lib on me and start emailing me. I don't care. I'm glad my hubby is happy now.

And that he's forgiven me for the next totally unnecessary but essential to life purchase.

My $50 clock.

Reduced to $20 in Mervyn's going out of business sale.

Further reduced to $14 by darling clerk who heard me remark to my Mom that the feet were a bit wobbly. I. Love. It.

I stuck some stick-on furniture pad things on the bottom of the feet to even them out {cut to fit, of course} and now she's sittin' pretty. Ain't she cute???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photo Storage Boxes - So Many Uses

We've all seen these boxes in big bins at Michael's. They usually have cute, trendy designs as well as plainer boxes. I think these are great and I use them all over my house. I wait until they go on sale like 2 for $5 and then stock up. Here's a few ways I use them {excuse the blurry pictures}

to store tea in my cupboard

To store baking goods and nuts in my pantry {hmmmm, may need to put cleaning out the pantry on my to-do list}

photo storage, of course {note the PILE of photos I need to sort and put in albums}

to store guest towels in the bathroom cabinet

And my personal favorite way, to use for gifts:

The craft paper and black boxes are especially great for this, and at the same cost as a gift bag, these are so cute and the recipient can reuse them in their home like I have. I just wrapped these up for sake of this post using halved upholstery webbing and a starfish, but imagine them with sparkly ribbon, pinecones, live greenery or a little bundle of herbs tied up top, or with a fabulous bow from vintage ribbon.

How do you use photo storage boxes?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Motherhood in a Jar (apothecary, of course)

I knew it was going to be one. of. those. days. My husband was gone overnight on a business trip and we had no errands to run. Too cold and wet for the park, not enough funds to just go putter around spending, no other Moms available for an emergency last-minute playdate. Thus in our house we decided to stay. For the day. It was one of those days where you want your Mom to come. Now. But alas, she has a life {dang it}. And she has left you alone with yours. Fights, whining, laundry and broken crayons.

So to pacify myself I redid my apothecary jars. Out with the gourds, in with some more glittery winter stuff.

I put a picture of my maternal great grandparents in one jar, and my daughter's silver baby cup in the other and sprinkled in some sparkly beaded stuff, some pinecones, a couple of starfish (always gotta have at least one) one of which was a favor from my sister's wedding, and put it all on a silver tray.
Now I feel better. When my kids are screaming I can glance over at my little wintery jars and remind myself that these trials and tribulations are only temporary. Just like winter. When spring comes there will be more battles with kids and rough days mixed in with joyous ones, and I will want to dump the winter stuff from my jars and add spring stuff. And I will remember that everything has a reason and a season and I better slow down and enjoy it while it lasts, even if it's a little hard some days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Birds of a Feather

Have you seen The Nester's latest post? She has "winterized" her decor but still uses the elements that seem to be her signature... apothecary jars, shells, feathers, nests, and white dishes. Divine!

Jennifer over at has done some really cute stuff with some vintage finds in her kitchen:

Tracy Porter has some great new videos on her blog. Love her eclectic look and ever-present self confidence. I aspire to have just a dab of what she's got:

Little French Garden House has some great decorating details that I adore. Note the pom-pom fringe draped over the edge of a basket combined with greenery and a vintage postcard. Too cute. And I love the combo of statuary, berries, crystal and ironstone in the second shot.

And lastly, I gotta give mad props to a new friend Emily over at Chatting at the Sky for her totally honest take on motherhood. Couldn't have said it better myself. Amen, sister.
Ciao for now! Catch up with you all soon.