Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

Thanksgiving morning we awoke to beautiful weather--it was in the low 70's and absolutely WONDERFUL! We enjoyed a nice breakfast, had a pot of coffee, started some laundry, cleaned out our closet, got together a donation for the United Veterans Association, finished some last minute cleaning and put our corn casserole in the oven (I'd say we were quiet productive)!
Jackson and Macklin went pretty casual for Thanksgiving because we knew they'd be playing outside with their cousins. This is a picture of Jackson with Rainbow Dog. Rainbow Dog is his classroom pet at school that gets to go on adventures with all the classmates. His teacher asked if Rainbow Dog could spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us and Jackson was happy to have him! Here's Macklin who was not at all interested in mommy taking his picture--this is the best one I got of him all day! They were both very eager to have some turkey and spend some time with family! We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving meal and visited with the family. Afterward, we headed back home for some more cooking. We put the dressing and green bean casserole in the oven and prepped our turkey with Rainbow Dog's help; it was a great Thanksgiving!
Pin It

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep

Hello there--you miss me? With the long Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to step away from the computer and give you a few recaps of our holiday once it was all over. We enjoyed our Thanksgiving and are grateful for friends, family and our sanity! After four trips to the grocery store, two trips to Wal-mart and several "other" stops in-between, we were finally ready to start cooking late Wednesday afternoon. Here's a picture of my prep station.....
We usually spend our Thanksgiving in Tuscaloosa at my parents house and then cook a smaller meal the following day at our house. This year, our Thanksgiving plans included traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Ray's sisters house as Ray's parents were in town from Oregon. We decided to prepare potato rolls, corn casserole and banana pudding as our meal contribution. For Friday, we were cooking a turkey, my grandmother's dressing, green bean casserole, three cheese macaroni & cheese, pumpkin bread and carrot cake. We bought our rolls, mixed the corn casserole for baking Thursday morning, and made the banana pudding. To be on-top of Friday's menu, we prepared two pans of homemade cornbread and got to work making our very first dressing. Jackson was very eager to help!
It was nice to get several dishes prepped for cooking and relax for the night. We played trains with the boys and enjoyed a nice, pre-Thanksgiving evening!
Pin It

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Knowledge Is a Good Thing

Last Thursday was our final Interior Design 101 session. We discussed window treatments and fabric and looked at some hot trends from the High Point Furniture Market--GOOD STUFF! I am so glad that I took this class. Not only did I get to meet several "designer wannabes" like myself, I really feel like I learned a lot about design. There is a follow-up series in the spring and I definitely plan to sign up so I can increase my design knowledge. So, since so many of you LOVE design too, I thought I'd share some of my new found knowledge: 1. The Color Wheel is a visual representation of colors arranged according to their chromatic relationship--the primary hues are equidistant from one another and are bridged using secondary and tertiary colors. A. Primary Colors--those colors at their basic essence which cannot be created by mixing others. B. Secondary Colors--those colors achieved by a mixture of two primaries. C. Tertiary Colors--those colors achieved by a mixture of primary and secondary hues. D. Complementary Colors--those colors located opposite each other on the color wheel. E. Analogous Colors--those colors located close together on the color wheel. Did you know there was a Color Council? I didn't but what a GREAT council to serve on--where do I sign up? Apparently, this council gets to pick colors every two years which comprise the market colors found in paint decks! 2. A few design rules of note: (a) all the lampshades in a room should be the same color; and (b) you should never use furniture in a room that has all legs showing--you should mix it up with some skirted pieces EXCEPT if your style is Transitional or if you have a period room, such as Victorian. 3. If you are having furniture reupholstered, you should always label the face side of your fabric. Some fabrics are pretty on both sides and it can be difficult to determine which is the front and which is the back. Mark it clearly so the upholsterer does not make a costly mistake! 4. All lining on your window treatments should be the same, especially those window treatments on the front of your home. This is important because from the street, passers-by can only see the lining and you want them to match. This rule becomes bendable when you have blinds or plantation shutters. 5. A piece of upholstered furniture, such as a sofa, which is 8-Way Hand Tied is of exceptional quality. If you can find this type of construction, buy it and it will last a very long time! 6. Space Planning is key to good design. One should always measure their space before purchasing key pieces for a room to avoid costly mistakes. Obtain your field measurements by measuring the length and width of your space (LxW). Include the molding as part of your wall measurement. Take these measurements with you when you're shopping for furniture and window treatments (I also bring along a tap measure)! Pin It

