Monday, May 30, 2011


{via: West Elm}

I know the moth/large bug thing is living large in the design world now, but I have to come out now and tell you that I just can't handle it. :) So many pictures have filled my head with large printed moths taking up entire walls, collections swarming bookshelves, ceramic creepy crawlies in the kitchen... but now this. I found this tonight and I am finally taking a side. Ugh, this I can't even look at let alone keep in my bedroom. Over me. All night. Surrounding me. I'd have nightmares!

Though I do love West Elm and everything they have to offer. Except this. :) I'm getting the heebie-jeebies!

How do you like the buggy trend? Love it, hate it, wish it was gone from the blogosphere? (*both hands up in the air, jumping up and down*)

I realize that this is my first post in a few months - I felt the inspiration and the need to share this one, I guess! I think I will try this new guiding force in sharing, see what happens. :) But, no more bugs, I promise!

Hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you out there who have made the sacrifice for us. We have always needed you and you have always been there for us, and we owe you more than we could ever say or do in return. Thank you for giving us the amazing gifts of freedom, safety and life! You have made our country a beautiful sanctuary, and we owe you big time for our expressive and protected lives - I know I will always remember and be eternally grateful for you. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day!

Hope you are all having a sweet day with your own sweethearts... Aside from my cute little family, here are some things I'm crushing on lately... if only the bank account would agree... :)

Blue Dandelion Print from Raceytay on Etsy (mixed up with a whole bunch of other blues and browns on my wall someday, soon)

Dedon Collections' Nest Rest and a good book, some good company... Though, this picture of it...really? Awesome, but how? :)

This website, Food For My Family full of amazing good for you and your kids recipes and tips. Love. Especially this post for Dark Chocolate Brownies. Double Love.

In the midst of all this cold and snow and ice, and the subsequent melting through our roof, a relaxing, warm, summer-night-breeze garden party sounds amaaaazing.

A nature-inspired, asian/minimalist bathroom I mostly adore... that view! Stunning.

These birch bark wrapped vases... would make for some great gifts.

And... this movie, with its beautiful soundtrack. Love.

(I wish I had cataloged where those last few decor images are from... if anyone knows, please comment! I will update if I find them...)

Enjoy your version of love day with those who matter the most!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

Thought I would tackle an easy post as my first one back in almost a year! I think it's just this time of year that makes me want to come back on again... so cold outside, so I am using my free time to peruse the design blogs I love with a cup of coffee or tea. It's so cozy! Anyway, lots of design inspiration out there (too much of you keep looking long enough!) combined with the desire to change things up a bit to get out of the winter rut.

Cozy and inspiring! Love. :)

I have this garage-saled bookcase that I decided to put in the kitchen after being inspired (that word again) by a few posts last summer. Yes, I said bookcase and kitchen in the same sentence! It's in a special spot that I needed to "cover up" - this spot is where the dogs' food bowls were located the whole time we've lived in the house... and after we lost Cody in June, I just couldn't stand to look at that double stand full of nothing but emptiness. :( Then I moved the bowls out, and it looked even more empty!

I remembered the bookcase, and the design inspiration and put the two together, throwing in a handful of dishes and cookbooks... and voila! An instant mood lifter. I have gotten so many compliments on it, since it's one of the first things you see when you walk into our house - on how neat it looked and the interesting use of the bookcase. It's been here since June, but the layout constantly changes - I love how versatile it is... what I don't like is how open the dishes are to dust. :( It's a worthy sacrifice to make sure to wash what I need before I use it, so in all it has turned out to be a fun addition to the kitchen.

(kitchen to the left, gray everywhere!, blue-grays in kitchen with cobalt and teal accents already)

Now, the next step is to spice it up a bit. I have always wanted to throw up a color or a pattern on the back of it, to add a little splash and further tie it into the kitchen. After lots of deliberation, I have decided to go with some paper, the pattern to be decided. Help!

I could have gone with wallpaper, but it's too expensive and you can't just get a little bit (unless you go with a patchwork of complementary samples, which would still be neat) - so I thought about using good, thick wrapping paper. I remember seeing it on NieNie's blog back some time ago (she just used a roll from Target that she liked). I have narrowed it down to three choices, and the choice will help the accent color path for the rest of the kitchen. I think I am slightly leaning toward the yellow/blue umbrella pattern - I like the subtler yellow and the less busy pattern - the soft yellow and blue-grays already in the kitchen - but the red and the poppy blue are both still exciting! And I adore cherry blossoms... hmm. Decisions...