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Roundup

This weekend we took not a single picture so the pictures I'm sharing are cute pics of the boys from last week--Jackson saying "cheese" for the camera and Macklin sporting his football sweatshirt for school on Friday! While the weekend wasn't full of craziness, it was a long, cleaning weekend prepping for Thanksgiving company. Ray's parents are arriving from Oregon today so we spent the weekend getting ready. We washed sheets, cleaned floors, rearrange furniture & artwork and left not a single surface untouched. We visited the grocery store and Costco and purchased enough groceries for a small army--I think we're prepared! We got a new coffee pot (much needed) and Jackson went to a fun birthday party at Pump It Up--that's it! Wow, we really need a weekend to recover from our weekend so I'm really thankful it's a short week! Pin It

Friday, November 19, 2010

Show Us Your Life--Bonus Rooms

Today at Kelly's Korner it's "Show Us Your Life--Play Rooms, Bonus Rooms & Laundry Rooms" so I linked up my Craft Room. Since this space didn't exist when we bought the house, I thought I'd share with you how it came to be.
When we purchased the house, this room was our unfinished bonus room. We could have paid the builder a bunch of money to finish it out but we didn't have a bunch of money! Instead, we opted to do it ourselves after we moved in. My handy husband came up with the idea to divide the large room into two separate spaces with a closet. He decided to use pocket doors so we wouldn't loose any floor space with traditional swinging doors. I admit, I was somewhat skeptical at first but now I absolutely love the space--you've seen it finished here. Our home is now a five bedroom house with a media room and yes, it's way too much space to "try" to keep clean with two active toddlers! Check out the before pictures below. If you're looking for some inspiration for your "bonus" rooms, visit Kelly here to see all the posts for SUYL Friday!
Unfinished Craft Room
Pin It

Thursday, November 18, 2010

nadeau--furniture with a SOUL

I'm in LOVE! I finally found a furniture store that GETS me!! On a recent "exploring" trip for furniture to place in our sitting room, I discovered a wonderful store, nadeau--furniture with a soul, in Homewood. It is an amazingly DE-LISH store full of the most well-made, hand crafted, and unique pieces of furniture! However, just trying to choose one, or two, pieces will post a challenge but I can say, their prices are FANTASTIC so maybe I'll just have to buy several! Check out these wonderful pieces and see for yourself why I instantly fell in love.....
Gray Distressed Open-Air Armoire--$512 Washed Blue & Brown Distressed Buffet Server-$466 Red Cupboard Display Cabinet--$512
Distressed Buffet w/Hand Carved Details--$653
Natural Yellow Breakfront--$909
The pictures truly do not do these items justice. They are substantial and sturdy. I'd suggest adding this store to your list of great places to shop--I am! Pin It

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mini Session "Sneak Peak"

Back in early October, we had a mini session with our wonderful photographer, Kamin Williams, for Fall and Christmas pictures. Kamin is an amazingly talented photographer (please visit her awesome blog here) and she manages to get a least a few shots I LOVE each time we book a session with her. Trust me, with us, that's a EXTREME challenge! Last year we did Christmas pictures with her too but it was only the boys so this year, we made it a family affair. These are our "sneak peak" pictures from our mini session and now I'm more than excited to see them all--can't wait! It's also nice to have a picture all four of us are in for a change; yes the boys do have a dad AND a mom! For our session, we had the idea to take some pictures down on the train tracks because Jackson is currently obsessed with trains. While both Ray and I think we could be skinner and look better (that's a separate post and issue), we think the boys are TOO cute! I promise to share more pictures, and a "sneak peak" of our Christmas card, as I get them and finish up! Wow, I can't believe it's the holiday season--time sure flies when you're having fun!
Pin It

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Made Flames

Every year, my office competes in a chili cook-off competition held by a local college pre-law association and from what I hear, our chili is the BEST! When volunteers were needed to help set-up and decorate our tent, I was eager to help! The decision had been made to do a "Chili Bowl", sorta like the "Iron Bowl" or the "Sugar Bowl" in football (hey, we're in the South so don't judge) and use our local teams as opponents. I suggested having flames coming off our tent and volunteered to purchase or make them. Well, I scoured the marketplace and was unable to find pre-made flames so I decided to make them myself. Here's what I did:
I used several cardboard boxes and cut the flames out with a utility knife. Once I had them all cutout, I laid them out on large pieces of cardboard and spray painted them with two different shades of red and..... had flames. Our plan was to hang them from the tent but the wind would not cooperate. My sweet husband told me they looked like dinosaur teeth but.... I think they look like flames--how about you? While we didn't win the judges choice for the best chili, we did win the people choice and to me, that's the best award to win! I didn't get to taste our chili but it smelled FABULOUS! Maybe next year we'll bring home the judges trophy!
Pin It

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Roundup

Our weekend was nice and although not as quiet as previous weekends, it was fun. We started the weekend out on Friday with a quick trip to Target for a "special" prize after school. Jackson has been such a BIG boy this past week, let me explain. We have been potty training for quiet sometime. He's done very well, a few accidents here and there but that's too be expected. Well, last week was his very first week without wearing pull-ups at night time! And, guess what? No accidents!! While all that is good and we'd love to take the credit, it was all his idea. Daddy was getting him dressed for bed after bath-time and he told his daddy, "I'm a big boy and big boys don't wear diapers!" So, I promised him I'd take him to the store for a "special" prize if he went without pull-ups all week! What did he get you ask? Why, a train, of course! Saturday we made our usual trip to the park and I was reminded why boys will give you a heart-attack! Both thought it was amusing, and fun, to climb on top of the train and jump to daddy. Mommy did not find it as amusing but they all enjoyed themselves! Saturday night we watched some football and made it to bed by 7:30pm--it was AWESOME! Sunday we made an impromptu trip to Tuscaloosa to visit my parents. That afternoon, we made meals for the coming week, played with trains and dinosaurs, washed what seemed to be every item of clothing in the house, and started getting rooms ready for Christmas decorations. It was a nice weekend! Pin It

Friday, November 12, 2010


Jackson and Macklin are VERY independent these days! I think Mommy & Daddy are no longer "cool" for them (isn't it a bit early for that)! Not only do they want to dress themselves, bathe themselves and feed themselves, they want to eat together, without us! I was able to snap a quick photo of their mealtime this week--they are TOO cute! Here they are, enjoying their "dino" nuggets, fries, corn and peaches while watching Halloween Thomas the Tank Engine in Jackson's room. Independence--it's a good thing--I think? Pin It

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thou Shalt....

I had to share these "musings" with you courtesy of Jonathan Adler! While I agree (and love) them all, #8 is my favorite!! If you haven't checked out Jonathan Adler lately, you should (he ROCKS). Enjoy!
Our 10 Commandments for a Happy Chic home 1. Thou shalt embrace maximalism. Thou wilt find minimalism to be something of a bummer in thy abode. Thou wilt grow tired of an endless sea of beige and thou wilt long for a splash of color & a dollop of pattern! Bargello pillows, Furnace bottles, and rustic modern lamps - these shalt be the accessories that add some panache to your pad. 2. Thou shalt not deny thyself hotelish comfort at home. Thou shalt furnish thy rooms with paw-pampering, hand-loomed llama wool rugs, luxurious lighting and our fabulous furniture. Thy rooms shalt feel like the most opulent hotel rooms in which thou hast ever stayed. Thou art worth it. 3. Thou shalt buy an X-Bench. Then, thou shalt buy another. Thou shalt use them in pairs, perfect under thy console or placed near thy sofa. Thou shalt rest thy feet upon them & so will thy guests. In fact, thy guests might even fight over who gets to rest upon them. Therefore, thou shalt establish house rules about thy X-Benches. Perhaps thou should consider a sign up sheet. 4. If thy nest needeth zest, consider thy crest! Thou shalt emblazon with thine initials wherever possible. 5. Thou shalt mix fancy with frisky. Thou shalt not be overly formal, for if thou art, thou will be sad. Conversely, thou shalt not be overly whimsical, for if thou art thou will not feel chic. Therefore, thou shalt embrace a mix, pairing the chic classical foundation - excellent proportions, classic furniture - with a layer of playful punctuation. Then thou shalt rest. 6. Thou shalt honor the funsters of yore. David Hicks, Alexander Girard, Piero Fornasetti, Bonnie Cashin, Bjorn Wiinblad - if thou dost not knoweth them, thou should. Thou can use Google Images to learn more about them and thou shalt channel their fun, idiosyncratic, playful spirit in thine own interiors. Thy home will be fun, happy, and chic. 7. Thou shalt not commit murder, ...unless thou art murdering for a decorative accessory. If thou should find thyself at one of our stores and seeth the last bird bowl on our shelf, thou shalt feel free to use whatever means necessary to obtain that special something. 8. Thou shalt not be afraid of orange. Thou shalt use orange copiously in thy interior, whether it beeth in an orange breakfast room or via the zing of an orange lacquered box. Thou might even consider painting thy front door orange to pique thy neighbor's curiosity. Thou shalt also covet chocolate brown. 9. Thou shalt play ping pong. Better still, thou shalt have a ping pong table in thy living room. Then, lo, thou shalt play ping pong with thy spouse rather than sitting around watching thy tv. 10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. In fact, after following these 10 commandments, thy neighbor might covet thy house. So there.
Pin It