All of these papers are from a sustainable luxury stationary company that just happens to be located in Syracuse. It's called Smock Paper. They have so many lovely things on their site, and for this application, the paper is a steal (compared to wallpaper!). Have an opinion? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Little Splash of Purposefulness

I am slowly but surely working on our kitchen, trying to add in a little bit of black, turquoise and white here and there, subtly. It's always been a blue kitchen, but now I have been trying to step back and take a look at it...and try to pull it together to look a bit more cohesive.

I don't want to - can't actually - spend major renovation dollars, and I just want it to look a bit more pulled together and...planned. :) That's the rub! Our entire house looks as if I am just throwing things together because, well - I am! Now, I am looking at every room first, seeing if there are any small tweaks I can do to make it look more purposeful instead of accidental - and if that doesn't work to make it look better, I will look to change larger things up the ladder. That way, I may save myself a bunch of money in the long run - hopefully!

Today's post is about adding a super small accent to the kitchen to add some purposefulness. :)

I have this frame that I adore - but it's broken. The back has no hangy thingy - and the prop that used to reside on the back to set it on a table has long been broken off. I almost threw it out, sadly - but I decided to use it to put a Christmas picture of the kids in there and literally just rest it on the counter against the wall - I was happy for the season, but then really sad when it came time to put it back in the bin for another year.

Since it fits into the color scheme - it's black! - I decided a nice turquoise quote about food somehow would be a good fit to place inside and hang somewhere! It's a nice kind of moroccan design and pattern and it definitely adds some cool texture to the space against a smooth, subtly light blue-green bowl filled with punchy oranges.

I found a quote online that I liked by literally searching for "food quotes" on Google...and then I went into Photoshop and just placed the words in such a way that I thought would work in my kitchen and with my emerging style. And of course, in the colors I needed. Then, I just printed it out on matte photo paper, trimmed it to fit and stuck it into the frame.
The hanging was a bit tricky since there were no brackets to hang from - I had to Macgyver it a tad, with some twine and a twist-tie - but I got it up and now... I am in love with this tiny, little, simple addition to the new, planned - dare I call it - "design" for my blah kitchen. What do you think?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project Status Update: Tupperware Cabinet

I have officially purged that dang cabinet and can now only call it a Tupperware cabinet by the skin of its teeth. I believe there is only ONE...yes, ONE!... Tupperware container left in there now. Oh, but it feels good!

Update on "Project: Purge the Plastic Avalanche" (I do like the new code name, say it out loud - it's kind of funny to say...ok, so maybe to just me) :)
  • I have removed all the contact paper my nails can officially handle without bloodshed.
  • I have sorted and sorted until all the containers without lids and the lids without containers were removed and escorted from the building (into the recycle bin they went, yay.)
sorting, sorting, sorting...
  • I have delegated all of our previous tenants, the should-be-but-never-really-is-tossable Gladware to a new home - namely both of my mothers' houses - Mom C and Mom E. I am fully aware that these containers may visit from time to time filled with delicious goodies from both houses (am I smart, or what? lol) But then they will be sent packing again. This was a promise. :)
the ones sent packing.
  • I kept my best containers, and only as much as would fit. This was hard, but the rest went to those lovely baking and cooking Moms again.
the keepers.
  • I kept the carousel free of obstacles, even though I had to fight my inner Dictator of Organization trying to fill up Man, is she is tough to quell!
  • Lids are relegated to a bin, behind the carousel.
So, in summary.........................
Remember Me?

Well, now I'm THIS.

and THIS!
Better, I can breathe easier looking at this space and no more slammed fingers in the door trying to catch the fall. Ahhhhhh. Bliss.

"What's Next" you ask? I know, you are dying to know.

Ok, I'll spill it.
  • You know that container behind the carousel, holding the lids? Yep, that white one with the holes... Well, those holes are going to serve as a nice place to wedge a dowel or two so I can separate the lids into small, medium, large. No more searching for lids!
  • And the fact that the container is behind the carousel? Ahhh.... well, if we cannot budget for a slide out drawer to pull the whole bottom shelf contents out - never fear, dear readers, I have an idea. I hope I can pull it off - or get the Monk to shell out the mula for the real thing. Nevertheless (is that a word, really?), it's been deemed a necessity to have the lids be more accessible. :) So, it WILL happen.
  • And contact paper...yes! As soon as I get to Target (which I have been there several times since Project Start)...and I actually remember to pick it up. :(
  • One more thing - maybe a coated metal riser for the top shelf, to further separate the containers that just do not want to play nice and stack.
I feel good that its another Mission well on it's way! Has this inspired you to tackle a cabinet or two in your own house? If it has, then please let me know!!! Inspiration goes full circle, my friends...if I know I motivated you, then it motivates me, which motivates you...and on and on! So, by all means - BRAG away!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project Start: "All-Purpose" Room De-clutter

So, we have this room.

Many people have said that we have a large house...and we have always said it just didn't feel like it. And I think it's because we have this large room in the front of the house... that we never really used. And it makes up about a quarter of our house size! But, NOW we use it quite a bit... and for many different reasons. It's not really a living room, or a dining room or a family doesn't fit any description, really - an "all-purpose" room? - before we had the kids, we literally filled it with a modge-podge of furniture and just kind of... walked through it. Everyone has to walk through it to come into our house, so it had to look decent, but we never really "used" it.

So, enter kids. The dining room off the living room became their space - as babies, it housed the swings, the changing table and blankets and such. As toddlers, it is yet another play space for their overflowing collection of Fisher-Price's finest. :)

Our dining room table moved into this front room, and we also have a treadmill I am trying to use most days, 3 high chairs just about dominated the space...and a bookcase that served as a quick grabbing point for all those things you need for a newly eating baby or three. LOTS of burpcloths, bowls, plates, utensils, bubbles, washcloths, books, etc... but thanks to the ease of access, it ALL had to be on the top 2 shelves, so that those same hands wouldn't find it at an inappropriate, unsupervised time. :)

After the Monk bought me a laptop for some Mommy-Photographer time, my office quickly became the kitchen table... and after Christmas decorations started going up, the extra decor misplaced by said decorations (as well as the rest of the unused Christmas stuff) ended up in this room.

It is starting to bug me. :) Just now! After years. So now I just have to fix it!

We also still eat in front of the TV - the only down time we actually have to relax - the kids eat on the floor on their activity trays and we eat on the couch. I want to be teaching them better! We need to teach them to say Grace, to have family dinner focused on each other and not the hard as that will be for us to let go of our only time to watch what we want to watch!

The Mission:
  • Move my desk out there so I have a real place to set my laptop and other photography things I am collecting.
  • Move the table in such a way that we can actually use it as a family.
  • Try to hide the treadmill if at all possible.
  • We are done with high-chairs, so get them out of there and get back some space!
  • Make the bookcase "Preschool Central" devoted to their upcoming home-school supplies.
  • Organize the desk inside and out to make it photography business worthy.
Note: I started this post a while back, so I have actually already started on this - a few things are different, and a few significant changes have happened. We ARE all eating at the table (which means the high chairs are GONE! Woohoo!), and the kids now know how to do "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" and to say Grace! So, it has been a blessing to be able to accomplish even this in the last 2 months. But I have much more to go, and will be posting progress soon. I am looking for steals out there, and that is why it will take me so long to finish this!

Thankful that spring is coming...garage sales, garage sales, garage sales....

Friday, February 26, 2010



The March issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine picked these guys as a "fresh find" for the month and probably caused the seller to run out almost immediately! The blue and green are on backorder until mid-April. :) But they have tons more colors to pick from, and even a larger size for houseplants. I think they are super pretty and love that they do two things for me...

1. I suck at growing indoor plants, so they are really made for people like me. (They have a reservoir that the plants draw water and nutrients from, taking the guesswork out of overwatering or preventing from baking dry.)

2. I have been really wanting my own stash of basil, since I love fresh basil in almost everything. Plus, the aroma of the leaves is lovely to me. Voila! This gives me a modern, fresh, clean and easy way to have my own sill of basil. Yum.

Naturally then, when I saw these I fell in love! I really like the green one the best, but since my kitchen is shaping up to be a turquoise/black/light gray kind of color scheme, I think I will save up for a blue and black...and maybe another turquoise? ...and place them right under my nose on the kitchen window sill.

They will be part of a larger kitchen window project I am working on that I am really excited about... I just need to save up some more funds or come across some more cheap finds over the next few weeks! We haven't had any window treatments in this window since we have moved in (11 years) and I finally think I know what I want to do...and it doesn't involve curtains... curious?