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Roundup

How thankful were we for a slower weekend? Very thankful! And, by slower I mean there weren't tons of places to go, no multiple birthday parties to rush too, no honey-do lists and no errands upon errands to run! This weekend goes in our book of slower weekends and for that, we are most thankful! After the "week of horror" we had last week, we needed it! We made a trip to the grocery store and Wal-mart, a quick walk through the antique mall and trip to the zoo--that's it! Here are a few pics from our weekend--hope your weekend was as quiet (and as family-filled) as ours and that your week is a good one!
Macklin dressed for our grocery store/Wal-mart run--RTR!
Cabinet I feel in love with at the antique mall and instantly began praying would fit in the space I am finally decorating--unfortunately, it's too big :(
Quick trip to the zoo for a few train rides, a carousel ride and some lunch (thanks daddy for the impromptu photo op--can you tell I wasn't dressed for a pic?)
Pin It

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sorta Like Grown Up Paper Dolls But Better

I realized that I haven't posted about my Interior Design 101 class in a while so I thought I'd catch you up. Tonight is the fourth meeting of our six class session. So far, we've studied space planning, design terms, colors and field drawing. Each student selected a room in their home as their "class project" and we had to draw that room to scale. Yes, that's my room of choice in the picture and it's our master bedroom/sitting room. This room has several "design" challenges so I'm excited to actually go through the space on paper and devise a space plan before the designing begins (pretty cool, huh?)! And, see those little pieces of paper? Those are the furniture cutouts we use to move everything around the room to achieve the designed space--trust me, this method is much easier on the back! Cutting all these little pieces out reminded me of playing paper dolls when I was a little girl. Funny thing, I think I had way more fun than I remember with the paper dolls (yes, I'm a dork, I know)! I am really excited about tonight's class to hear everyone's design ideas for the space. Two (or in this case twelve) heads are better than one! Pin It

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sanity Check

After yesterday, I am truly convinced that my sanity, and parenting skills, are being tested! Yesterday had to have been the worst day of my parenting life and I was happy to see it go. Here's what happened. Monday evening ended like any other Monday--family stroll, dinner, baths, and bedtime stories. And, although I felt a bit yucky after dinner, I shook it off and got things ready for Tuesday. However, 11pm came and up I was with an explosive case of the hurls! Poor Jackson soon followed and I became convinced he and I had eaten something that just didn't settle right. Daddy & Mackin were just fine! Tuesday morning was our normal morning rush routine. Daddy was out the door a tad earlier than usual for election day poll-watching in Talledega county. Macklin had a nurses visit for his second flu shot and Jackson was going along for moral support & then we'd be off to school and work. Here's where the sanity test begins. We arrive at the doctor's office at 8:45 am, sign in and take our seat in the "Well" waiting area. Jackson is playing with dinosaurs and Macklin is patiently perched in my lap. Jackson looks over at me and says "Mommy, my tummy hurts." Recalling the early morning incident, I immediately stand and proceed to the restroom but, it's too late and the lobby floor is covered in strawberry pop-tart and milk. I am trying to pull him to the restroom before anymore pleasantries arrive but we don't make it. Another sweet mom offers to take Macklin so I can get Jackson in the bathroom and cleaned up. I undress him, clean him up as best as I can with what is available in the restroom (diaper bag is in the car as I believed it would be an in-and-out visit). After I attempt to clean up our mess on the floor, we gather ourselves and take our seats back in the "Well" waiting room. I'm sure those who have witnessed our "event" are disturbed since we don't appear well at all. I'm now wondering if we should move into the "Sick" waiting room but decided to wait it out in our original spot since we're only there for a quick shot, right? Let me just say, there was nothing quick about it. I watch as name after name is called and the waiting room seems to empty. I'm worried they have forgotten we're there but decide to patiently wait. The boys get increasingly antsy and poor Jackson needs clean clothes. After an hour since our check-in passes, I decide it's time to reschedule. With my request to reschedule, inquiries are made as to why I'm still there, why it's taking them so long and the like amongst the staff. Thankfully, they decide to get us our shot and send us on our way --total time = one hour, 14 minutes. Once in the car, I pondered work/school v. staying home and briefly decide on work/school if our temps are normal. We make a quick run home to change Jackson's clothes and check temps and oops, I get sick. OK--home it is. I change into mommy clothes and get everyone settled in for the day. It's a long day of sickness for all--me, Macklin & Jackson--there are lots of yucky details I will not share with you but it was a bad sick day and it was all day. Around 4:30pm, the dog decides it's her bathroom time and she and I make a quick trip to the back yard. Behind me, Macklin decides to shut, and lock, the door. After an hour and half of begging, pleading, frantic phone calls to my mom, and trying every window and door while praying, our next door neighbor and her daughter are able to convince Jackson to unlock the front door! You see, each time I begged him and Macklin to do it, they would cry or laugh and run off to play. Thank you Adrianne and Carly! The day is topped off with dinner for the boys (they keep everything down--YEAH), baths, story-time and cartoons. I manage to do some dishes, laundry and get the coffee set for the next day. My mom calls to check on us and Daddy calls on his way home. I filled him in on all the horrors of day and cry hysterically--it was a really bad day! Pin It

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Style Crush

I have been in a MAJOR personal style slump for quiet some time. It seems to take me a million hours to get ready in the morning because I can't find anything to wear. My hair is too long and needs some major help. And, even though I put makeup on I still look colorless and tired. So, I have decided it is time for a change. I began looking for some style inspiration so I could give myself a makeover. Well, I have to admit that I have a serious style crush on Princess Letizia of Spain. Why, you ask? Ah, let me show you.
Princess Letizia is amazingly stylish! Her style is effortless and classic. Yes, I realize she has a team of people that enable her to pull this off but, I'm gonna attempt to borrow some of her style ideas and see if I can just come close to her effortlessness. (No, I will not match the boys to my outfits--that would be a bit much for a mere pheasant such as myself!)
I am drawn to her simplistic and put together look. I LOVE the peep-toe snakeskin pumps and pencil skirt. Funny thing I realized is that I don't even own a pencil skirt! I plan to add one to my wardrobe this season (I believe I have the shoes under control).
How stylish and beautiful is this look? A simple white dress but how super stylish that it has one shoulder instead of two. Yet another stylish item I don't own--the one shoulder shirt or dress. And the styled ponytail-- now that's a hairstyle I can get on board with!
See how her style is so amazing yet not overdone. I'm crushing! Belted coats, gray, skirts and scarfs! Black (something I have TOO much of), a classic suit but in red which is FABULOUS (I need a new suit) and the shoes--love them all!
Dresses--I admit I do not wear enough of them but I do LOVE a good dress! And, a belted one is even better (it may help me look skinner)! Yet again, a piece I will be adding to my wardrobe!
So, with my new style inspiration I'm determined to change it up a bit this season. I plan to start with a closet clean-out and a trip to the salon--wish me luck!
Pin It